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.
George B. Cunningham and Calvin Nite
George B. Cunningham and Nicole Melton
In drawing from Herek’s (2007, 2009) sexual stigma and prejudice theory, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among prejudice toward sexual minority coaches, religious fundamentalism, sexism, and sexual prejudice and to determine whether race affected these relationships. The authors collected data from 238 parents. Results indicated that Asians expressed greater sexual prejudice than Latinos and Whites, while African Americans expressed more religious fundamentalism than did Whites. There were also differences in the associations among the variables. For African Americans, sexism held the strongest association with prejudice toward sexual minority coaches. While for Asians and Whites, religious fundamentalism held the strongest association, contact with lesbian and gay friends was a significant predictor of prejudice for Asians, but not for the other groups. For Latinos, both religious fundamentalism and sexism were associated with sexual prejudice. The authors discuss the results in terms of theoretical and practical implications.
George B. Cunningham and Michael Sagas
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of age, ethnic, and organizational tenure diversity on occupational commitment and occupational turnover intent among coaching staffs. Data were gathered via questionnaire from coaches in 48 NCAA Division IA football coaching staffs (235 coaches). Hierarchical regression analyses, controlling for the success of the team and the number of respondents per team, indicated that the block of diversity variables accounted for 18% (p < .05) of the variance in occupational commitment and 16% (p < .05) of the variance in occupational turnover intentions. Tenure and ethnic diversity were significant predictors in both analyses, although age diversity was not. Implications are discussed in relation to the complexity of diversity and strategies to mitigate the negative effects of group diversity on group-level outcomes.
Michael B. Edwards and George Cunningham
Racial health disparities are more pronounced among older adults. Few studies have examined how racism influences health behaviors. This study’s purpose was to examine how opportunities for physical activity (PA) and community racism are associated with older racial minorities’ reported engagement in PA. We also investigated how PA levels influenced health.
We analyzed survey data obtained from a health assessment conducted in 3360 households in Texas, USA, which included items pertaining to PA, community characteristics, and health.
Our sample contained 195 women and 85 men (mean age 70.16), most of whom were African American. We found no direct relationship between opportunities and PA. Results suggested that perceived community racism moderated this association. When community racism was low, respondents found ways to be active whether they perceived opportunities or not. When community racism was high, perceived lack of opportunities significantly impeded PA engagement. We found the expected association between PA and health.
Results suggested that negative effects of community racism were counteracted through increased opportunities for PA.
George B. Cunningham and Melanie L. Sartore
George B. Cunningham, Erin Buzuvis, and Chris Mosier
The purpose of this article is to articulate the need for a strong commitment to transgender inclusion in sport and physical activity, including in locker rooms and team spaces. The authors begin by defining key constructs and offering a theoretical overview of stigma toward transgender individuals. The focus then shifts to the changing opportunities for transgender athletes at all participation levels, case law and rulings germane to the topic, and the psychological, physical, and social outcomes associated with inclusion and exclusion. Next, the authors present frequently voiced concerns about transgender inclusion, with an emphasis on safety and privacy. Given the review, the authors present the case for inclusive locker rooms, which permit access by transgender athletes to facilities that correspond to their gender identity. The authors conclude with the official AKA position statement—“The American Kinesiology Association endorses inclusive locker rooms, by which we mean sex-segregated facilities that are open to transgender athletes on the basis of their gender identity”—and implications for sport and physical activity.
Melanie L. Sartore and George B. Cunningham
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of weight discrimination on perceived attributions, person–job fit, and hiring recommendations. Three experiments were undertaken to investigate these issues with people applying for positions in fitness organizations (i.e., aerobics instructor and personal trainer). In all three studies qualified people who were overweight, relative to their qualified and sometimes unqualified thin counterparts, were perceived to have less desirable attributes (e.g., lazy), were thought to be a poorer fit for the position, and were less likely to receive a hiring recommendation. These relationships were influenced by applicant expertise and applicant sex in some cases. Implications for the fitness industry are discussed.
Melody Alanis, George B. Cunningham, and Ashley Desimone
The purpose of this study was to conduct a scoping review of Latinas in sport. Such analyses are particularly useful when a body of research has not been thoroughly reviewed. The authors searched four databases (Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, and Academic Source Complete) for studies focusing on Latinas in sport and that were U.S.-based studies, published from 1980 to 2020, in academic journals, in English, and with full-text available. The search yielded 85 articles. Further results indicated (a) only 14 studies had a specific focus on Latinas in sport; (b) most researchers (74.1%) adopted a quantitative approach; and (c) over half of the scholars did not explicitly state the theoretical lens from which they were drawing, and the researchers who did use theory to frame their work most commonly drew from psychological or sociological theories. The authors discuss the contributions of the research, offer implications, note limitations, and advance areas for future research.
E. Nicole Melton and George B. Cunningham
The purpose of this qualitative analysis was to explore the work experiences of sport employees who are LGBT, and examine how these individuals negotiate their multiple social identities in a sport context. Considering the growing interest in sport, and sport management in particular, it is important for scholars to gain of better understanding of why people choose to work in the sport industry, and understand how employee identity may influence career decisions and subsequent work experiences. Thus, the researchers only interviewed employees who did not fulfill coaching or player roles, as these individuals could potentially work in other industries. Analysis of the data revealed how working in a sport context may present sexual minorities with certain advantages, such as an opportunity to enhance self-esteem and gain social acceptance. When confronted with unjust treatment because of their sexual orientation, employees used coworker social support and social mobility techniques to cope with these negative situations. Although the employees did not always view their sexual orientation as salient to their identity, they had all disclosed their sexual orientation, to varying degrees, to others in the workplace. Finally, though the participants did not engage in social change activities, some of their supportive coworkers attempted to proactively create a more inclusive work environment. Implications of these findings are discussed and practical suggestions are provided.
E. Nicole Melton and George B. Cunningham
Sport employees who champion LGBT inclusion efforts represent key elements in creating accepting environments within college athletic departments. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine the concept of champions and how they support LGBT individuals within heterosexist sport environments. Drawing from divergent literatures, including that related to organizational inclusion and championing behaviors, we explore how a combination of factors from multiple levels may influence sport employees’ attitude and behaviors related to LGBT inclusion, and determine how supportive behaviors influence sexual minorities working within a college athletic department. Results indicate that various macro- (i.e., culture of sport, athletic boosters, university and community values, exposure to diverse cultures) meso- (organizational culture, presence of other champions), and micro- (demographics, open-mindedness, experiences with sexual minorities) level factors influenced the level of employee support for LGBT inclusive policies. Furthermore, power meaningfully influenced these dynamics, such that employees who did not resemble prototypically sport employees (i.e., White, heterosexual, male) were hesitant to show support for LGBT equality. However, those who did champion LGBT inclusive initiatives successfully modeled supportive behaviors and positive attitudes toward LGBT individuals, vocally opposed discriminatory treatment, and provided sexual minorities with a safe space within sport. The authors discuss implications and future directions.