Alex C. Gang, Juha Yoon, Juho Park, Sang Keon Yoo, and Paul M. Pedersen
This study explores the process of social capital development and the influence of space that leads to the formation of different types of social capital among mega sport event volunteers. A qualitative approach was utilized to ensure the collection of in-depth data on participants’ subjective volunteering experience and its relation to the creation of social capital. Findings revealed the development of social capital by the volunteers both in and out of event venues, which are defined as event related and peripheral spaces. The process of developing network through bridging was attributed to the proclivity of peripheral spaces to provide proximity and composition necessary to build and enrich interactions, while bonding was the primary mechanism to associate with others on event-related places.
Niya St. Amant
RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) is a reality television show wherein drag queens compete for the title of America’s next drag superstar. This article contends that RPDR is sport and that the queens are contestants in a culture of risk wherein queens must be willing to play through pain, risk their bodies, and demonstrate emotional toughness to succeed. A hegemonic power structure exists on RPDR wherein judges, fans, and contestants reward queens willing to participate in the culture of risk and deem queens unwilling to participate as unworthy. Using a discourse analysis of Season 9, this article will demonstrate how the contestants on RPDR must conform to the traditional masculine and feminine gender norms commonly found in sporting contexts to garner success on and off the show.
During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Team USA athlete Simone Biles withdrew from several gymnastics events midcompetition, citing mental health issues. Biles, one of the most recognizable stars of the Games, faced intense scrutiny from both the world’s media and the general public in the immediate aftermath. The purpose of this study was to analyze the Facebook narrative surrounding Biles’s withdrawal within the theoretical context of framing, as crafted through user comments on various public high-profile Facebook pages. A total of 87,714 user comments were collected and analyzed using the qualitative software Leximancer. The themes emerging from the data suggested a polarizing narrative, with many users supporting Biles, engaging in the wider discussion surrounding athlete mental health, while others condemned her action, suggesting she quit on the biggest sporting stage.
Kyle Kusz and Matthew R. Hodler
Existing across multiple media platforms, Barstool Sports (“Barstool”) is one of the most important sport brands in the United States. While Barstool’s critics frequently assert that the company is “racist,” few, if any, detail how their racial politics work. Through a brief genealogy of Barstool’s cultural history and a close critical reading of “The Barstool Documentary Series,” we show how Barstool’s racial politics operate through gender—specifically the affective appeal of Big Man sovereignty and the homosocial bonds of White fratriarchy —to create and normalize racially exclusive and White male-dominant social worlds that dovetail remarkably with racial and gender ideas that organize what Maskovsky calls Trump’s “White nationalist postracialism” and the Proud Boys’ “Western chauvinism.”
The aim of the current study was to examine the sport motivations of three types of National Basketball Association fans based on their geographic proximity to the team: local fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a local team), nonlocal fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a nonlocal team), and distant fans (i.e., China-based fans). The author used the psychological continuum model to measure level of psychological involvement with the team in order to determine whether fans were casual, moderate, or loyal. Using one-way analyses of variance and factorial analyses of variance, the author found that Chinese distant fans reported the highest motivation for seven of the nine types of motivation measured. Results also show that geographic locality predicted significant motivational differences among casual and moderate fans but not among loyal fans. The findings have both theoretical and applied implications and call for stronger focus on the influence of locality in the sport industry.
Hailey A. Harris and Natasha T. Brison
Branding and self-presentation strategies on text and visual platforms have been explored in a variety of ways such as gendered analyses and content analyses performed on the social media profiles of athletes at multiple levels of sport. The purpose of this study was to examine branding and self-presentation strategies of two highly visible professional female soccer players (i.e., Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe) over two different time periods: 2019 and 2020. Results show that branding and presentation strategies can shift over the course of an athlete’s career. Implications from this study include adjusting brand strategies for clients over time, using other athletes’ strategies as their own framework, and promoting brand authenticity in accordance with their daily lives.
Rhonda C. George
Using Black Feminist Theory and qualitative data gathered from 20 Black Canadian female U.S. athletic scholarship recipients, this article identifies race–gender barriers to accessing informal athletic spaces for athletic training such as recreation centers and public gyms. I argue that these access barriers are rooted in a sexist anti-Blackness, while also examining the resistance and navigational strategies employed by the participants such as playing back and avoidance and considering how those efforts often led to additional financial expense and psychological and navigational labor. In so doing, I elucidate how the race and gender of the participants intersected to create social and athletic experiences and opportunities that are distinct from existing dominant discourses in collegiate athlete research, which tend to center American and Black males, while often neglecting the specific and more granular experiences of Black (Canadian) female athletes.
David Cassilo and Joseph McGlynn
This study examined interviews with former National Football League (NFL) players to better understand the role that source credibility plays in concussion and injury communication. The NFL has a complex history with concussions and other injuries, yet has made some recent attempts to improve player safety. Researchers interviewed 10 former NFL players about concussion and injury communication that is league-based, team-based, and teammate-based. The researchers performed a thematic analysis of those interview transcripts with a focus on source credibility and injury communication, finding that while the NFL has attempted to make the game safer, players still struggle to trust the league, which impacts their willingness to accept health information. These findings indicate that NFL players may never find the league truly credible or neutral toward injuries. Further, injury education programs that include greater involvement from teammates may be successful strategies to increasing awareness within the locker room, as players indicated that fellow players can be viewed as more trustworthy sources of information.