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Accepting the Risks of Pain and Injury in Sport: Mediated Cultural Influences on Playing Hurt

Howard L. Nixon II

This paper considers the nature and implications of cultural messages about risk, pain, injury, and comebacks in sport that are mediated by a popular American sports magazine. The analysis is based on evidence from a content analysis of Sports Illustrated articles, the results of which suggest that athletes are exposed to a set of mediated beliefs about structural constraints, structural inducements, general cultural values, and processes of institutional rationalization and athletic socialization that collectively convey the message that they ought to accept the risks, pain, and injuries of sport.