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Matthew R. Hodler

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Matthew R. Hodler

This article focuses on the structures of elite-performance swimming in order to explore the interdependent relationships among the processes of commodification, commercialization, and modern sport. I use Michael Phelps’s status as a professional swimmer who swims in the Olympics to explicate the roles sporting structures play in the commercialization and commodification of the Olympics specifically and elite sport in general. I trace the eligibility rules of USA Swimming to demonstrate how Phelps’s career coincides with a reformation of the meanings of eligibility over the last four decades that shifts away from the oppositional amateur/professional binary and towards concerns of drug use and personal conduct. This shift occurs alongside an expansion of Olympics as televised spectacle and within the rise of neoliberal social, economic, and political policies.

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Matthew Hodler and Callie Batts Maddox

Miami University has used Native American imagery to promote itself since its founding. In 1929, Miami teams began using the racist term Redsk*ns. In 1996–1997, they changed the name to RedHawks. Despite the strengthening relationship between the university and the tribe, the racist mascot imagery remained visible in the university community. In 2017–2018, the university returned to Native American imagery by unveiling a new “Heritage Logo” to represent a commitment to restoring the Myaamia language and culture. In this paper, the authors used tribal critical race theory to analyze how the Heritage Logo represents a point of interest convergence, where symbols of the tribe signal acceptance and recognition of the Myaamia people, while institutional racism and the possessive investment of whiteness are left ignored and unaddressed.