This essay gives a personal viewpoint of the environment for girls’ and women’s sport in the years surrounding the origination of Title IX and the organizational impacts unleashed by this legislation. Particular attention is given to the, somewhat surprising, degree to which men in power positions in sport benefitted from Title IX’s uneven pattern of enactment. A cautionary note suggests that advocates in future work take careful steps so that language and protocols of potential legislation assure benefits to the intended beneficiaries rather than others. A concluding assessment asserts that one of the strongest positives of Title IX is a shift in stance of female athletes from being “grateful for banquet leftovers” to an expectation of equity in treatment and benefits.
Amina Haggar and Audrey R. Giles
Guided by the experiences and perspectives of sport practitioners, in this paper, an intersectional lens was used to examine age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and religion and how they relate to the recruitment and participation of second-generation, low-income, African Canadian, Black Muslim, and Christian adolescent girls in a community-based basketball program in Ottawa, Canada. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 program coordinators and coaches involved in the City of Ottawa Community Centre Basketball League (CCBL), and reflexive thematic analysis of the data was engaged. The findings were threefold: (a) CCBL coordinators and coaches recognize the importance of representation to enhancing their support to program users; (b) CCBL coaches and coordinators make efforts to build trust with and increase buy-in from first-generation immigrant parents to improve girls’ program participation; and (c) CCBL coaches and coordinators make religious accommodations in response to the needs of Muslim and Christian program users. The findings illustrated that community-based sport programs serving second-generation African Canadian adolescent girls in low-income communities require multifaceted program and outreach strategies that consider the intersecting social experiences of participants to improve recruitment and participation. To conclude, policy and program design and implementation strategies to support the creation of inclusive, equity-driven community-based sport practices were proposed.
The current study sought to explore the prevalence of uncivil discourse surrounding the Washington NFL team’s removal of offensive Native American imagery and later rebranding as the Washington Commanders. The study employed a quantitative content analysis to assess comment sections of news stories on a sports blog between 2014 and 2022. In addition to uncivil discourse, contextual elements such as popularity, reciprocity, and directionality of incivility were also examined. Dovetailing with existing research, roughly one quarter of all comments featured an element of uncivil discourse, with derogatory slurs toward Native Americans being particularly common. Additionally, contextual elements served important roles in the facilitation of incivility. Taken together, the results point to some of the antisocial behavior that can occur in seemingly innocuous online spaces that often reflect broader social and political turmoil related to Native American imagery in sport.
Kozue Ando, Takahiro Sato, Emma V. Richardson, Takafumi Tomura, Yu Furuta, Haruka Kasahara, and Takahiko Nishijima
The purpose of this study was to analyze professional, Japanese, female soccer athletes’ views on second career development and perceived support from the Women’s Empowerment Professional Football League, Japan. This study was underpinned by occupational socialization theory and utilized a qualitative, collective case study design through demographic questionnaires, in-depth face-to-face semistructured interviews, and reflexive thematic analysis. Participants were six current professional soccer players of one professional team of the Women’s Empowerment League. Three themes were generated from the data: (a) avoiding washout effects in second career opportunities, (b) the importance of dual-career pathway opportunities, and (c) professional development and second career training. These findings reflected how participants’ first career as a professional athlete became ingrained within their identity and shaped future desires and preparations for second careers. They also reflect the difficulty participants experienced balancing a professional athletic career with part-time office work for financial stability as well as planning for a second career linked to soccer. Players expressed a need for second career preparation to be facilitated by their clubs and the Women’s Empowerment League, and we provide implications and recommendations to support this work.
Bo Li, Olan K.M. Scott, Stirling Sharpe, and Qian Zhong
International sport has always been associated with nationalism. The purpose of the study was to explore how Chinese media and the general public perceived the doping scandal of their national sports hero, Sun Yang. Through analyzing 11 Chinese media outlets’ coverage on Chinese social media Weibo, the results revealed that Chinese media covered Sun and his team’s reaction and perspectives on this issue more when compared with other news. The general public’s perceptions toward this scandal tended to be favorable toward Sun, with 55.5% of selected Weibo comments defending Sun after his 8-year ban for doping was handed down. The analysis of these social media comments posted by sports fans showed that the general public’s perceptions might have been impacted by their nationalism, international relations, and media coverage. In addition, the study revealed the Chinese public’s perceptions toward current antidoping regulations.
Gashaw Abeza and Jimmy Sanderson
A key feature of a robust academic discipline is that its homegrown theories and investing in theory contribute to building good research. In the field of sport and social media research, the rigorous utilization of theory is one of the areas where the field is still facing “disciplinary pain.” In fact, the unique features of social media provide researchers in the sport research community with a valuable opportunity for proposing, testing, applying, critiquing, comparing, integrating, and expanding theories. In this commentary, the authors, based on their own experience (as researchers, readers, and reviewers of social media in sport), contend that reference resources are lacking on this topic to help young (or existing) researchers locate appropriate theories for their research. Hence, this work identifies, documents, and discusses the theories used, advanced, and developed in social media research for sport studies. Furthermore, a compilation is brought together of different theories from various disciplines that researchers in this community may consider for their future work.
Katherine Sveinson and Kim Toffoletti
Sport organizations are developing family-friendly spectator initiatives to boost engagement and sales to parents and children. While the number of women sport fans continues to grow, research has yet to explore how women, as mothers and fans, experience fandom. Informed by a maternal geography framework, this study explores women’s understanding of what does or does not make game-day experiences family-friendly by presenting the accounts of 15 women from North America and Australia who are sport fans and mothers. Interpretive phenomenological analysis is utilized to investigate how mothering as a spatially informed care practice shapes the perspectives of what constitutes a family-friendly sport spectating experience. Findings identify key components of the physical, structural, and social environments of women’s experiences of family-friendly sport fandom, as well as exposing that what is presumed to be family-friendly is not the same as mother-friendly.
Carl Langan-Evans, Colum Cronin, Mark A. Hearris, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale, and James P. Morton
In response to the ongoing sex data gap, the present study provides a qualitative exploration of females’ nutritional experiences in elite sporting environments. Semistructured interviews were conducted with multiple participant groups (n = 18), including athletes (n = 7), practitioners (n = 6), and researchers (n = 5) across differing disciplines within professional sporting organizations and/or national governing bodies. Combined content and thematic analysis provided an insight into the specific factors influencing current sport nutrition practices. A common theme highlighted among all participant groups was the paradoxical struggle between adequate fueling for training and competition demands, and the fear this may impact body mass and body composition goals. This tension was identified as being rooted within athletes’ perceptions of body image and driven by other participant groups and wider societal ideals. Each participant group also highlighted influences on cravings and approaches to food and dietary supplementation, centered around individual perceptions and challenges driven by symptomology associated with the female menstrual cycle and contraceptive use. To address these challenges, all participant groups called for more research to inform future change and continuing education pathways. In summary, this study contributes to providing a more complete understanding of elite female athlete sport nutrition experiences than currently exists. Multiple perspectives highlight the complexity of providing sport nutrition support to elite female athlete populations and directs future research, and practice, to reconsider one-size-fits-all approaches and acknowledge unique individual contexts which may influence these areas.