While society at large recognizes the many benefits of sport, it is important to also recognize and prevent factors that can lead to an abusive environment. This paper seeks to combine the current research on abuse in the sport environment with the work of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The inclusion of risk factors unique to sport and evidence-informed practices provides framing for the scope and response to sexual abuse in sport organizations in the United States. The paper then explores the creation and mission of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, including the role of education in prevention and of policy, procedures, audit, and compliance as important aspects of a comprehensive safeguarding strategy. This paper provides preliminary data on the reach of the Center, established in 2017. This data captures the scope of education and training and the increase in reports to the Center from within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
Nicole Johnson, Katie Hanna, Julie Novak, and Angelo P. Giardino
Lori A. Gano-Overway
Leslee A. Fisher
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how case study methodology, an advocacy practice and policy model (APPM), and new directions in feminist theory can be utilized to educate coaches about sexual misconduct. Case studies are useful for both research and teaching purposes because they provide a potential framework for analyses of “real-world” problems. The APPM provides guidance on moving from analysis to action; in particular, advocacy is about education, negotiation, and persuasion. Feminist theorists push us to consider how the embodied experiences of female athletes and feminine subjectivities can unsettle and disrupt normative assumptions about the way that sport should be conducted. The case of Larry Nassar is utilized because of the amount of reporting available to analyze; this includes female athlete survivor voices. Having coaches wrestle with such questions as (a) Do I know the definitions of sexual misconduct? (b) Do I understand the warning signs a female athlete might be displaying if she is being abused by significant other in sport? (c) When do I have to report abuse to authorities? and (d) Do I know how to intervene on the athlete’s behalf? is important if we are to increase the likelihood of creating systemic change.
Brian P. McCullough, Madeleine Orr, and Timothy Kellison
The relationship between sport and the natural environment is bidirectional and critical to the production of sport products, events, and experiences. Researchers have studied sport and the natural environment within the various subdisciplines of sport management. However, given the changing climate and mounting public concern for the environment, there is pressure to reconsider the relevance and significance of the natural environment, which is taken for granted in managerial contexts. Reflecting the importance of the natural environment, the robustness of the current literature, and the potential for the future, we propose a new subdiscipline of sport management called sport ecology. Thus, we proposed, in this paper, a definition for sport ecology, (re)introduced key concepts related to this subdiscipline (e.g., sustainability, green), and highlighted the leading research that serves as the foundation for sport ecology. We concluded with a discussion on the ways sport ecology can inform—and be informed by—other subdisciplines of sport management.
Bradley D. Hatfield, Calvin M. Lu, and Jo B. Zimmerman
Colin J. Lewis, Simon J. Roberts, Hazel Andrews, and Rebecca Sawiuk
Creative nonfiction writing is the literary technique employed in this article to explore insights and assist our understanding of an “alleged” sexual assault in a sport coach education environment. Creative nonfiction employs various narrative tools—characters, setting, figurative language, sequences of events, plot, sub-plot, and dialogue—designed to render the sensitive and controversial elements of sexual assault significant. Readers are, therefore, invited to engage with Stacey’s Story and reflect on the actions of both the perpetrator(s) and the victim. While there are risks associated with the sharing of stories, especially those which are considered dangerous, it is envisaged that Stacey’s Story will be viewed as an opportunity to develop more critical responses and advance our understanding of gender-based violence in sport.
Jennifer E. McGarry
In her 2019 Earle F. Zeigler address, Jennifer McGarry drew on the 2017 Academy of Management Report “Measuring and Achieving Scholarly Impact” to examine how the field of sport management and the North American Society for Sport Management operationalize impact. She pointed to a broader, more inclusive, and critical examination of impact. McGarry highlighted impact on practice and impact through being explicit, particularly about the ways gender and race affect what we deem to have impact. Finally, she spoke to impact through individual and collective action, such as educating students, scholarship, and policy and advocacy. She provided examples of where we could disrupt the structures that work to maintain the status quo in terms of impact—the in-groups and the out-groups, the metrics and evaluations. She also gave examples of impact that have happened, that are happening, and that can happen even more.
Rachel Vaccaro and Ted M. Butryn
Individuals suffering from mental illness face challenges that are related to stigma and lack of education that are often reinforced by the media. Specifically, the elite athletic culture is not conducive for athletes who suffer from mental illness because there is at times a belief that mental illnesses are less prevalent in elite sport. Even though incidence of mental illness in elite athletes has gained more prominence in the popular media, there is still a lack of research in this area. Specifically, there is limited research regarding media representations of athletes who suffer from mental illness. To address this gap in the literature, an ethnographic content analysis (ECA) was done to examine Suzy Favor Hamilton’s open discussion of bipolar disorder surrounding the release of her new memoir, Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness. ECA yielded one overarching theme with three supporting sub-themes. Results indicated that even though Favor Hamilton’s book worked to spread awareness, the media attention surrounding the book release represented omission of mental illness in the environment of athletics. Overall, sports culture provides an environment that is not often willing to accept that mental illnesses exist in athletes.
Building on the body of research that has addressed the experiences of female coaches, the present study examines women’s role as coach developers. English football served as the context for the research. Figures demonstrate women are underrepresented in this role more so than they are as coaches, and their distribution across the coach developer pathway is unevenly balanced, with most women qualified at Level I of the pathway. Using the concept of ‘organizational fit’, the research connects the experiences of the 10 coach developers interviewed, to the structural practices of their national and local governing bodies. These practices were symptomatic of the organizations’ culture that is created and upheld by masculine ideals. Work expectations and the environment were structured on the image of men as coaches and coach developers. Cultural barriers to women’s sense of organizational fit were specifically found to be: the incentive to progress (return on investment from higher coaching qualifications), the degree of organizational support and nurture, and the opportunity to progress and practice. Consequently, organizational expectations and values do not support the ambitions of women to climb the coach developer career ladder, and restrict their sense of choice and control. Future research should direct its attention towards a greater interrogation of aspects of sport organizational culture that may serve to ‘push’ female coaches away from its core, or alternatively, pull them closer to engage and make use of their expertise and abilities as coach developers.