The 2020 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Presidential Address analyzed aspects of the National Football League’s (NFL) current socially conscious marketing to make sense of corporatized racial justice politics following a summer of mass political mobilization triggered by the police killing of George Floyd. The analysis shows that the mass, multiracial racial justice activism forced corporatized sport leagues such as the NFL to respond to popular political pressure. The NFL followed the lead of the National Basketball Association and instead of resisting popular sentiments, it has incorporated social justice language into its marketing. Guided by Indigenous decolonial scholarship and radical Black scholars, I argue that the NFL’s incorporation of social justice language is a politics of recognition and colonial governmentality that insulates it from racial justice politics and helps to stabilize challenges to racial capitalism.
Jacky J. Forsyth, Lorna Makay, and Victoria Riley
The purpose of the current study was to explore, via interview, how and why women felt their physical activity levels and active lifestyles had been affected by COVID-19. Telephone interviews were conducted with 23 women, aged between 28 and 52 years from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds in the United Kingdom. Based on reflexive thematic analysis, the perceived reduction in exercise and the increase in sedentary behavior that many of these women experienced were felt to be a result of the physical restrictions imposed through gym and leisure-facility closure, the change in circumstance (both work and home life), the perceived risks associated with exercising during a pandemic, as well as a lack of peer support. In contrast, some women experienced increased opportunity and time to exercise, which they felt benefited their health. For any future pandemic-related restrictions, exercise practitioners should consider promoting exercise with others in a safe environment in order to ensure that women’s healthy exercise and lifestyle behaviors are maintained.
Jochem Kotthaus, Matthias Schäfer, Nikola Stankovic, and Gerrit Weitzel
In this case study, the authors elaborate on the narrative structure of transnational popular media events. Drawing from Dayan and Katz’s concept of media events and Julia Sonnevend’s exceptional work on iconic global media events, they argue that fundamental changes in the way occurrences are being reported on and news is structured must be considered. Allowing for recent technological advancements, the role of the consumer and the compression of time in media use, the authors develop a methodological and theoretical framework fitting a more mundane and everyday life–based approach. They derive their results from the analysis of the “Podgorica Media Event,” a news cycle emerging from a racist incident during an international soccer game between England and Montenegro. Based on the body of 250 international news pieces, they identify a primary mother narration and a distinctive narration as the typical ways of storytelling on a transnational level. While differing greatly in content, aspects of transnational popular media events serve to protect and reify the cultural background they are grounded in on a national level. Thus, we assume that sport, or, more specifically, soccer, may become political in media communication not by the impact of state government but by the consumers themselves choosing and developing a popular media event in the first place.
Evan Frederick, Ann Pegoraro, and Jimmy Sanderson
The purpose of this study was to investigate how Donald Trump used Twitter to position sport within the greater sociopolitical landscape. An inductive analysis of Trump’s sport-related tweets revealed four themes including (a) sport as self-promotion, (b) sport as fandom, (c) sport as battleground, and (d) sport as American identity. This study found that Trump positioned sport as a status symbol. In doing so, he leveraged his power, wealth, and connections to the industry to belittle and champion sport entities. Trump simultaneously leveraged Twitter to display how sport relationships can further one’s business ventures and build a personal brand. In addition, Trump’s discourse shifted sport away from fulfilling a central role in society, as a beacon where social inequities can be critiqued and perhaps elevated into the public consciousness.
Éric Claverie, Julien Krier, and Jean-François Loudcher
Cette recherche se propose d'éclairer la renaissance d’une fédération affinitaire sous la Quatrième République française, l’UFOLEP. Elle met l’accent sur les difficultés de reconstruction, puis sur la réussite à trouver un espace de développement. Celui-ci prend la voie de l'école élémentaire, par le biais de son ancienne commission scolaire : l’USEP. Dans ce cadre parascolaire, qui rayonne peu à peu à l’enseignement de l’EPS lui-même, l’USEP développe des innovations conformes à son éthique en faveur d’une éducation physique et d’un sport éducatif protégé des voies fédérales classiques. Cette orientation sportive (et non voie) s’accorde bien avec le registre doctrinal de la Ligue de l’Enseignement qui héberge ce mouvement sportif, autour d’une idée laïque repensée dans cette France d’après-guerre. En revanche l’UFOLEP peine à développer sa voie postscolaire qui, après s'être redressée, stagne.