Michael Phelps was one of the first athletes to openly struggle with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and depression while still competing. During his career, his perceived identity was tied to his status as an athlete. In retirement, his identity shifted to that of a mental health advocate. This study examines the word choice of newspaper articles on the topic of Phelps and mental health using both social identity and framing theories. Mentions of suicide and seeking help, along with the descriptions of specific types of mental illness and perceived identity assigned to Phelps, were compared between two time periods. Results showed that during Phelps’s career, articles were much more likely to discuss his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis and not as likely to discuss suicide, seeking help, and depression. After his retirement, articles were more likely to identify Phelps as an advocate and less likely to focus on him as a celebrity.
Joshua R. Jackson, Emily J. Dirks, and Andrew C. Billings
Leah C. Oldham
Sayvon J.L. Foster, John N. Singer, and Joseph N. Cooper
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have made notable social, cultural, and economic contributions to the African Diaspora, particularly since their inception in the United States. Being that HBCU athletic programs account for a small proportion of the intercollegiate athletic industry, these unique entities are often examined in the same vein as their Historically White Institution counterparts without a full account of the intergenerational adverse impacts of systemic racism. Since HBCUs are situated within the distinct context of Blackness, the researchers offer a reconceptualization through the theoretical lens of Black Critical Theory. This manuscript illuminates linkages across extant literature, while also presenting a budding theoretical framework in the study of sport, and sport organizations, that have deeply embedded relationships with communities, for example, HBCUs and the Black community, stickball and lacrosse within Indigenous communities, and the relationship between women and womens’ sports leagues. Implications of this work are centered on promoting more critical reconceptualizations of sporting spaces that reflect the full diversity of the societies in which they exist.
Nancy Quinn and Laura Misener
Medical discourse regarding impairment and (dis)ability dominate assumptions of Paralympic sport. This research examined the lived experience of the first author, a sport physiotherapist and veteran of many Paralympic Games, to consider the experience of sport medicine with Para sport athletes. Self-ethnography and a theoretical lens informed by a human rights approach to disability were used. Structural violence was utilized to explore the social structure of medical professions and the impact on Paralympic sport. Data involved a retrospective journal of the first author. Thematic analysis was conducted and these themes are presented; social potential of sport medicine, medical authority, aversive ableism. The research draws attention to structural violence in Paralympic sport and the potential of sport medicine to be an agent of change.
Yannick Kluch, Raquel Wright-Mair, Nicholas Swim, and Robert Turick
The emergence of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals (i.e., staff with DEI-specific responsibilities) is a fairly recent phenomenon, and research to date has rarely examined the experiences of these DEI administrators despite the fact they are often solely charged with driving DEI within and beyond their department. Utilizing Ahmed’s diversity work framework, this study draws from semistructured interviews with 23 athletic administrators to identify barriers to efforts for driving DEI action in the context of intercollegiate athletics. Five higher-order themes were identified in the data, representing barriers to effective DEI work: (a) structural barriers, (b) cultural barriers, (c) conceptual barriers, (d) emotional barriers, and (e) social/relational barriers. Findings indicate that DEI athletics professionals perceive barriers on multiple levels, from personal levels (emotional and social/relational barriers) to those of a systemic nature (structural, cultural, and conceptual barriers). Limitations, directions for future research, and implications for praxis are discussed.
Jessica R. Nachman, Lyndsay M.C. Hayhurst, Audrey R. Giles, Rochelle Stewart-Withers, and Daniel A. Henhawk
Much of the research on Indigenous youth’s sport has focused on the barriers that they experience in accessing opportunities for participation. What remains underexplored is the idea that nonparticipation might actually reflect Indigenous youth’s deliberate refusal of Euro-Canadian sport. In making this argument, first, we connect Indigenous theories of refusal to Indigenous youth sport participation in Canada. Second, we examine the researcher’s role in reproducing colonialism in sport studies. Third, we apply examples of Indigenous refusal of sport. We conclude by discerning the central tensions of the topic and areas for future study. This paper is a call for researchers to study refusal, not only as an act by Indigenous youth, but also as a method that researchers can use in refusing to reproduce colonial representations of Indigenous youth.
Kacie V. Lanier, Chad M. Killian, Kathryn Wilson, and Rebecca Ellis
The purpose of this review was to identify and summarize research that has been conducted on the potential impact of physical education (PE) on students’ feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. This review followed the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines. Twenty-seven articles were identified from four databases: Academic Search Complete, APA PsycInfo, ERIC, and SPORTDiscus. Key findings indicated caring, task-involved climates were more likely to be related to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, while ego-involving climates were related to heightened symptoms of mental distress. This review demonstrated that participation in PE had an unclear relationship with students’ mental health. To improve the understanding of the relationship and potential impact of PE on students’ mental health, future researchers should apply more rigorous methods to account for environmental factors of the school, program characteristics, social influences, physical activity intensity, and the quality of PE programs.
Tyler Ratts, Braden Norris, and Brian Mancuso
High school athletics represents a major segment of the sport industry and is regarded as an important component in youth development in the United States. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges emerged that forced athletic directors to provide essential information to key stakeholders, keep people safe, and identify new ways to bring events to fans. To further understand these experiences, this commentary aimed to evaluate the use of communication and technology by high school athletic directors to address challenges, develop new strategies, adapt to day-to-day changes, and manage the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on interscholastic athletics. Through in-depth interviews with athletic directors, responses demonstrated how enhanced communication with key stakeholders (i.e., athletic programs and fellow athletic directors) and a reliance on technologies (i.e., digital ticketing and online live streaming) helped these leaders successfully navigate the pandemic and develop new strategies that will persist into the future.