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The Myth of Load Management: Sleep and Recovery in the Women’s National Basketball Association

Sarah Barnes

This article uses a feminist cultural studies of sport framework to explore dominant storytelling about sleep in the Women’s National Basketball Association. In a historical moment when rest is understood as a vital component in athlete performance, being denied full access to the conditions and resources that are imagined to be conducive to sleep is problematic. However, the Women’s National Basketball Association’s embrace of a commercial, technoscientific promotional sleep culture often comes at the expense of understanding the impact of structural forces on recovery. By exploring a variety of stories about sleep and performance, it is possible to understand the limitations and possibilities of using sleep enhancement frameworks to foster healthier and more humane sport settings and societies.

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“Anesthetized Gladiators:” Painkilling and Racial Capitalism in the NFL

Matt Ventresca and Samantha King

Drawing on an extensive archive of media texts collected between 2014 and 2019, we trace shifting representations of the National Football League in discourse on painkiller use among its players. We argue that in contrast to earlier eras, an image of the league as an exploitative and corrupt institution has come to the fore. Clustered around the announcement of a series of player lawsuits, these discourses are tempered by the persistence of narratives of personal responsibility and the elision of racial logics that predetermine athletes’ subjection to pain and injury. Situating our analysis in the context of the drug wars and the profit motive of the National Football League, we argue that these discourses both reflect and contribute to the workings of racial capitalism across the professional football and pharmaceutical industries.

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Being Involved in Sports or Giving Up: The Effects of Context on Teenage Girls’ Practice in French Disadvantaged Urban Neighborhoods

Carine Guérandel

Despite French policies promoting sports for girls in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, gender inequalities in practice persist in these areas. Based on the sociology of socialization and Connell’s concept of gender regimes, this article proposes to analyze the effects of sports contexts on the (dis)engagement of girls going through the process of joining a club. The data stem from a number of ethnographic investigations (observations; interviews with athletes [girls and boys] aged 11–17, trainers, and parents, n = 42) conducted in three French disadvantaged urban neighborhoods in three different cities over a total of 5 years of field work. All the sports clubs of the neighborhoods studied were investigated. The results reveal that the forms of socialization favored by the club and the trainers of teenagers might structure feminine interrelationships either favorable to girls’ practice (as in gymnastics) or unfavorable, indeed conflictual (as in soccer).

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Action Sports and the Olympic Games: Past, Present, Future

Douglas Booth

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Special Admission: How College Sports Recruitment Favors White Suburban Athletes

Rick Eckstein

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#TheyareUnited and #TheyWantToPlay: A Critical Discourse Analysis of College Football Player Social Media Activism

Wayne L. Black, Ezinne Ofoegbu, and Sayvon L. Foster

This study examined the way college football players used social media to resist, highlight, and address inequity in college football. Employing a critical discourse analysis guided by poststructuralism as a theoretical framework, three public statements were analyzed to explore how the language used in the statements resisted multiple discourses that shape college football players’ experiences. The ways that college football players used discourse to mobilize as activists and exert control over their college athlete experience were considered. These findings highlight three consistent themes and expand research on college athlete activism through social media and language analysis.

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Economies of Mourning, Canadian Nationalism, and the Broncos: An Affective Reading of TSN’s 29 Forever

Adam Ehsan Ali

On April 6, 2018, the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team was traveling to a playoff game on a rural highway when their bus collided with a semitrailer truck, killing 16 people. The crash led to an unparalleled, nation-wide outpouring of mourning. The legacy of the crash has been sustained by media outlets such as The Sports Network, who released a documentary on the crash, 29 Forever. Through an affective reading of 29 Forever, this paper explores the processes by which the Humboldt bus crash came to be known and felt as a national tragedy, how the crash fits within larger practices of Canadian nation-making, and the role that hockey, emotion, and feelings play in these processes.

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Awakening to Elsewheres: Collectively Restorying Embodied Experiences of (Be)longing

Tricia McGuire-Adams, Janelle Joseph, Danielle Peers, Lindsay Eales, William Bridel, Chen Chen, Evelyn Hamdon, and Bethan Kingsley

“Mainstream” spaces of movement cultures within settler colonial states invite bodies that are White, cis, able, thin, and heterosexual, just as “mainstream” academic space validates knowledge about the world produced by these very subjects. Such mainstream assemblages are embedded within the broader structure of settler colonialism, mutually buttressed by White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and (neo)imperialism. In this article, a Collective of scholars who represent voices from the margins writes back to settler colonialism, ableism, anti-Black racism, and other exclusions and harms. We do this to both elucidate relationships between systems of oppression and craft spaces of embodied freedom and to show/demonstrate belonging within decolonial enactments of “elsewheres.” in the field of sociology of sport.

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Unsettling the Myth of Canadian Nationhood: Hockey and Embodied Indigenous Sovereignties

Moss E. Norman, LeAnne Petherick, and Edward (Sonny) Albert

We situate the race-based division of Manitoba’s Keystone Junior Hockey League as a case study to reveal the ongoing processes of settler colonialism. We argue that this split is an example of “White settler possessive logics,” whereby settler belonging is naturalized through reiterative embodied acts of occupation. That this split happened in hockey, which is colloquially referred to as “Canada’s game,” is perhaps unsurprising given that hockey is a significant cultural site where Canadian nationhood is produced. However, we also contend that settler entitlement and belonging are never fully secure, but rather always in the process of (un)becoming. Settler belonging is thus threatened by Indigenous embodied sovereignties, which we argue can be found in the game of hockey generally, and in the Keystone Junior Hockey League specifically.

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On the Sidelines: Gendered Neoliberalism and the American Female Sportscaster

Jennifer McClearen