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Rachel Allison

Integrating the Student-Athlete Climate Study conceptual framework with critical race and intersectionality theories, I examine racial differences in the perceived effects of college on life skill development among college sportswomen. I use nationally representative data from the NCAA’s 2006 Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations, and Learning of Students in College (GOALS) survey to examine whether team and/or campus climate mediate racial differences. I find small, but statistically significant differences whereby sportswomen of color report less positive effects of college on leadership, teamwork, time management, and work ethic compared to white sportswomen, but more positive effects of college on their understanding of people of other races. Campus climate, but not team climate, partially mediates racial differences in the perceived effects of college on leadership, teamwork, time management, and work ethic.

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Rachel Allison

Although women athletes in professional sport are uniquely positioned to expose the limits of gender essentialist ideology and challenge its relationship with inequality, little empirical research has considered how professional women athletes understand and negotiate gender ideologies. Drawing on 19 in-depth interviews and one e-mail exchange with U.S. women’s professional soccer players, this article finds that sportswomen strategically endorse constructions of gender difference while simultaneously universalizing White, middle-class women’s experiences. “Privileging difference” is a narrative whereby players recognize belief in women’s physical inferiority to men and argue for women’s moral superiority to men as a source of value and reward for women’s sport. Sportswomen’s moral authority is defined from a position of racialized class privilege, as players construct an idealized woman player who sacrifices material reward for emotional satisfaction and who emphasizes future change over present conditions.

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Rachel Allison and Chris Knoester

Using data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,988), this study analyzes associations between gender, sexual, and sports fan identities. The authors find that only 11% of U.S. adults do not identify as sports fans at all; also, nearly half of U.S. adults identify as quite passionate sports fans. Women and nonbinary adults are less likely to identify as strong sports fans compared with men. Compared with identifying as heterosexual, identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another sexual identity is negatively associated with self-identified sports fandom. Yet, gender and sexuality interact such that identifying as gay (or lesbian) is negatively associated with men’s self-identified sports fandom but not women’s fandom. These findings persist even after consideration of adults’ retrospective accounts of their sports-related identities while growing up and their recognition of sports-related mistreatment.

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Chris Knoester, B. David Ridpath, and Rachel Allison

Using descriptive and multiple regression analyses of data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993), this study examines public opinions about athletes’ right to protest during the national anthem. Results suggest that public opinion is now more supportive of athletes being allowed to protest during the anthem, although considerable opposition persists. Black individuals and those who recognize racial/ethnic discrimination in society are especially likely to support athletes’ right to protest. Heterosexual, Christian, sports fan, and military identities seem to encourage opposition to the right to protest. Indicators of traditionalism and sports nationalism attitudes are also negatively associated with support for athlete protests.