With the arrival of name, image, and likeness (NIL), the college sports labor market has distinctly taken on similar characteristics to the gig economy, with athletes able to earn extra compensation through external NIL-based independent contractor “gigs.” But with this comparison comes comparable issues, and scholarship and litigation examining and challenging gig economy structures have identified several legal and ethical concerns both individual to each worker and more broadly affecting labor markets. Building off this literature, we conceptualize the NIL phenomenon within the gig economy space, exploring the legal and ethical concerns that have plagued companies like Uber and applying those same concerns to the brave new world of NIL-fueled college sports. We not only find similar issues in college sports but also find even deeper concerns based on new and existing challenges unique to the novel space of college sports, particularly given the increased proliferation of NIL collectives.
Sam C. Ehrlich, Joe Sabin, and Neal C. Ternes
Much of the resistance and, at times, outright condemnation of including transgender individuals in sports continue to draw upon “scientific” arguments, despite the acknowledged importance of sociocultural and (geo)political factors, resulting in a constructed “either science or human rights” landscape. In this article, I analyze historical scientifically driven International Olympic Committee documents and policies from the Olympic Studies Center to examine if and how sport organizations, such as the International Olympic Committee, have historically balanced these seemingly partitioned considerations in previous regulatory documents, especially those relating to sex, gender, fairness, and protection. Using Sheila Jasanoff’s co-production, I find that, while knowledge informing policies sometimes circulates biologized gender stereotypes, sociocultural and scientific goals have, can, and should exist in cohesion rather than in contradiction.
Brian Wilson and Liv Yoon
This article introduces/rationalizes an attempt to conceptualize “environmental sports journalism (ESJ).” ESJ refers to a set of principles for analyzing and/or reporting on media coverage of sport-related environmental issues—principles intended to support/promote dialogue and nuanced thinking about these issues and about how sports journalism might contribute to environmentally friendly and just outcomes. To clarify features of ESJ and explore benefits/challenges of ESJ, we include illustrative examples of ESJ from media coverage of: (a) polluted harbor water used for the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games and (b) the razing of an ancient forest for a ski facility for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We conclude with reflections on the potential/limits of ESJ and suggestions for work on sport, journalism, and environmental issues.
Chris Knoester, Rachel Allison, and Victoria T. Fields
Using data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993), this study considers U.S. public opinion about transgender athletes’ rights, rights for athletes with varied sex characteristics, sex testing, and gender segregation in sports. Social structural location, social group, and ideological characteristics are examined as predictors of these opinions. Results indicated that most U.S. adults seem to support transgender athletes’ rights and rights for athletes with varied sex characteristics and oppose sex testing and gender segregation in youth sports. Men, heterosexuals, older generations, those without a college education, Republicans, Christians, and rural residents, as well as those who exhibit more traditionalism and traditionally gendered beliefs in their ideologies, were more opposed to athletes’ rights and inclusivity on these issues.
Athletes face unique mental health stressors, including internal/external pressure, time displacement, and physical injury. In addition, athletes who experience mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety reference the role of social factors—specifically stigma—as barriers to mental health. The present study draws on 37 testimonials from The Players’ Tribune in which athletes disclosed mental illness. A theoretical thematic analysis pinpointed themes within the testimonials of athletes who elucidated and refuted myths concerning mental health in sport. Through disclosure, the athletes challenged stigma by protesting myths that discourage help-seeking behavior in sport. The analysis identified six themes in the myths concerning (a) professional success, (b) strength, (c) identity, (d) the sports story treatment of mental health, (e) sport as escape, and (f) isolation. Implications are discussed in relation to changing social norms in sport.
Sajjad Pashaie and Popi Sotiriadou
This study addresses a topic neglected by the sport management literature: the impact of anticorruption effects of information and communication technology (ICT) in sport organizations on the role of organizational health mediation and organizational transparency. This study analyses this topic by presenting and testing a comprehensive theoretical model. This quantitative, descriptive survey uses structural equation modeling methodology. Data collection was carried out by employees (N = 384) working at the Iranian Ministry of Sport and Youth. The results of the study were processed using LISREL 8.80 software in the model and hypothesis testing, and the study found support for the theoretical model. The results show that (a) ICT is an effective tool for reducing administrative corruption of officials, and (b) in terms of both organizational health (variance accounted for = 0.40) and organizational transparency (variance accounted for = 0.39), ICT has a mediating role in reducing administrative corruption in sport organizations. This study fills a gap in the literature by addressing both personal and managerial perspectives, thus allowing directors of sport organizations to consider ICT a useful and practical management tool for reducing corruption among officials in sport organizations, as an adjunct to traditional methods such as administrative reform and law enforcement.
In 2004, South Africa was awarded the opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The opportunity to reshape their national identity in the spotlight of the World Cup came at a particularly useful time for South Africa. Despite the country’s seemingly miraculous transition from apartheid to democracy—a transition lauded around the world—the country’s reputation was soon dragged down by concerns about crime, unemployment, and a rising rate of HIV infections. Although a number of scholars have looked at the long- and short-term effects of South Africa’s effort at creating a national identity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, questions of process remain to be explored. What rhetorical strategies were employed to build this national image? What role did developing social media platforms play in the World Cup campaign? What were the communication tactics that led to a successful World Cup campaign? Using the theory of dialectical vernacular, I argue that South Africa was able to use the stage and emotional setting of the World Cup, in combination with a unique moment in time in branding and social media, to cultivate and deploy user-generated content to create a sense of authenticity that successfully sold a positive image of South Africa to the world. Essentially, South Africa was able to take digital material that was submitted by citizens around the country, and around the world, and use it to build a campaign that was vernacular, transnational, and embodied in nature. This allowed them to manufacture a national identity that effectively (at least in the short term) redirected conversations away from the more complicated issues affecting the country to, instead, showcase South Africa as a successful democratic nation.
This research examined the ball-handling errors that referees called against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Division I women’s college volleyball. A ball-handling error is an impermissible nonverbal communicative act such as a ball being lifted, a ball being thrown, or a ball being double hit. Previous research on referee bias was reviewed. Expectancy violations theory served as the theoretical frame because it focuses on nonverbal behaviors and how a message receiver responds to violations. Using publicly available data, this research sought to draw points of comparison between HBCUs and predominantly White institutions. The uncovered data revealed that referees called more ball-handling errors per set against HBCUs relative to predominantly White institutions. Furthermore, only HBCU conferences were penalized at a statistically significant level, while no predominantly White institution conferences were penalized at a statistically significant level. Theoretical implications for expectancy violations theory and practical implications for HBCUs were the focus of the study discussion.
Kelsie Saxe, Lauren Beasley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robin Hardin
Voluntary occupational turnover is rampant within the economy and, thus, a timely line of inquiry within sport management. However, sport management literature has primarily explored turnover intentions rather than the realized experience of voluntary occupational turnover. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand sport management employees’ experiences of voluntary occupational turnover using the Transtheoretical Model of Change as a guiding theoretical framework. Interpretative qualitative inquiry guided the research design with 12 former Division I swimming coaches. Findings illustrated themes aligning with the Transtheoretical Model of Change. However, an additional theme was identified: the tipping point, occurring between contemplation and preparation when a discernible event occurred which prompted the participant to move from contemplation to preparation. This study further extends the Transtheoretical Model of Change and its applicability within sport while providing implications regarding the retention of sport management employees.
Over the past 25 years, a hermeneutic struggle has unfolded in English football between those spectators who wish to stand at matches and the risks associated with this practice in all-seated stadia. Amid this tension, fans have had to negotiate a neoliberal and authoritarian regime. However, the struggles of supporters against social control in football are characterized by the building of a long-term social movement against all-seating. In seeking to break down the state’s disciplinary power and its marketization of football, this movement, “Safe Standing,” has achieved several recent policy-based victories in the United Kingdom and Europe and is now firmly embedded within sports stadia developments and the demands of fans in North America and Australasia. Although these different contexts are temporally and culturally sensitive, they are interdependently linked through relational time frames and discursive practices that make up the modern consumption of football. This research applies relational sociology to analyze the fan networks that successfully built this movement across the U.K. fan activist scene, characterized by relational collective action, which complicates the individual and collective dimensions of activism.