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All the Right Questions: Exploring Racial Stereotypes in Sports Press Conferences

Vincent Peña

Sports press conferences are an area in need of more study and critique, especially regarding how sports journalists ask questions to athletes. This study analyzes the press conferences (N = 44) for four major college football teams during the 2021–2022 season, using textual analysis to explore whether sports journalists’ questions differ based on the race of the athlete and whether those questions reflect racial stereotypes. This study relies on theories of race and representation, including racial formation theory and color-blind racism, and builds upon research on stereotypes in sports. The author found that questions asked to White and Black athletes often reflected stereotypical binaries that emphasized White athletes’ intelligence, leadership, and humanity while highlighting Black athletes’ athleticism, strength, and physical ability.

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A Perfect Storm: Black Feminism and Women’s National Basketball Association Black Athlete Activism

Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown, A. Lamont Williams, Amanda N. Schweinbenz, and Ann Pegoraro

This article pays homage to Black Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players and their activist efforts. Such players are often-overlooked activists who are always “holdin it down” while simultaneously keeping activism at the forefront of their agenda. When the 2020 Women’s National Basketball Association season opened, the athletes in this league took the opportunity to highlight social injustice in the United States; not surprising given the history of Black feminism and athlete activism in this league. Using underwater waves as a metaphor, we examine how the intersectionality of Black feminism and Black athlete activism has largely gone unnoticed. Feminism and women’s rights movements have largely been associated with White women while Black activism has been associated with Black men. This manuscript aims to highlight the efforts of Black women and nonbinary athletes whose work has been instrumental in societal progression.

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A New Typology of Out-of-School Youth Sports in 21st Century America: The Contrasting Organizational Logics of “Sport-Focused” and “Sport-for-Development” Programming Under Neoliberal Conditions

Douglas Hartmann, Teresa Toguchi Swartz, Edgar Jesus Campos, Amy August, Alex Manning, and Sarah Catherine Billups

Out-of-school youth sport in the United States is bigger, more varied, and more impactful than ever before. In dialogue with existing scholarship, this paper uses multisite, collaborative fieldwork to identify core elements of program variation and develop a composite typology of this organizational field. The typology is based on a distinction between “sport-focused” programs and programs oriented toward nonsport social and developmental goals. Our primary insight is that programs within these domains exhibit two different organizational logics, one hierarchical, the other categorical. We also argue that variabilities of funding, social context, and reliance on public facilities are additional factors that impact the operation and effectiveness of these program types including their ability to address the racialized challenges of access, equity, and inclusion. Theorizing these differential configurations and their underlying characteristics can help parents, policymakers, practitioners (including coaches), and sports researchers engage youth sports more effectively under increasingly competitive neoliberal conditions.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Anti-Black Racism and Soccer in Canada: Is It Because I’m Black, Ref?

Paul Nya and Jay Scherer

This study critically examines the experiences of members of a sub-Saharan African men’s recreational soccer club with anti-Black racism in a Western Canadian city. Drawing from extensive ethnographic fieldwork, and working at the intersections of Critical Race Theory and Physical Cultural Studies, our analysis focuses on how team members navigate a racial hierarchy that privileges Whiteness and cements their status as outsiders through both overt and subtle forms of racism on the pitch, and the laborious, retraumatizing challenges of “proving” these racist incidents to those in positions of institutional power. We underline the need for anti-racist and anti-oppressive policies and training, and independent judiciaries to monitor and address racist incidents and systemic racism—and its intersections with other forms of oppression—in Canadian sport cultures.

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Embodied Cultural Capital, Social Class, Race and Ethnicity, and Sports Performance in Girls Soccer

Pat Rubio Goldsmith and Richard Abel

Compared with working-class parents, middle-class parents increasingly promote sports performance for their children as part of a larger strategy of ensuring that their children are upwardly mobile and likely to attend and graduate from college. However, we need to learn more about the distribution of youth sports performance in specific sports and whether it relates to social class. In this study, we test for a relationship between social class and performance in girls soccer by examining the success of high school girls soccer teams in 16,091 contests. We find that schools with more working-class youth consistently lose by many goals. The relationship between performance and social class is weaker in predominantly Latinx schools than in predominantly Black and predominantly White ones, likely reflecting the community cultural wealth in soccer in Latinx immigrant communities. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of these findings.

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Erratum. Trans Women and/in Sport: Exploring Sport Feminisms to Understand Exclusions

Sociology of Sport Journal

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The Experiences of Women Leaders in the Higher Education Sport Sector: Examining the Gendered Organization Through Bourdieu’s Model of Field, Capital and Habitus

Shamira Naidu-Young, Anthony May, Stacey Pope, and Simon Gérard

This article is the first to examine experiences of women with leadership roles in the U.K. Higher Education sport sector. We carried out detailed interviews with women leaders. We utilized Bourdieu’s model of habitus, capital, and field; Acker’s concept of “gendered organizations;” and Shilling’s concept of physical capital. Our findings show Higher Education operates more inclusively than the wider sport sector, which has the potential to advance gender equality. However, gendered practices remain with women working harder to accumulate and convert capital. Motherhood negatively impacts conversion of capital and respondents without children felt this benefitted their career. Finally, we discuss the impact of menopause on the careers of women and suggest this can impact self-perception.

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Constructing Diaspora Space and Consciousness Through Sport and Livelihoods in Kampala, Uganda

Mitchell McSweeney

Applying the concept of diaspora, this paper examines an organization in Kampala, Uganda that utilizes sport to foster cultural belonging and increase livelihood opportunities for refugees. A participatory action research approach was implemented with multiple forms of data collection including semistructured interviews, photovoice, and photocollaging. Findings highlight how sport and livelihoods are used by refugees to resist exclusion and other inequalities in Kampala and to express diaspora space and consciousness. Discussion highlights the usefulness of the concept of diaspora for understanding the intersections of sport, refugees, livelihoods, and, more importantly, to stimulate a homing desire for refugees forcibly displaced.

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When Sport Fandom Meets Motherhood: A Qualitative Exploration of Women’s Experiences

Kim Toffoletti and Katherine Sveinson

Existing literature provides nascent insights into structural arrangements that shape mothers’ experiences of being a sport fan, yet we know little about the social meaning sport fandom holds for mothers. This exploratory study draws on qualitative interviews with 41 mothers from Australia and North America to examine their understandings of sport fandom in the context of their everyday lives and contemporary ideologies about mothering. Findings suggest that sport fandom presents an opportunity for mothers to redefine and transform both fan and mothering practices, thereby challenging popular orthodoxies that fandom becomes less important to women after having children. By foregrounding mothers’ efforts to stay engaged with their fandom, we extend research on the experiences of women sport fans and offer alternatives to normative constructs of fandom.