The current study sought to explore the prevalence of uncivil discourse surrounding the Washington NFL team’s removal of offensive Native American imagery and later rebranding as the Washington Commanders. The study employed a quantitative content analysis to assess comment sections of news stories on a sports blog between 2014 and 2022. In addition to uncivil discourse, contextual elements such as popularity, reciprocity, and directionality of incivility were also examined. Dovetailing with existing research, roughly one quarter of all comments featured an element of uncivil discourse, with derogatory slurs toward Native Americans being particularly common. Additionally, contextual elements served important roles in the facilitation of incivility. Taken together, the results point to some of the antisocial behavior that can occur in seemingly innocuous online spaces that often reflect broader social and political turmoil related to Native American imagery in sport.
Bo Li, Olan K.M. Scott, Stirling Sharpe, and Qian Zhong
International sport has always been associated with nationalism. The purpose of the study was to explore how Chinese media and the general public perceived the doping scandal of their national sports hero, Sun Yang. Through analyzing 11 Chinese media outlets’ coverage on Chinese social media Weibo, the results revealed that Chinese media covered Sun and his team’s reaction and perspectives on this issue more when compared with other news. The general public’s perceptions toward this scandal tended to be favorable toward Sun, with 55.5% of selected Weibo comments defending Sun after his 8-year ban for doping was handed down. The analysis of these social media comments posted by sports fans showed that the general public’s perceptions might have been impacted by their nationalism, international relations, and media coverage. In addition, the study revealed the Chinese public’s perceptions toward current antidoping regulations.
Gashaw Abeza and Jimmy Sanderson
A key feature of a robust academic discipline is that its homegrown theories and investing in theory contribute to building good research. In the field of sport and social media research, the rigorous utilization of theory is one of the areas where the field is still facing “disciplinary pain.” In fact, the unique features of social media provide researchers in the sport research community with a valuable opportunity for proposing, testing, applying, critiquing, comparing, integrating, and expanding theories. In this commentary, the authors, based on their own experience (as researchers, readers, and reviewers of social media in sport), contend that reference resources are lacking on this topic to help young (or existing) researchers locate appropriate theories for their research. Hence, this work identifies, documents, and discusses the theories used, advanced, and developed in social media research for sport studies. Furthermore, a compilation is brought together of different theories from various disciplines that researchers in this community may consider for their future work.
Katherine Sveinson and Kim Toffoletti
Sport organizations are developing family-friendly spectator initiatives to boost engagement and sales to parents and children. While the number of women sport fans continues to grow, research has yet to explore how women, as mothers and fans, experience fandom. Informed by a maternal geography framework, this study explores women’s understanding of what does or does not make game-day experiences family-friendly by presenting the accounts of 15 women from North America and Australia who are sport fans and mothers. Interpretive phenomenological analysis is utilized to investigate how mothering as a spatially informed care practice shapes the perspectives of what constitutes a family-friendly sport spectating experience. Findings identify key components of the physical, structural, and social environments of women’s experiences of family-friendly sport fandom, as well as exposing that what is presumed to be family-friendly is not the same as mother-friendly.
Jonathan A. Jensen, Lane Wakefield, and Brian Walkup
Numerous studies have investigated the influence of sponsors on the sport organizations with whom they partner. However, rather than simply assessing the impact of a new, incremental sponsor, which should result in a net positive for the sponsored organization, we quantify and isolate the effect of resources provided upon the switch of one sponsor to another. Furthermore, the resource-based view of the firm is utilized as a theoretical lens to understand the effects of these resources on demand, the ability to recruit human capital, and organizational performance. In Study 1, we analyze 15 years of data from 98 sponsorship agreements, finding that switches provide additional resources, but do not positively impact demand, recruiting, or performance, even in subsequent years. In Study 2, we find that the financial commitment necessary to acquire a sponsorship from a competitor does not result in a corresponding increase in shareholder value for the sponsoring firm.
Pamela Wicker, Katie E. Misener, Lisa A. Kihl, and Graham Cuskelly
This study develops and tests a measure for perceived vulnerability to occupational fraud and examines the relationship between organizational capacity and perceived vulnerability to fraud in community sport organizations. Drawing on the opportunity dimension of fraud triangle theory and the concept of organizational capacity, the study identifies a number of risk and protection factors for vulnerability to fraud. Board members of community sport organizations in Australia, Germany, and North America were surveyed (n = 1,256). The results offer a reliable and valid scale assessing vulnerability to fraud in community sport organizations consisting of procedural and financial dimensions. The regression analyses indicate a set of risk factors for vulnerability to fraud, including the presence of paid staff, high annual and unbalanced budgets, and owning sport facilities. Protection factors include strategic planning, relationships with other institutions, and trust within the board. This knowledge can be used to design antifraud education and training resources.
Changwook Kim, Jinwon Kim, Jeoung Hak Lee, and Yuhei Inoue
This study aims to empirically investigate how sport media consumption influences the relationships among the spatially explicit risks of COVID-19, resilience, and positive and negative affect, considering social class. To achieve this, we employed an integrated approach using spatial and aspatial analyses. The findings indicated that the negative effects of the spatially explicit risks of COVID-19 on resilience are mitigated by sport media consumption. In turn, an increased level of resilience enhances positive affect and reduces negative affect. Moreover, consumers in the upper class showed a more pronounced resilience process through sport media consumption than those in the lower class. This study contributes to the knowledge regarding the sport−resilience association by identifying the moderating effect of sport media consumption within social classes and addressing the spatially explicit risks of COVID-19. The present findings provide a basis for sport-based resilience strategies in times of adversity.
Sarah M. Brown, Natasha T. Brison, Gregg Bennett, and Katie M. Brown
U.S. professional athletes increasingly have engaged in athlete activism. Such actions have elicited a wide range of responses from sport fans, calling into question whether an athlete’s activism can impact their brand image. This research explored whether attitudes toward athlete activism, activism message, activism communication style, or fan identification level affect an activist athlete’s brand image. This research utilized a 2 × 2 experimental design of activism type (safe vs. risky) and activism effort (high vs. low). A focus group determined both activism effort and activism type. Activism type did not significantly affect fans’ perception of athlete brand image, but perceived athlete attractiveness decreased when the athlete engaged in risky activism. Individuals’ attitudes toward athlete activism significantly influenced their perception of an activist athlete’s brand image. This paper fulfills an identified need to understand the effects of athlete activism on the athlete’s own brand.