Chapter 2. Ethnic participation in Dutch amateur football clubs 21 place within the context of sports clubs (23%), and the highest percentage of citizens who are a member of sports clubs (27%), the Netherlands serves as a prime example of organizing sports in this way (Eurobarometer, 2014). This chapter zooms in on the most expansive organized sport in the Netherlands, namely amateur football. With well over one million members of amateur football clubs, it is hard to overemphasize the social significance of recreational football for Dutch citizens. The research question I have formulated for the purpose of this chapter is twofold: To what extent is Dutch amateur football an ethnic reflection of the Dutch population and what factors best explain differences in participation between ethnic groups? The remainder of this chapter is structured as follows. In the section below, I will introduce two different theoretical perspectives on how to understand ethnic differences in participation in voluntary activities. These are subsequently broken down into three key explanations for the potential differences in ethnic group’s representation in Dutch amateur football. Afterwards, in the methodological section, I provide insight in the data and measures I have used. In the third section I will present the results of this study and the extent to which these match the expectations formulated earlier. Finally, the chapter concludes with a summary of the main findings and a discussion of their implications. 2.2 Two perspectives on ethnic differences in sports participation Ethnic disparities in leisure activities have enjoyed a fair share of academic interest for four decades. In a study on differences in outdoor recreation participation between Whites and African Americans, Washburne (1978) proposed an influential framework of two opposing theoretical perspectives to account for the African Americans’ under-participation. The first perspective is known as the marginality perspective. This perspective assumes that ethnic disparities in leisure participation and behaviour are primarily a result of ethnic inequality and the inferior position of ethnic