This case study examined interpersonal communication in sport in the form of verbal aggression among elite athletes in the Australian Football League (AFL). It focused on the experience and motivation of athletes who use athlete-to-athlete verbal aggression and the responses of athletes who have been the targets of verbal aggression during games. In addition, the reasons athletes have for not engaging in verbal aggression were also examined. Purposive sampling procedures produced a select sample of elite male athletes known for their aggressive approach to playing Australian football. Qualitative methods and deductive analysis procedures, informed by J.H. Kerr’s categories of sport aggression, were used to interpret the interview data. Meaningful insights into verbal aggression in the AFL were obtained. Based on the underlying motivation, interview transcript descriptions of incidents were identified as examples of power, thrill, and anger verbal aggression.
John H. Kerr and Pippa Grange
engage in antagonistic physical interaction with opponents. There are three different types of unsanctioned aggression: anger, power, and thrill aggression ( Kerr, 2005 ). Anger aggression is often retaliation for an unprovoked, unsanctioned act by an opposing player (see e.g., Abrams, 2010 ). Power
Michelle L. Bartlett, Mitch Abrams, Megan Byrd, Arial S. Treankler, and Richard Houston-Norton
). Anger & aggression in sports: Toward a practical understanding . In B. Jurica (Chair), Anger & aggression in combat sports: A novel approach to an existing paradigm . Symposium conducted at the meeting of Association for Applied Sport Psychology , Atlanta, GA . Buss , A.H. & Durkee , A
Jacob J. Levy, Terrance L. Tarver, and Hannah R. Douglas
symptoms of depression, anger, aggression ( Woodward, 2009 ). Also, athletes who engage in combat sports have been found to have greater positive mental attitudes such as avoidance of stress, depressive situations, and extremely strong emotions ( Kotarska et al., 2019a ). Along with these benefits