“The Best Recovery You Could Possibly Get”: Sleep, Rest, and the National Basketball Association

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This article contextualizes recent concerns about rest in the National Basketball Association by considering the concurrent rise of a promotional sleep culture. This work builds upon Grant Farred’s analysis of the event of the Black athletic body at rest. Drawing on research from the cultural studies of sport and the critical sleep literature, the author complicates the idea that rest, broadly conceived of as sleep, is a straightforward route to resistance or refusal. Instead of dislodging underlying racial logics or capitalist expectations, the promotion of sleep among National Basketball Association players makes their recovery habits subject to greater surveillance and commodification. Such developments have obvious consequences for athletes and sport systems. What is less apparent is how these social forces also shape collective understandings of sleep difficulties and how to solve them.

The author (sarah.barnes@hsoc.gatech.edu) is with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.

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