Sport management scholars must begin to recognize the significance of race and ethnicity as viable epistemological considerations in research inquiry. This article discusses the concept of “epistemological racism” (Scheurich & Young, 1997) and argues that critical race theory (CRT) is a legitimate epistemological and theoretical alternative to research approaches that have typically been based on the dominant worldview (i.e., Eurocentrism), and that it is an appropriate framework for conducting race-based emancipatory research in sport management. In particular, because CRT focuses on issues of justice, liberation, and the empowerment of people of color in a society based on White supremacy (i.e., Eurocentrism), the primary purpose of this article is to provide sport management scholars and students with insight into how CRT’s epistemological and methodological bases could be applied to critical areas of research in our field. The article concludes with some practical suggestions for how we can address epistemological racism in our sport management research and education.
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.
Joshua D. Vadeboncoeur, Trevor Bopp, and John N. Singer
In this article, the authors drew from the epistemological and methodological considerations of neighboring social science fields (i.e., counseling psychology, education, sociology, and women’s studies), which suggest a reevaluation of reflexive research practice(s). In discussing the implications this reevaluation may have for future sport management research, the authors contend that such dialogue may encourage scholars to understand that, while adopting a reflexive approach is good research practice, it may also mean taking a closer look at how our biases, epistemologies, identities, and values are shaped by whiteness and dominant ways of knowing and, in turn, serve to affect our research practice. Thus, this may allow all researchers, with explicit consideration for those in positions of conceptual, empirical, and methodological, as well as cultural and racial, power, to acknowledge and work toward a more meaningful point of consciousness in conducting sport management research.
John N. Singer, Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Chen Chen, Nefertiti A. Walker, and E. Nicole Melton
This article is written in response to the collective “reckoning” with anti-Black violence in 2020. We share our perspective in solidarity with the long traditions, and contemporary, everyday actions of survival and resistance from millions of unnamed members of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities across the world. This article calls in the field of sport management, while calling attention to ways anti-Blackness has permeated the academy. Through observations, reflections, and interrogation of literature in the field, we illustrate the invisibility/marginality/erasure of Blackness in this body of knowledge and discuss missed opportunities for sport management. With the hope that the field will transform into a more inclusive, equitable, and just intellectual space, representative of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized voices, perspectives, experiences, and cultures, and accountable to rectifying the injustices inflicted upon Black and other racialized bodies, we offer calls to action for everyone in the field to consider.
Robert Turick, Anthony Weems, Nicholas Swim, Trevor Bopp, and John N. Singer
One prominent, well-debated issue in the American higher education system is whether university officials should remove the names of individuals with racist pasts from campus buildings/structures that bear their namesake. The purpose of this study was to analyze basketball and football facilities at Division I Football Bowl Subdivision institutions to explore the racialized history of the people whom these facilities are named after. Utilizing a collective case study approach, the authors identified 18 facilities that were named after athletic administrators, coaches, and philanthropists who engaged in racist activities or harbored racist views. The authors argue, using critical race theory and systemic racism theory as interpretative lenses, that naming buildings after racist persons legitimizes their legacies, rationalizes systemic racism, and continues to unjustly enrich this particular group.
John N. Singer, Sally Shaw, Larena Hoeber, Nefertiti Walker, Kwame J. A. Agyemang, and Kyle Rich
The following article is an edited transcript of, “Critical Conversations About Qualitative Research in Sport Management” from the 2017 North American Society of Sport Management conference in Denver, CO, from May 30 to June 3. This 60-min roundtable session included a group of scholars with keen interest and background experiences in qualitative inquiry. They responded to questions about the state of qualitative research in the field, influential qualitative work both within and outside the field, and future considerations for research in the field. The purpose of this article is to synthesize the discussions from this roundtable session and our collective responses in the spirit of continuing to question how we use qualitative research in sport management. In this regard, we ended this article with each of the panelists, including the moderator, offering some postscript reflections.