“Perhaps She Only Had a Banana Available to Throw”: Habitus, Racial Prejudice, and Whiteness on Australian Football League Message Boards

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This article presents the findings of 2,415 posts collected from two prominent Australian Football League message boards that responded to a racist incident involving a banana being thrown at Adelaide Crows player, Eddie Betts, in August 2016. It adopts Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to examine the online practice of fans for evidence of racist discourse and the extent to which this was supported or contested by fellow fans. The overall findings are that online debates about race in Australian Rules Football and wider Australian society remain divided, with some posters continuing to reflect racial prejudice and discrimination towards non-whites. However, for the vast majority, views deemed to have racist connotations are contested and challenged in a presentation centering on social change and racial equality.

Cleland is with the School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Parry is with the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom. Radford is with the School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Jamie Cleland at Jamie.cleland@unisa.edu.au.
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