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.
Wendy O’Brien, Tracy Taylor, Clare Hanlon, and Kristine Toohey
Gregg Twietmeyer and Tyler G. Johnson
Meritocracy continues to dominate conventional thinking in the postmodern West. Yet, recently, an increasing number of critics have highlighted how meritocracy has gone wrong. One such critic is Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap. In this article, we highlight the major themes of Markovits’s book, identify how the ideology of meritocracy has infiltrated kinesiology and sport, and then propose how to reconceptualize and redirect kinesiology toward a more humane and morally sound discipline, which can avoid the pitfalls of the meritocracy trap. Most notably, we propose that kinesiology should (a) recognize the frailty and temporality of humans, (b) embrace the wide middle of human skill performance capabilities, (c) value mid-level jobs and occupations such as physical education teaching and YMCA and/or city recreation department positions, and (d) redefine what counts as success.
Yannick Kluch, Emma Calow, Eric M. Martin, Travis R. Scheadler, Andrew Mac Intosh, and Shannon Jolly
The goal of this study was to examine how athletes holding privileged racial identities understand their whiteness as they engage in racial justice activism. Drawing from 12 semistructured interviews with white collegiate athletes who have engaged in activism for racial justice, we identified four higher order themes which we situate within a broader discussion of how each theme either reinforces or disrupts racial power: articulations of (a) racial consciousness, (b) white privilege, (c) white empathy, and (d) white accountability. While the white accountability theme has the potential to disrupt racial power due to its relying on rigorous self-critique, the remaining themes pointed to limited understandings of the systemic nature of racism, which can thus inadvertently (re)produce white supremacy even when engaging in activism for racial justice. Limitations, implications, and future directions for research are discussed to empower more white athletes to reflect critically on whiteness and facilitate systemic change.
Yvette L. Figueroa and Emily A. Roper
Women’s involvement in sport has been replete with challenges at all levels. In a similar vein, women in strength and conditioning (S&C) encounter workplace challenges at all levels. Given the lack of representation of women in S&C, it is important to delve into the potential contributing factors. The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of women’s experiences in S&C. A total of 19 female S&C coaches at the collegiate level participated in our study. Participants were interviewed individually by both investigators via Zoom video calls using a semistructured interview guide. An overwhelming interest in participation among female S&C coaches allowed for interviews to be performed past the stage of saturation. Career experience among participants ranged from 4 to 26 years (M = 12.87 years). Results uncovered five central themes: (a) entrance into the S&C field and navigating a male-dominated culture, (b) appearance and presentation, (c) pressure to hire women, (d) support community and mentorship, and (e) family. Despite the perceived barriers described by these women, all participants stressed the love and passion each has for their career. The implications of this study are vital for administrators and athletic directors to advocate for greater representation of women in S&C and associated leadership positions.
Robert T. Book Jr., Donka Darpatova-Hruzewicz, and David Dada
This autoethnographic paper introduces a decolonizing methodological process termed—critical collaborative interrogation (CCI)—one offering a more radically reflexive approach to teasing out inherent power relations within sport-for-development spaces. The process of CCI utilized four autobiographical vignettes written by the first author as means of decolonizing his whiteness, vis-à-vis, an academic peer from his present and a coworker from his past. By ascribing to a decolonizing praxis, we contend that CCI offers not only a novel way to elucidate innate racial biases, complicities, and moral imperatives within sport-for-development work, but also promoting CCI as a transformative process by drawing upon “other” ways of knowing and alternative perspectives.
Natalie Brown-Devlin, Michael B. Devlin, and Vincent Peña
To examine the relationship among identification, fan expectations, and sponsorship outcomes, this study examined Alabama and Clemson fan expectations and responses to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) football championship game outcome. This case study sought to understand how fans of winning and losing teams evaluated a sporting event’s sponsor following the conclusion of an event, positing that highly identified fans would demonstrate a halo effect, and report favorable attitudes toward the sponsoring brand as suggested by previous research. However, there is a lack of theoretical evidence regarding consumer expectations when applied within the context of sport. Thus, using the theoretical framework of identification and expectation violation theory, the authors inquired to what extent the outcome of the game and one’s expectations of the outcome influenced their evaluation of the event sponsor. The results support previous research regarding potential halo effects, but also add nuance to earlier work demonstrating that a halo effect is not unilaterally applied for all fans. Given the unpredictable nature of sport and the increasing cost of sponsoring sporting events, these findings help explain the extent to which violations of one’s expected outcome affect subsequent evaluations of a sponsor.
Emily Carol Stets
Title IX specifies that “no person” shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex. Yet, advocacy groups and state legislators have debated transgender girls’ and women’s right to participate in sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Such entities employ misguided research about testosterone’s role in sports, assert that transgender girls displace cisgender girls in sports, and weaponize gender verification against transgender girls. Title IX’s original intent catalyzes access for all young people in sports, regardless of gender identity. A review of the historical underpinnings of the regulatory policy driving Title IX’s implementation, leading up to the Biden administration’s current efforts to assess Title IX’s application to sports, underscores the path to the truest implementation of Title IX. The regulatory mechanisms establishing Title IX implementation compel maximization of sport opportunities for all girls and women, which includes trans girls and women.
Eleanor Crabill, Callie Maddox, and Adam Beissel
The purpose of this study was to examine online news media coverage of the Australia–New Zealand joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Following neoliberal feminist theory and a postfeminist framework, the meanings and discourses of women’s empowerment produced in, and disseminated by, Australia and New Zealand’s popular online news media were explored. A content analysis was used to examine 77 domestic online news media articles published in response to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid and hosting announcement. The findings revealed that the popular online news media centered on three themes: opportunities for women and girls in sport, legacy outcomes, and commercial benefits. However, there was a clear lack of critical engagement from the news media over the bid’s initiatives, claims, and promises. Only 2.5% of all online news media coverage engaged in meaningful discussion, analysis, and critique of the purported social and economic impacts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This study raises critical questions about the role of Australian and New Zealand (sport) media in (a) serving as a prominent forum through which the As One 2023 bid committee could circulate strategically crafted, preferred narratives regarding the event’s legacies and impacts to manufacture consent and public support for event hosting and (b) propagating a postfeminist celebration of women’s sport mega events that uncritically circulates specious claims of women’s empowerment, participation growth, and commercial benefits of the event.
Brian P. Soebbing, Chad S. Seifried, and Patrick Tutka
The novelty effect has a long history in sport facility research with most research examining new facility construction. The present study explores the impact of renovated facilities, specifically the novelty effect, as it pertains to revenue and secondarily attendance. Within, we also explore four different renovation types as classified by the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places to look at any individual impact or revelation using institutions participating in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Results from ordinary least squares and Tobit estimations from a sample period covering 1993 through 2017 conclude a novelty effect associated with renovations does exist for attendance. However, the effect is shorter in duration and delayed by a few seasons based upon the type of renovation. As for revenues, we find some positive impact on revenues. Those impacts are delayed are on based on certain types of renovation.
The aim of the current study was to examine the sport motivations of three types of National Basketball Association fans based on their geographic proximity to the team: local fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a local team), nonlocal fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a nonlocal team), and distant fans (i.e., China-based fans). The author used the psychological continuum model to measure level of psychological involvement with the team in order to determine whether fans were casual, moderate, or loyal. Using one-way analyses of variance and factorial analyses of variance, the author found that Chinese distant fans reported the highest motivation for seven of the nine types of motivation measured. Results also show that geographic locality predicted significant motivational differences among casual and moderate fans but not among loyal fans. The findings have both theoretical and applied implications and call for stronger focus on the influence of locality in the sport industry.