When COVID-19 enveloped sport, it presented SportsCenter, ESPN’s primary news vehicle, with an unexpected and ironic form of “March Madness,” with basketball as the sporting epicenter for a pandemic. This case study applied an ethnographic content analysis to examine how the cancellation or postponement of sport as a result of COVID-19 was framed across 22 episodes of SportsCenter from March 8 to 14, 2020. More than 134 min of coverage was devoted to COVID-19-related stories, and 268 unique types of stories were produced. Descriptive statistics suggested that COVID-19 was framed as having a direct impact on U.S. men’s professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament. When considering news format characteristics, SportsCenter produced its coverage through convenience and relevance to ESPN, not sport. Even during a “breaking news” pandemic, SportsCenter retained its long-standing news process of gender bias and nationalistic favoritism. The visual difficulty of how to “show” coronavirus also presented a production challenge, but the messages and cues embedded in the visuals depicted a rapid shift in discourse that focused on basic reporting without health or global context. Instead, SportsCenter overwhelmed viewers with how sport was ripped away from (U.S.) American society.
Hal A. Lawson
Twentieth-Century Physical Education gave rise to Kinesiology. Today’s Kinesiology structures and influences Physical Education. Boundary crossing and bridge building facilitate analysis of their relations and have import for investigations of career pathways and outcomes. Decisions regarding boundaries and bridges will impact the futures of Kinesiology, Physical Education, and their relations in diverse, turbulent higher education environments.
David I. Anderson
I am not sure by what fortunate circumstance I was invited to contribute to this special issue of Kinesiology Review. However, I am deeply honored to be part of an issue with such esteemed scholars and colleagues. Like many, my introduction to the field of kinesiology was through sports, but my inspiration to pursue kinesiology as a career was the result of an injury that ended my sporting ambitions. My career is characterized by little planning, large amounts of dumb luck, a willingness to explore some paths that are less well trodden, and deep and enduring friendships that have resulted from a spirit of teamwork and collaboration. The work has been hard, the hours have been long, but the payoff has been enormously gratifying. The overarching lesson from my career for emerging scholars is to have an adventurous spirit and seek out excellent mentors and collaborators.
Jacky Forsyth, Nicola Brown, Rachael Bullingham, and Claire-Marie Roberts
An examination of the kinds of questions we ask ourselves provides a window through which to interpret our history and imagine our future. I suggest that there are three kinds of questions—large ones, small ones, and leaky ones. Those that are identified as large and small map onto the value structures we have created for ourselves in higher education. I call these structures caste systems in which some subdisciplines are valued over others, and theoreticians stand above both practitioners and skill teachers. Leaky questions are those that cross boundaries because they cannot be effectively answered by those residing in any one area or at any one level. I argue that leaky questions generate humility, mutual respect, and incentives for collaboration. I trace my own attempts to address all three kinds of questions as a sport philosopher and conclude that our brighter future in kinesiology, including our attempts to address the harms created by the caste system, requires us to see that most of the questions we find interesting are, in fact, leaky in nature.
Jane E. Clark
The past is prologue, writes Shakespeare in The Tempest. And there seems no better expression to capture the theme of my essay on searching the future of kinesiology in its recent past through my lens as a motor development scholar. Using the developmental metaphor of climbing a mountain amidst a range of mountains, the progressing stages of my development and that of kinesiology are recounted. Over the five-plus decades of my growth as an academic and that of kinesiology, I look for the antecedents and the constraints that shape our change and may shape the future of the field of motor development and kinesiology.
Barbara E. Ainsworth
This paper provides reflections on my academic career in kinesiology and public health from an autobiographical perspective. Themes include the importance of movement and physical activity in my development and career choices, a recognition of the importance of physical activity for health outcomes, experiences in studying physical activity in a public health framework, and observations on kinesiology in higher education. I also reflect on the importance of the physical education and physical activity environment that brought me a sense of belonging, enjoyment, and accomplishment that has lasted throughout my career. As in sports and professional activities, I have tried my best and never given up until I felt the task was done.
In this essay, I drew upon the perspectives of Walter Benjamin’s “angel of history” in reflecting upon the history of kinesiology and the influences that led to my own academic career in kinesiology. I have outlined how my disciplinary training as a physical educator and educational historian provided the resources to propel my continuing inquiry into the inter- and cross-disciplinary (and intrinsically entangled) nature of kinesiology. Gender, nationality, training, location, and timing all had their influences on my education and job opportunities and upon building toward a career in a research university where physical education and kinesiology, by design and accident, increasingly separated from one another. From the perspective of a sport historian, I suggest that the language and pursuit of balance might be applied productively to thinking about the future of kinesiology. Sport historians can help in this mission by training a critical lens upon the ongoing traffic between nature and culture and the deep sociocultural situatedness of the science and technology practices used in kinesiology teaching and research in the 21st century. In essence, they can illuminate the historical context of the tools that now frame kinesiology’s questions and the political context in which their answers emerge.
Samuel D. Hakim
The present study examined the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and fans’ identity and fanship. The PLL boasts a uniqueness many sports fans are unfamiliar with—non-geographically affiliated teams. Using socialization theory, social identity theory, and fan identity, the author sought to better understand the fan qualities of the PLL, especially surrounding athlete importance. A Qualtrics survey was distributed through reddit.com/r/lacrosse and major lacrosse forums with the goal to assess fanship toward favorite players, favorite teams, and PLL media consumption. Statistical analyses revealed that those who have a previously constructed lacrosse fan identity, consume more lacrosse media, and have been following a professional or college lacrosse athlete in the past are more likely to embrace the PLL. In a league where geographical affiliation is currently absent, research suggests that encouraging fan adoption of a favorite player is key to creating fans who begin to feel investment, loyalty, and increased team identity.
Erin E. Ayala, Alison Riley-Schmida, Kathryn P. A. Faulkner, and Kelsey Maleski
Competitive cycling is a sport with limited levels of diversity, particularly concerning gender. Women and gender diverse cyclists are likely to experience actions from others that reveal underlying assumptions based on their gender, race, or other cultural identities. This mixed-methods investigation used feminist theory and a transformative paradigm to highlight the experiences of women and gender diverse cyclists in a male-dominated sport. The authors explored the nature of microaggressions, perceived underlying messages, responses to such actions, and the feelings provoked. Two hundred and seventy-nine cyclists responded to the survey. Over three-quarters of participants reported being bothered by one or more microaggressions that they experienced in the competitive cycling community. Three primary themes emerged for types of microaggressions: assumptions based on gender, inequitable treatment, and harassment. A small percentage of participants noted an absence of microaggressions in competitive cycling environments. Although participants responded to microaggressions in several ways and experienced a range of emotions, the most common response to microaggressions was to not engage. Over half of the participants reported feelings of anger or frustration due to the microaggressions, followed by feelings of sadness. The results from this study complement what researchers have previously reported regarding female athletes and microaggressions in other sports. Implications and findings are discussed in the context of community norms and the need for a paradigm shift to promote inclusivity and diversity in the sport.