Sports Fandom in the Risk Society: Analyzing Perceptions and Experiences of Risk, Security and Terrorism at Elite Sports Events

in Sociology of Sport Journal
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year subscription

USD  $85.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $121.00

2 year subscription

USD  $158.00

This article focuses on the reflections of 1,015 sports fans collected via an online survey from June 2017 to September 2017 regarding their experience and perception of risk, security, and terrorism when attending an elite live sport event. Drawing on the conceptual risk society framework of Ulrich Beck, the results outline how some fans demonstrate defiance, resistance, and pragmatism towards the risk of terrorism whilst nearly one-third of fans demonstrate tenets of emotion, fear and risk aversion. The majority of fans accept additional measures of security and surveillance as a means of protecting their safety, but others resist this as overly excessive and intrusive and argue it negatively impacts on their experience. The article concludes by outlining the implications of these results on the risk management strategy of elite sports event organizers.

Cleland is with the School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Jamie Cleland at Jamie.Cleland@unisa.edu.au.
  • Altheide, D. (2003). Notes towards a politics of fear. Journal of Crime, Conflict and the Media, 1(1), 37–54.

  • Atkinson, M., & Young, K. (2003). Terror games: Media treatment of security issues at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Olympika, 11, 53–78.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Atkinson, M., & Young, K. (2012). Shadowed by the corpse of war: Sport spectacles and the spirit of terrorism. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 286–306. doi:10.1177/1012690211433452

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BBC News. (2015). Paris attacks: What happened at the Stade de France? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-34839080/paris-attacks-what-happened-at-stade-de-france

    • Export Citation
  • BBC Sport. (2015). Second Belgian game called off as Brussels terror alert raised. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/34889884

    • Export Citation
  • Beck, U. (1992). Risk society– Towards a new modernity. London, UK: Sage.

  • Beck, U. (2009). World risk society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

  • Beck, U. (2016). The metamorphosis of the world. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

  • Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

  • Cashmore, E., & Cleland, J. (2011a). Glasswing butterflies: Gay professional football players and their culture. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 35(4), 420–436. doi:10.1177/0193723511420163

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore, E., & Cleland, J. (2011b). Why aren’t there more black football managers? Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(9), 1594–1607. doi:10.1080/01419870.2011.595556

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore, E., & Cleland, J. (2012). Fans, homophobia and masculinities in association football: Evidence of a more inclusive environment. British Journal of Sociology, 63(2), 370–387. PubMed ID: 22670652 doi:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2012.01414.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cashmore, E., & Cleland, J. (2014). Football’s dark side: Corruption, homophobia, violence and racism in the beautiful game. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cleland, J. (2014). Racism, football fans and online message boards: How social media has added a new dimension to racist discourse in British football. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 38(5), 415–431. doi:10.1177/0193723513499922

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cleland, J. (2015). Discussing homosexuality on association football fan message boards: A changing cultural context. International Review for the Sociology of Sport Journal, 50(2), 125–140. doi:10.1177/1012690213475437

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cleland, J., & Cashmore, E. (2014). Fans, racism and British football in the 21st century: The existence of a colour-blind ideology. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(4), 638–654. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2013.777524

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cleland, J., & Cashmore, E. (2016a). Football fans’ views of racism in British football. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 51(1), 27–43. doi:10.1177/1012690213506585

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cleland, J., & Cashmore, E. (2016b). Football fans’ views of violence in British football: Evidence of a sanitised and gentrified culture. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 40(2), 124–142. doi:10.1177/0193723515615177

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coaffee, J., & Murakami Wood, D. (2006). Security is coming home: Rethinking scale and constructing resilience in the global urban response to terrorist risk. International Relations, 20(4), 503–517. doi:10.1177/0047117806069416

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Furedi, F. (2002). Culture of fear. London, UK: Continuum.

  • Fussey, P., & Coaffee, J. (2012). Balancing local and global security leitmotifs: Counter-terrorism and the spectacle of sporting mega-events. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 268–285. doi:10.1177/1012690211433451

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giulianotti, R., & Klauser, F. (2010). Security governance and sport mega-events: Toward an interdisciplinary research Agenda. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 34(1), 49–61. doi:10.1177/0193723509354042

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giulianotti, R., & Klauser, F. (2012). Sport mega-events and ‘terrorism’: A critical analysis. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 307–323. doi:10.1177/1012690211433454

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hassan, D. (2012). Sport and terrorism: Two of modern life’s most prevalent themes. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 263–267. doi:10.1177/1012690211433450

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hassan, D. (2016). Surveillance by proxy: Sport and security in a modern age. American Behavioral Scientist, 60(9), 1043–1056. doi:10.1177/0002764216632840

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Horne, J., & Manzenreiter, W. (2006). An introduction to the sociology of sports mega-events. Sociological Review, 54, 1–24. doi:10.1111/j.1467-954X.2006.00650.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Houlihan, B., & Giulianotti, R. (2012). Politics and the London 2012 Olympics: The (in)security Games. International Affairs, 88, 701–717. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2012.01097.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mythen, G. (2018). Thinking with ulrich beck: Security, terrorism and transformation. Journal of Risk Research, 21(1), 17–28. doi:10.1080/13669877.2017.1362028

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nurse, H. (2016). Euro 2016: How is French security ensuring fan safety? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/36523373

    • Export Citation
  • Palmer, E. (2015). El Clasico: Isis threat makes Real Madrid vs Barcelona ‘sport’s biggest ever security operation. International Business Times. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/el-clasico-isis-threat-makes-real-madrid-vs-barcelona-sports-biggest-ever-security-operation-1529782

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rumsby, B. (2016). Euro 2016: The five key areas the French security effort will focus on. Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2016/05/30/euro-2016-the-five-key-areas-that-french-security-effort-will-fo/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Samatas, M. (2007). Security and surveillance in the Athens 2004 Olympics: Some lessons from a troubled story. International Criminal Justice Review, 17(93), 220–238. doi:10.1177/1057567707306649

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Samatas, M. (2011). Surveillance in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008: A comparison of the Olympic surveillance modalities and legacies in two different Olympic host regimes. Urban Studies, 48(15), 3347–3366. doi:10.1177/0042098011422399

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schimmel, K. (2017). Not an “extraordinary event”: NFL games and militarized civic ritual. Sociology of Sport Journal, 34(1), 79–89. doi:10.1123/ssj.2016-0172

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spaaij, R. (2016). Terrorism and security at the Olympics: Empirical trends and evolving research agendas. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 33(4), 451–468. doi:10.1080/09523367.2015.1136290

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sugden, J. (2012). Watched by the Games: Surveillance and security at the Olympics. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 414–429. doi:10.1177/1012690211433482

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, T., & Toohey, K. (2006). Impacts of terrorism-related safety and security measures at a major sport event. Event Management, 9(4), 199–209. doi:10.3727/152599506776771544

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, T., & Toohey, K. (2007). Perceptions of terrorism threats at the 2004 Olympic Games: Implications for sports events. Journal of Sport Tourism, 12(2), 99–114. doi:10.1080/14775080701654754

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, T., & Toohey, K. (2011). Ensuring safety at Australian sport event precincts: Creating securitised, sanitised and stifling places? Urban Studies, 48(15), 3259–3275. doi:10.1177/0042098011422393

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Toohey, K. (2008). Terrorism, sport and public policy in the risk society. Sport in Society, 11(4), 429–442. doi:10.1080/17430430802019367

  • Toohey, K., & Taylor, T. (2008). Mega events, fear, and risk: Terrorism at the Olympic Games. Journal of Sport Management, 22(4), 451–469. doi:10.1123/jsm.22.4.451

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Toohey, K., & Taylor, T. (2012). Surveillance and securitization: A forgotten Sydney Olympic legacy. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47(3), 324–337. doi:10.1177/1012690211433456

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Toohey, K., Taylor, T., & Lee, C. (2003). The FIFA World Cup 2002: The effects of terrorism on sport tourists. Journal of Sport Tourism, 8(3), 186–196. doi:10.1080/14775080310001690495

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1240 1240 59
Full Text Views 109 109 4
PDF Downloads 33 33 2