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A Critical Examination of Race and Antiracism in the Sport for Development Field: An Introduction

Meredith A. Whitley, Joseph N. Cooper, Simon C. Darnell, Akilah R. Carter-Francique, and Kip G. O’Rourke-Brown

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Anti-Racist Research Methods in Sport-Based Youth Development

Jennifer E. McGarry, Kolin Ebron, Jesse Mala, Michael Corral, Nneka Arinze, Kerry Mattson, and Khalil Griffith

In this article, we examine the process of conducting anti-racist research in Sport for Development, specifically Sport-Based Youth Development programs in the United States. We acknowledge that participatory methods have been both identified and problematized as approaches to challenge the racialized experiences of youth. We share examples of attempts at Youth Participatory Action Research utilized across six previously unpublished projects. Through sharing our efforts to co-create environments with youth to produce changes impacting their development, we provide insight on our experiences and shortcomings. Finally, we conclude with implications for the field of Sport for Development, and youth-focused scholars, on deconstructing contexts that preserve and privilege whiteness.

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“Soul on Ice”: Black Commodification, Race, and the National Hockey League

Kia Cummings and Benjamin Burroughs

The NHL has a long-standing, problematic relationship with race. The North American sporting and racial climate have brought even more attention to this reality. A notable tactic to counter the accusation of reinforcing racism within sports corporations, including the NHL, is publicly associating themselves with minoritized organizations. This often occurs through formal partnerships or the acquisition of minoritized-founded entities, initiatives, and organizations. This paper considers how salient discourses of race and Blackness are articulated by the hosts and contributors of NHL Studio’s Soul on Ice: The Podcast (SOIP) as an acquired NHL entity. The NHL aims to reposition itself on issues of race and the portrayal of Black members within hockey through SOIP. The podcast gives a platform to empower Black voices within White hockey culture but also problematically enmeshes the NHL within the commodification of Black culture and hardship. The acquisition of Soul on Ice: The Podcast by the NHL is used to sanitize and shield the league while reinforcing the normative Whiteness of hockey. Further, the consequences of the leagues’ commodification of Blackness and the nuanced experiences of Black NHL players and community members shared via the podcast are unpacked.

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Whitewashed and Blacked Out: Counter-Narratives as an Analytical Framework for Studies of Ice Hockey in Canada

Alex I. McKenzie and Janelle Joseph

Despite a longstanding relationship with hockey, Black Canadians are typically erased from dominant histories of Canada and sport. Erasure is detrimental to Black prosperity because it encourages social death, a process that socially marginalizes and dehumanizes Black Canadians. In response to Black erasure, we detail counter-narratives that challenge the historically whitewashed account of hockey’s origin in Canada. We celebrate the impact and contributions of Black Canadians, who transformed hockey while using it as a sport-for-development vehicle in the 19th and 20th century. Given the centrality of hockey to Canadian nationalism, we suggest that Black erasure within sport and society is an attempt at Black social death within Canada. By highlighting the sport development and sport-for-development work of Black Canadians, our objective is to confront Black erasure and exclusion. That way, Black presence becomes less surprising in the grand narrative of Canada, and Black social death becomes less certain.

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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.