The National Broadcasting Company’s (NBC) primetime broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics over 18 nights was analyzed to determine differences between the network’s treatment of U.S. and non-U.S. Olympians. Consistent with previous findings, an American athlete was the most mentioned athlete, and Americans composed the majority of the Top 20 most mentioned athletes. In contrast to previous findings, American athletes accounted for only 38.68% of the mentions, the lowest amount recorded since studies began with the 1996 Games. In addition, a sport-by-sport analysis revealed that an American was the most mentioned athlete in 8 of the 15 winter sports, and Americans received more mentions in 4 winter sports. Regarding descriptions ascribed to the Olympians, American athletes were more likely to be portrayed as succeeding due to superior concentration, composure, and commitment, while non-Americans were more likely to be portrayed as failing due to a lack of concentration, strength, and ability. Non-Americans were also more likely to be described as modest/introverted. Contextualization of these findings is provided.
Paul J. MacArthur and Lauren Reichart Smith
Carlos García-Martí and Raúl Sánchez-García
This paper analyzes how professional wrestling expanded stereotyped race, national, and class images toward the Spanish public in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The professional wrestling circuit of music halls, theaters, and circuses helped connect a myriad of grappling practices spanning different national traditions. Nonetheless, it also helped convey different racial, ethnic, and national images within a frame of social class divide at a time of rampant imperialism and colonial domination. In this context, Spain experimented with a short-lived wrestling mania, with several international wrestling tournaments and jujutsu exhibitions before World War I. In these tournaments, both fighters and patrons exploited racial stereotypes as a way to better sell the activity to the paying audience, connecting with, but also reinforcing, the perceptions that populated the collective imagination about different people, due to ethnicity or nationality linked also to social class.
Andrew M. Hammond, Andrea Bundon, Caitlin Pentifallo Gadd, and Tim Konoval
This article critically analyzed the enactment of disability-inclusive sport policies by provincial sporting organizations in British Columbia. Thirty semistructured interviews with managers representing 13 organizations informed the analysis. Findings highlighted how organizational circumstances prompted managers to enact integration policies in novel ways at the regional level. For instance, nondisabled sporting organizations mediated the adoption of integration policies due to the perceived impact on nondisabled programming. In contrast, disability sport organizations resisted integration out of concern that nondisabled organizations could not deliver programming to an equivalent standard. To thwart the perceived integration threat, disability sport organizations developed novel solutions, such as registering themselves as freestanding organizations. Discussion arises as to whether integration is the “gold standard” of inclusion in disability sport. Policy recommendations are also discussed.
Ulrik Wagner, Rasmus K. Storm, and Kenneth Cortsen
Recently, 12 European football clubs launched the idea of creating the European Super League. After massive protests from fans, the Union of European Football Associations, politicians, coaches, and players, the initiative was stopped. In this commentary, the authors reflect on some of the problems facing football and argue that the creation of a European Super League is not a solution to the challenges. However, European football does face problems that require actions, and thus the authors provide some suggestions to progress.
Grace Yan, Hanhan Xue, and Chad Seifried
Since the concept of redeveloping Wrigley Field became prevalent, the Chicago Tribune has notably constructed a variety of narrative strands on related urban dynamics. Through a framework that connected post-Gramsci insights of hegemony, discourse, and critics of spatial and economic neoliberalism, this study examined how the newspaper strategically assembled discourses in mediatizing urban politics surrounding the Wrigley renovation. First, the newspaper fostered hegemonic consent that endorsed the redevelopment(s) by promoting old tropes of economic development and market growth despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Second, it also produced a parallel discourse that expressed moderate recognition and sympathy to the interest and experience of the community. Without fundamentally challenging neoliberal power, however, such discursive construction was a strategic and instrumental intervention that reinforced the contingencies and boundaries of neoliberal hegemony. Through such investigations, this study shed light on the ongoing rearticulation(s) of the media regime that strategically produced neoliberal rationalities, subjectivities, and discursive antagonism as it assisted to shape urban imageries and political economies of sporting spaces.
Women have been entering the sports journalism industry in growing numbers around the world but are still oftentimes sidelined. Female sport media workers constantly face more challenges than their male counterparts because of unfriendly working environments and conditions based in sexism. Most of the existing research has been conducted in Anglo-Saxon environments; yet, women’s inclusion and exclusion in the sport industry is an international problem. This case study expands the literature through in-depth interviews with the only two Ghanaian journalists who covered the FIFA World Cup 2018. These two Ghanaians, the only representatives of their country in the media in Russia, were women, a unique situation that deserved to be examined to better understand the place of women in sport media.
Fallon R. Mitchell, Paula M. van Wyk, and Sara Santarossa
Through user-generated posts on Instagram, Paralympians’ self-presentation may mitigate stereotypes associated with disability, counteracting negative assumptions. Using content analyses and paired t tests, visual content posted by Paralympians was examined for the portrayal of disability stereotypes. Compared with the social media content of able-bodied athletes, which typically focus on personal and lifestyle aspects, the majority of the Paralympians’ visual content depicted them engaged in sport or fitness-related activities. By posting content that depicts physical competence and elite abilities, Paralympians may change the narrative to promote the capabilities of athletes with a disability. Through the portrayal of sport and exercise engagement on social media platforms, these Paralympians are potentially mitigating disability stereotypes with the intent to curate a culture that is more accepting and inclusive.