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Although scholars have used poststructural and postmodern frameworks to understand the power relations of sport, critical research has rarely considered a politics of irony in the sporting realm. Using the controversial frog logo of Québec City’s professional basketball team, we explore irony as a reading strategy and method of critique that is already ambivalent. As a self-directed stereotype, Dunky the Frog is unique in its emergence through irony. It appears to be an offensive anti-French mascot intended by the team’s French Canadian owner to be an innocuous comic prop. This ironic use of frog imagery places the competing desires of liberalist sublimation and French Canadian self-representation into an irresolvable contradiction, one that encourages an alternative reading of mascot controversies and identity politics.
The authors are doctoral candidates in the School of Human Kinetics, 156a-1924 West Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.