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Evan Frederick, Nicholas Swim, Ajhanai C.I. Keaton, and Ann Pegoraro

The purpose of this study was to examine the evolution of social media commentary pertaining to LeBron James’ activism efforts during two pivotal moments of state-enacted anti-Blackness violence. Utilizing the lens of critical race theory and critical whiteness studies, we examined user commentary pertaining to James’ two Instagram posts responding to the state-enacted violence against Michael Brown in 2014 and George Floyd in 2020. While responses to LeBron’s activism certainly evolved between 2014 and 2020, it is wise to be skeptical of that newly found support for James’ message and the outrage toward a fundamentally racist society. Superficial rhetoric and virtue signaling are the norm, while progress toward substantive change remains stoic and still, often like the beliefs deeply etched within us.

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Fabián Arroyo-Rojas, A. Chloe Simpson, Paige Laxton, Marie Leake, Jamie Linker, and Justin A. Haegele

In this expository paper, we reflect upon our understanding of how disabled people are discussed and treated in kinesiology and adapted physical activity in higher education and explore potential areas of unintentional harm that may be present in our everyday practice. There are three particular aspects of kinesiology in higher education that we discuss: access, language, and assessment. We discuss the challenges of access of disabled people in positions in higher education, language in higher education which serves as centers for knowledge creation, and the problematic nature of assessments based on societal norms, and for us, it is important to shine a spotlight on the many systemic limitations and barriers that disabled persons experience, in hope to amplify the importance of these issues.

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Steph Doehler

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.

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Shaun Edmonds, Nancy L. Malcom, Christina M. Gipson, and Hannah Bennett

Following the racist comments of the then CEO and CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman concerning the murder of George Floyd, CrossFit affiliates took to social media to repudiate his statements. Throughout their social media posts, these affiliates struggled with their relationship to the CrossFit brand, the imagined CrossFit community, and the community formed in their local box. Using qualitative thematic analysis of CrossFit affiliates’ Facebook and Instagram posts made during June 2020, we find that the affiliates had a range of responses that included silence, reconsideration of their affiliate status, and social activism. Furthermore, we find that the affiliates’ focus on (re)defining community served to deflect from deeper discussions of systemic racism within CrossFit and the CrossFit community.

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Christopher M. McLeod and Nola Agha

Pay fairness and human capital theories make different predictions about trainees’ occupational turnover in situations where trainees perceive unfair pay but receive huge potential returns from training. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how pay fairness and human capital investment combined to explain why trainees are motivated to persist in employment when they perceive unfair pay. Cross-sectional survey data from 144 minor league baseball players showed that athletes perceived unfair pay but had low occupational turnover intentions because they perceived high learning achievement and expected to play in Major League Baseball eventually. Perceptions of unfair pay only increased occupational turnover intentions under certain conditions, such as when athletes had low expectations of playing at least one game in Major League Baseball in the next 3 years. The results support a framework that combines human capital theory and pay fairness theories to explain boundary conditions for trainee motivation.

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Wendy O’Brien, Tracy Taylor, Clare Hanlon, and Kristine Toohey

Professional team male-dominated sports have been built on masculine values; however, these values are challenged by the increasing number of women athletes entering this workplace. In this research, we explore the suitability and gender appropriateness of existing management processes and practices through three women’s professional and semiprofessional leagues. Drawing on a feminist perspective of continuum of care, players (n = 36) and organizational representatives (n = 28) were interviewed to gain insights into how athletes and organizations contend with their rapidly evolving workplaces. Framed around the values of affirmation, empowerment, and belonging, the continuum of care contrasts players’ everyday experiences of care with how organizations administer care. The research contributes through application of the feminist continuum of care. We present considerations for the management of female professional athletes in ways that are careful and an alternative value system that is affirmative, inclusive, and empowering.