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Robert Turick, Anthony Weems, Nicholas Swim, Trevor Bopp and John N. Singer

One prominent, well-debated issue in the American higher education system is whether university officials should remove the names of individuals with racist pasts from campus buildings/structures that bear their namesake. The purpose of this study was to analyze basketball and football facilities at Division I Football Bowl Subdivision institutions to explore the racialized history of the people whom these facilities are named after. Utilizing a collective case study approach, the authors identified 19 facilities that were named after athletic administrators, coaches, and philanthropists who engaged in racist activities or harbored racist views. The authors argue, using critical race theory and systemic racism theory as interpretative lenses, that naming buildings after racist persons legitimizes their legacies, rationalizes systemic racism, and continues to unjustly enrich this particular group.

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Yuhei Inoue, Mikihiro Sato and Kevin Filo

The performance of sport organizations has been traditionally examined from the perspective of attaining strategic and operational goals (e.g., profitability, sporting performance). However, contemporary examples point to a need to expand sport organizations’ goals through consideration of their contributions to well-being outcomes. The current special issue addresses this need by advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of transformative sport service research (TSSR), which seeks to understand how personal and collective well-being can be improved through a range of services offered in the sport industry. This introduction article clarifies the scope of TSSR scholarship and then provides a synthesis of findings and implications from the eight articles included in the special issue. The overview concludes with a call for collective efforts to establish a focused body of knowledge that leads sport organizations to integrate the goal of optimizing consumer and employee well-being into the core of their operations.

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Dawn E. Trussell

This interpretative study examines the complexities of lesbian parents’ experiences in organized youth sport programs. Specifically, it seeks to understand youth sport as a potential site for social change that facilitates a sense of inclusive community for diverse family structures. Using thematic analysis, the author examines perspectives of nine participants from Australia, Canada, and the United States. Emphasis is placed on how the lesbian parents (a) negotiate heightened visibility, sexual stigma, and parental judgment; (b) foster social relationships through participation, volunteerism, and positive role models; and (c) create shared understanding toward building an inclusive sport culture. The findings call attention to the importance of intentional and unintentional acts (by families as well as sport organizations) that create a sense of community and an inclusive organizational culture. The connection of lesbian parents’ experiences to broader concepts, such as sexual stigma and transformative services, are also examined within the context of youth sport.

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George B. Cunningham and Calvin Nite

Drawing from concepts in institutional theory, the purpose of this study was to examine how community measures intersect with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender inclusiveness to predict organizational success. The authors collected publicly available data about National Collegiate Athletic Association departments (N = 65) and their communities. Moderated regression analyses demonstrated significant interactive effects, such that performance was highest when the department followed an inclusive strategy and (a) the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population density was high and (b) the state-level implicit bias toward sexual minorities was low. Importantly, there were no negative effects in following an inclusive strategy, even when institutional logics did not prescribe such an approach. The models explained 60–62% of the variance in performance. The authors discuss theoretical and practical implications.

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Cecilia Stenling and Michael Sam

Despite an increase of advocacy by established nongovernmental sport organizations, little is known about how advocacy is enacted and with what effects. Building conceptually on frame alignment theory and empirically on interview data from 19 Swedish Regional Sport Federations, this article investigates how advocates politicize sport to gain “insider status” and analyses the by-products of such efforts. This research demonstrates that the architecture of advocacy claims perpetuates a separation between organizations that “sell” sport from those that “produce” it. Framing also impels centralized authority because advocates safeguard their credibility as political actors by taking up a “leadership-position” vis-à-vis clubs. Advocacy frame alignment has further by-products insofar as they narrow advocates’ room for maneuver and become institutionalized over time.

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Nicola Brown, Jacky Forsyth, Rachael Bullingham and Claire-Marie Roberts