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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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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.

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Toward a Theory of Sportswashing: Mega-Events, Soft Power, and Political Conflict

Jules Boykoff

Sportswashing has emerged full force in the 21st century, highlighting the gap between word and deed in the sports world. Yet, the term suffers from definitional imprecision and is often applied solely to autocratic hosts. This article offers a robust definition of sportswashing and—building from the soft-power approach to analyzing mega-events like the Olympics and World Cup—creates a sportswashing typology. This paper offers four advances in conceptualizing sportswashing: (a) the practice is not just the domain of autocrats, but can emerge in democracies as well; (b) domestic audiences are crucial to understanding the political complexities of sportswashing; (c) sportswashing often sets the stage for military intervention; and (d) new forms of sportswashing are emerging, with authoritarian regimes funding teams and events in democratic states.

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Erratum: How Sports Identification Compares to Political and Religious Identification: Relationships to Violent Extremism and Radicalization

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Erratum. A Baltimore Benevolence Thing? American Philanthropy, Neoliberal Fitness, and the Persistence of “Colorblind” Racial Silencing

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Awakening to Elsewheres: Collectively Restorying Embodied Experiences of (Be)longing

Tricia McGuire-Adams, Janelle Joseph, Danielle Peers, Lindsay Eales, William Bridel, Chen Chen, Evelyn Hamdon, and Bethan Kingsley

“Mainstream” spaces of movement cultures within settler colonial states invite bodies that are White, cis, able, thin, and heterosexual, just as “mainstream” academic space validates knowledge about the world produced by these very subjects. Such mainstream assemblages are embedded within the broader structure of settler colonialism, mutually buttressed by White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and (neo)imperialism. In this article, a Collective of scholars who represent voices from the margins writes back to settler colonialism, ableism, anti-Black racism, and other exclusions and harms. We do this to both elucidate relationships between systems of oppression and craft spaces of embodied freedom and to show/demonstrate belonging within decolonial enactments of “elsewheres.” in the field of sociology of sport.

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Gender Parity, False Starts, and Promising Practices in the Paralympic Movement

Nikolaus A. Dean, Andrea Bundon, P. David Howe, and Natalie Abele

Although women have been a part of the Paralympic Movement since its inauguration, they remain underrepresented in almost all aspects of parasport. Noting these gender-based discrepancies, the International Paralympic Committee and several National Paralympic Committees have made commitments to address the issue of gender balance across the movement. Guided theoretically by feminist and disability sport scholarship, this article explores the various initiatives and strategies implemented by the International Paralympic Committee and National Paralympic Committees to address the issue of gender parity. Through 29 qualitative interviews with Paralympic athletes, organizers, academics, and journalists, our study illustrates that initiatives and strategies implemented by these organizations have affected women differently based on a range of social, cultural, and political factors.

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Enactments of Integrated, Disability-Inclusive Sport Policy by Sporting Organizations

Andrew M. Hammond, Andrea Bundon, Caitlin Pentifallo Gadd, and Tim Konoval

This article critically analyzed the enactment of disability-inclusive sport policies by provincial sporting organizations in British Columbia. Thirty semistructured interviews with managers representing 13 organizations informed the analysis. Findings highlighted how organizational circumstances prompted managers to enact integration policies in novel ways at the regional level. For instance, nondisabled sporting organizations mediated the adoption of integration policies due to the perceived impact on nondisabled programming. In contrast, disability sport organizations resisted integration out of concern that nondisabled organizations could not deliver programming to an equivalent standard. To thwart the perceived integration threat, disability sport organizations developed novel solutions, such as registering themselves as freestanding organizations. Discussion arises as to whether integration is the “gold standard” of inclusion in disability sport. Policy recommendations are also discussed.