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“Doing What’s Best for Me”: A Cultural Values Comparison of Social Media Responses to Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 Vaccination Status

Sitong Guo, Andrew C. Billings, Joshua R. Jackson, and Suyu Chou

In October 2021, National Basketball Association player Kyrie Irving was banned from competing for the Brooklyn Nets because of his resistance to being vaccinated for COVID-19. Two months later, the Nets softened that stance and allowed Irving to participate in road games. This study examines two prongs of the social media response to Irving’s vaccination status. A total of 12,000 posts were collected from the U.S.-based Twitter (now known as X; 6,000) and the Chinese-based Weibo (6,000), covering the first week of coverage of Irving and the Nets’ announcement. Results showed that Hofstede’s cultural dimensions help explain the theme differences, with Twitter’s comments reflecting more individualistic notions and lower power distance than Weibo. Moreover, Twitter users focused more on opinion-based expression themes, while Weibo users avoided commenting on the COVID-19 policy. These findings contribute to the literature by identifying the role culture plays in people’s response to a social issue.

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Motivations, Barriers, and Supports: An Examination of the Experiences of Women of Color Recreational Sport Coaches

Eric Legg and Rebecca Varney

Coaches play an instrumental role in the experiences of youth sport participants. Though girls participate in youth sport at similar rates as boys, coaching positions continue to be dominated by men. Existing research supports the value of diverse role models, especially for culturally diverse youth, and women coaches of color are especially important in sport given the low participation rates of ethnocultural minorities. Given the importance of diverse role models as sport coaches, this study investigates the experiences of women of color who coach sport at the recreational level. Based on interviews with 14 individuals, and grounded in socioecological theory, our findings describe the experience of research participants at each level (individual, interpersonal, organizational, and sociocultural) with a focus on the entry experience, barriers, and supports. Findings suggest that gendered and racial norms influence experiences across the model, and further lead to practical implications for sport managers.

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Media Framing of Athletic Department Major Infractions: A 5-Year Review of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tyler A. Williams and Beth A. Cianfrone

Media coverage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) often focuses excessively on challenges and deficits, influencing public perceptions, but there is little research on media portrayals of HBCU infractions. This study delves into the portrayal of Division I HBCU infractions from 2016 to 2020 through a textual analysis of 60 article headlines from local, regional, and national newspapers. The research examines general framing strategies, temporal changes, specific frames, prominent themes, and attribution of responsibility. Results indicate that the media often frames these infractions episodically rather than thematically over the 5-year span, with limited case details. The headlines emphasized specific issues of reprimand and redemption, often holding the organization accountable. Newspapers contribute to public opinion on athletic infractions by presenting these incidents in an engaging narrative. This study highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of how media shapes perceptions of HBCUs, especially in the context of athletic infractions.

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Leadership With Legacy in Education-Based Athletics

Brian Mancuso

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 1 (Jan 2024)

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Fan Engagement Behavior: Validation of a Theory-Based Scale

Masayuki Yoshida, Rui Biscaia, Sebastian Uhrich, Brian S. Gordon, Marcel Huettermann, and Makoto Nakazawa

In this research, we conducted two studies to validate a multidimensional scale of fan engagement behavior. In Study 1, we generated survey items through a systematic review of the relevant literature, collected data from fans of professional baseball (n = 319) and soccer (n = 301), and provided evidence for the construct and concurrent validity of the scale composed of six dimensions. In Study 2, we reassessed construct validity in professional baseball (n = 582) and found that fan engagement behavior was represented by the proposed six dimensions with a final list of 21 items. Further, our predictive analysis throughout a season showed that fan engagement behavior fully mediated the relationship between predictor (team identification and awareness of fan engagement initiatives) and outcome variables (media viewing frequency, attendance frequency, and flourishing). The developed scale advances our understanding of fans’ voluntary actions that are culturally embedded in spectator sport.

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Global Sports and Contemporary China (1st ed.)

Luke Mashburn

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Modeling Residents’ Mega Sport Event Social Value: Integrating Social and Economic Mechanisms

Jordan T. Bakhsh, Marijke Taks, and Milena M. Parent

Social value is the difference between monetized social impacts and related economic investments. Stimulating positive social value is a leading concern and focus for sport event stakeholders. However, insights on this socioeconomic phenomenon have concentrated on social or economic mechanisms, not both, and are siloed to host city residents, largely overlooking nonhost city residents central to events. Thus, we integrated social and economic mechanisms to examine host city and nonhost city residents’ mega sport event social value. Data from 1,880 Canadians revealed varying social values (Vancouver and Provincial = negative; Venue-City = neutral; National = positive). Applying a reverse contingent valuation method, findings confirmed the need to integrate (monetized) social and economic mechanisms to calculate social value. Testing an augmented social exchange theory model, findings highlight residents’ perceptual ambivalence to social impacts and the importance of income to estimate social value. Stakeholders should effectively leverage events for social impacts and reconsider event public funding allocation policies.

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Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19

E. Su Jara-Pazmino

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The Strength of Community: The Role of Social Support Networks in Sport Officials’ Retention

Jacob K. Tingle, Brittany L. Jacobs, Matthew Katz, and Stacy Warner

Previous researchers have indicated that a sense of community and social support are vital to referee retention; however, little is known about the connection between specific characteristics of sports officials’ networks and retention. To better understand the sports officiating shortage, researchers explored the social support networks of 116 referees utilizing egocentric network analysis. The authors suggest that retention of sports officials depends on the interpersonal ties and network structures within which the referees are embedded. Specifically, resulting hierarchical models confirmed that retention relationships among officials are a multilevel phenomenon, and that outside communication and community were vital network characteristics that fostered retention relationships. Network size, tenure, and the officiating level also were significant when considering an official’s network and its impact on retention. Areas for future research and suggestions for referee managers are presented.