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Contradiction or Cohesion? Tracing Questions of Protection and Fairness in Scientifically Driven Elite Sport Policies

Anna Posbergh

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.

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A Proposal for an “Environmental Sports Journalism” (ESJ) Approach: Principles and Illustrative Examples From Coverage of the Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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.

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“Legalize Safe Standing” in English Football: Complicating the Collective and Individual Dimensions of Social Movement Activism

Mark Turner

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.

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Anti-Racism in Sport Organizations

Ajhanai C.I. Keaton

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“I Realize My White Privilege Certainly Has Contributed to This Whole Experience”: White Undergraduate Sport Management Students Engagement With Racism in a Sport-For-Development Service-Learning Course

Max Klein, Garret J. Zastoupil, and Justin Evanovich

Sport management classrooms prepare practitioners and decision makers to work in Sport for Development (SfD). A core issue within SfD is a lack of critical racial reflexivity, particularly with racially White professionals, which maintains inequitable power structures and keeps SfD programs from reaching their intended goal of facilitating positive outcomes. This study, informed by critical Whiteness studies, aimed to understand how White undergraduate sport management students critically reflected upon race while participating in an SfD service-learning course. Analyzing written reflections completed in the course, we found that students utilized Race Evasiveness and Race Explicitness, despite course content and SfD practice explicitly focused on race. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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Athlete–Student–Influencer: How the Introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness in Intercollegiate Athletics Further Complicates Applications of Role Theory

Alison Fridley, Daniel Springer, Sarah Stokowski, and Arden Anderson

The revered tradition of amateurism has transformed due to legal and legislative challenges initiated by the name, image, and likeness landscape. In contrast to the traditional National Collegiate Athletic Association model, college athletes have now gained the opportunity to benefit financially from their notoriety by adopting an influencer role. The purpose of this manuscript was to explore the conceptual and theoretical shifts resulting from the introduction of the influencer role, considering the existing literature on athlete–student role theory. By achieving harmony between the athlete, student, and influencer roles, athletes should produce the most significant gains in each area, including academic performance, athletic achievement, and monetary benefit. However, greater psychological and sociological consequences may emerge for athletes if the influencer role further complicates the conflict between their athlete and student roles.

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Volume 40 (2023): Issue 1 (Mar 2023)

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Sport for Development and Decolonization in a Settler Colonial State: Physical Culture in the Lives of Indigenous Peoples Incarcerated in Canadian Prisons

Mark Norman, Alicia G. Clifford, and Robert Henry

This article considers if sport, broadly defined, can be constructed as a decolonizing practice for Indigenous Peoples incarcerated in Canadian prisons. Situating our analysis within transformative and decolonizing approaches to sport for development, we bring together disparate literatures—on settler colonialism and Indigenous incarceration, decolonization and Indigenous resurgence, and sport and incarceration—to critically analyze possibilities and limitations of sport as a vehicle for decolonization in an inherently colonial institution. Recognizing the structural constraints to such a process, we also critique the settler colonial state and criminal justice system in which many Indigenous Peoples are enmeshed. The article contributes to sport for development’s ongoing engagement with issues of decolonization and criminal justice.

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Letter from the Editor: Celebrating SSJ’s 40th Anniversary

Cheryl Cooky

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“Who Am I ... a Hockey Player”: Indigenous Generosity and the Transformative Power of Education in Hockey Spaces

Davina McLeod, Sam McKegney, Darren Zanussi, and Shane Keepness

This paper examines the tenuous balance of Indigenous generosity in hockey spaces with the need for non-Indigenous players and organizers to educate themselves and others, pursue systemic change, and unburden Indigenous players of the heavy lifting of anti-racism. Interviews with five Indigenous elite women’s hockey players identify hockey as a potential site of decolonial and anti-racist learning, fueled by the players’ love for the game and willingness to expend emotional labor to affect change. Our interviewees express the desire to make hockey safer for future generations of Indigenous players by educating their non-Indigenous teammates, often, in the process, exposing themselves to ignorance, indifference, and racism. The players uniformly argue that education is required for change; however, this paper illustrates that such education is not solely the responsibility of Indigenous participants in the game.