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Jamie Cleland

This article focuses on the reflections of 1,015 sports fans collected via an online survey from June 2017 to September 2017 regarding their experience and perception of risk, security, and terrorism when attending an elite live sport event. Drawing on the conceptual risk society framework of Ulrich Beck, the results outline how some fans demonstrate defiance, resistance, and pragmatism towards the risk of terrorism whilst nearly one-third of fans demonstrate tenets of emotion, fear and risk aversion. The majority of fans accept additional measures of security and surveillance as a means of protecting their safety, but others resist this as overly excessive and intrusive and argue it negatively impacts on their experience. The article concludes by outlining the implications of these results on the risk management strategy of elite sports event organizers.

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Jamie A. Cleland

The development of “new” media and the financial investment in football since the early 1990s have dramatically changed the football club–media relationship. A number of clubs changed ownership and organizational structure for financial gain or financial survival while the increasing demand for immediate information led to clubs’ recognizing the importance of external communication. Drawing on 47 semistructured interviews with media personnel and 827 questionnaires completed by supporters at 4 football clubs, this article assesses the organizational structure of clubs in dealing with the media and supporters and the level of dependence between clubs and the external media. The results highlight changes in the organizational structure of clubs and their strategies for external communication, as well as the contrasting relationships between football clubs and the external media. As ownership and personnel changes occur, clubs should remember the importance of the 2-way relationships they are in with supporters and the media.

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Jamie Cleland, Keith Parry and David Radford

This article presents the findings of 2,415 posts collected from two prominent Australian Football League message boards that responded to a racist incident involving a banana being thrown at Adelaide Crows player, Eddie Betts, in August 2016. It adopts Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to examine the online practice of fans for evidence of racist discourse and the extent to which this was supported or contested by fellow fans. The overall findings are that online debates about race in Australian Rules Football and wider Australian society remain divided, with some posters continuing to reflect racial prejudice and discrimination towards non-whites. However, for the vast majority, views deemed to have racist connotations are contested and challenged in a presentation centering on social change and racial equality.