Research on abuse in sport reveals that sporting environments are unique contexts where athlete abuse can occur. An international panel on “safe sport” identified the need to implement strategies to ensure sport is safe for all. One strategy identified as a way of preventing abuse from occurring in sport is to educate the parents of athletes. This study centres on an education intervention implemented with 14 parents from a gymnastics and swimming context where narrative pedagogy (e.g., athletes’ stories of abuse) was used. As a result of engaging with narrative pedagogy, parents were able to identify unacceptable coaching practices. However, the extent of several dominant cultural ideologies (e.g., competitive performance ideology) became known through the parents’ responses and influenced the way they took up the athletes’ abuse stories.
Jenny McMahon, Camilla J. Knight and Kerry R. McGannon
This paper has two objectives: 1) to develop a coherent epistemological approach to clarify the concept of body knowledge and 2) to analyze the role of body knowledge in business-driven fitness environments. The epistemological analysis is built on phenomenological and feminist discussions on embodiment to clarify the power mechanisms and agency behind the profit-making interests of the fitness industry. I introduce two conceptions of body knowledge—bodily knowledge and embodied knowledge—that are on opposite ends of the same continuum. My analysis suggests that there are several reasons why embodied knowledge is fostered while bodily knowledge remains marginal in the fitness industry. The paper concludes that the business-driven work environment equips group fitness instructors with performative skills but offers few opportunities to develop professional judgment agency and expertise.
Fernando Segura Millan Trejo, Mark Norman and Chirstophe Jaccoud
This article seeks to contribute to debate about sport for social development. The purpose is to analyze the Football3 methodology and the de-structuring of delegations at a festival of Streetfootballworld during the Euro 2016 in France. Different to other scenarios where girls and boys participate separately and where delegations take part as national squads, this festival introduced a random system. Ethnographic work inspired by the sociology of Erving Goffman focused on encounters and interactions to observe how participants behaved in defining the rules with unknown colleagues, implementing and evaluating them. The attention paid to these frames reflected different reactions. Whilst a general attitude of cooperation was perceived, different meanings of girls’ participation and competitive aspects were identified. We argue that the recognition of perceptions of recipients may allow more inclusive schemes for festivals and programs.
Beth A. Cianfrone, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove and Alyssa L. Tavormina
Sport executives concerned with maximizing ticket sales often explore different communication channels to reach potential consumers. Advertising and selling discounted tickets through daily deals (e.g., Groupon and Living Social) is an increasingly popular method, yet there is little research on the extent to which sport organizations are using daily deals. A mixed-method design was employed to examine sport organizations’ use of daily deals, including how sport daily deals are most commonly used and the rationale for their use. In Phase 1, a content analysis of Groupon and LivingSocial daily deals e-mailed over 31 days in 11 U.S. cities provided a framework for exploring the types, frequency, and characteristics of sport ticketing deals. In Phase 2, the perspectives of 7 sport-organization executives served as guiding metrics in developing a deeper understanding of daily-deal usage. Findings can inform sport marketers’ ticketing and promotional strategies and provide a basis for theoretical daily-deal application.
Young Do Kim and Anthony Weaver
Brody J. Ruihley, Jason Simmons, Andrew C. Billings and Rich Calabrese
On the first Sunday of the National Football League’s 2016–17 season, a technical issue caused ESPN’s fantasy-football website and mobile application to fail. ESPN’s product failure is no small problem and represented a major organizational crisis; with 7.1 million unique users, ESPN represents the largest provider of a multi-billion-dollar fantasy-sport industry. This case study examined ESPN’s organizational communication strategy, as well as the stakeholder responses surrounding the failure of ESPN’s fantasy-football website and application on the most anticipated day of the fantasy-sport season. Using content analysis and partnering with a social media data insights company, the study examined social media messages from both the organizational and consumer side of this fantasy-sport product failure. Through ampling 1,542 social media messages from a population of 11,881 unique comments via Twitter, the reactive nature of ESPN’s messages and the direct responses from its consumers was ascertained.
Derek M.D. Silva, Roy Bower and William Cipolli III
This study explores how high school football athletes’ bodies are constructed within the context of contemporary scouting regimes. Deploying a quantitative approach, we analyze 6600 scouting reports on a total of 1650 high school football athletes available online from four high-profile media outlets which offer ‘expert’ analyses of athletes’ body characteristics, performance, and estimated potential. The findings indicate that subjective measurements of the athlete’s body are the best predictors of hierarchical classification. The findings also indicate that objective measurements do not seem to predict the subjective assessment of those very athletic bodies. We argue that the evaluation of high school football athletes by so-called expert analysts is remarkably arbitrary, and thus call into question the very practice of football scouting that has become so dominant and influential. ‘Scouts’ promote a system of scrutiny that contributes the reification of hegemonic relations between the observers and the observed.
Cheryl A. MacDonald
This article examines attitudes towards homosexuality among male Major Midget AAA ice hockey players in Canada. Qualitative and quantitative surveys, interviews, and a social media content analysis were used to identify and analyze the ways in which the players perceive sexual orientation in a hockey context. This level presents a unique opportunity for investigation because the players, typically between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, find themselves at the intersection of a generation that is relatively inclusive of the queer community and a sport that can be said to encourage heterosexism. Informed by theories of masculinity and sport, the study situates itself within a body of literature that is divided regarding the current status of homophobia in sport.
Dustin A. Hahn, Matthew S. VanDyke and R. Glenn Cummins
Although scholars have examined numerous facets of broadcast sports, limited research has explored the use of statistics in these broadcasts. Reference to statistical summaries of athlete or team performance have long been a component of sport broadcasts, and for some viewers the rise of fantasy sport has led to even greater interest in quantitative measures of athlete or team performance. To examine the presence and nature of statistical references in sport broadcasts, this study examines National Football League telecasts over time to identify changes in the frequency, type, and presentation form of statistics. Findings revealed an emphasis on individual player statistics over team statistics, as well as an increase in on-screen graphics over time. The study also revealed a simultaneous decrease in statistical references relayed orally by broadcasters. These findings illustrate the importance of statistics as a storytelling tool, as well as reflecting technological innovations in sports broadcasting. In addition, they suggest a possible evolution in audience consumption habits and desires.
Many of us want to engage in public application of our academic work, to not just understand the world, but to take part in addressing issues we investigate. Perhaps the metaphor of ‘taking a knee’ can be useful as we consider for ourselves, individually and collectively, how to do this work. Specifically, this paper considers the metaphorical meanings of ‘taking a knee’ to pause, reflect and consider ways to engage. The work of Ibram Kendi suggests that we look to how the economic, political and cultural self interest of powerful groups of people shape public life—including laws, policies and social norms to further their own self interests. In particular, this work considers the issue of the social construction of race in protests at sporting events during the national anthem and public responses to those events, finding as Kendi would predict, both progress toward racial equality and the advancement and evolution of racist ideas. Lastly, this investigation extends Kendi’s work by examining Title IX and athlete sexual assault, through firm scholarly research, as an example of both progress toward equality and also re-entrenchment of sexism and sexist ideologies, at the same time, by following the trail of self-interest.