This book takes a close look at the phenomenon of athlete activism, across all levels of sport from elite and international sport to collegiate and semi-pro, and asks what this tells us about the relationship between sport and wider society.
With contributions from scholars around the world, the book presents a series of fascinating case studies, including the activism of world-famous athletes such as Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and Raheem Sterling. Covering a broad range of sports, from the NFL and Australian Rules to fencing and the Olympic Games, the book sheds important light on some of the most important themes in the study of sport, including gender, power, racism, intersectionality and the rise of digital media. It also considers the financial impact on athletes when they take a stand, and the psychological impact of activism and how that might relate to sports performance.
It has never been the case that ‘sport and politics don’t mix’, and now, more than ever, the opposite is true. This is essential reading for anybody with an interest in the politics or sociology of sport, the politics of protest, social movements, or media studies.
Table of Contents
1 Athlete Activism and the Olympic Games: A Dialectic of Resistance and Restriction
2 Educated Activism: A Focus Group Study of High School Athletes’ Perceptions of Athlete Activism
Cole G. Armstrong and Ted Butryn
3 “It’s Our Duty to Utilize the Platform that We Have”: Motivations for Activism Among US College Athletes
4 Financial Implications for Athlete Activists: The Cost of Taking a Stance
5 The Changing Face of Black Athlete Activism: Pariah Today, Hero Tomorrow?
Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown and DeShon Foxx
6 Disability, Sport and Social Activism: Para Athlete Activism
Damian Haslett and Brett Smith
7 Disabled Athlete Activism: Using an Emancipatory Theological Approach to Promote the Use of Disabled Athletes in Disability Activism in the UK
Stuart Braye and Tom Gibbons
8 Revising Trans-Exclusionary Narratives in Women’s Sports Activism: Who Are the “Women” of Women’s Athletics?
9 ‘Doddie’ Weir and the Activism of Health, Nationhood, and Storytelling
10 Elite Athlete Activism for Gender Equality in Sport: Women’s Football in Spain
11 Athlete Activism Relative to Clothing: A Case Study of Ibtihaj Muhammad and the Sport Hijab
Linda K. Fuller
12 Braids, Beads, Catsuits, and Tutus: Serena Williams’ Intersectional Resistance through Fashion
13 “I’m Not Going to the Fucking White House”: Fan Discourse about Megan Rapinoe during the 2019 Women’s World Cup
Hayley F. Gallagher, Caroline Wright and Jeffrey W. Kassing
14 Across Field and Classroom: The Activism of Adam Goodes and the Role of Australian Teachers in Tackling Racism
Sam Schulz, Faye Blanch and Sam Elliott
15 “Best Way to Silence the Haters”? Raheem Sterling’s Use of Social Media and Selective Press Interviews in the Fight Against Racism
16 Online Activism and Athlete Advocacy in Professional Women’s Golf: Risk or Reward?
Niamh Kitching, Ali Bowes and Meghan Maclaren
17 Psychological Benefits for the Athlete Activist
Rory Magrath is Associate Professor of Sociology at Solent University, Southampton, UK. His research largely focuses on equality, diversity and inclusion in sport, with a specific focus on declining homophobia, and the subsequent impact on men’s gender.