A recent growth in victimological studies has examined violence done to workers in a number of professional and occupational settings. This paper begins by detailing the complex relationship of athletes to the culture of their workplace. This is an arena that requires routine violence done both by and to athletes, and ultimately guarantees injury, but is one that also paradoxically privileges only the healthy contributor. In addition to suggesting how athletic work may be linked to broader processes of gender ordering, and how meaning is derived by male participants, the paper examines how the various rewards of such work appear to coexist with subjugation and disablement. This occupationally experienced dialectic is discussed in terms of the legal notion of volenti, or voluntary assumption of risk, and of player attempts to correct workplace injustices.
Kevin Young is with the Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.