Social Issues in Sport Communication : You Make the Call book cover
1st Edition

Social Issues in Sport Communication
You Make the Call

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 10, 2023
ISBN 9781032288963
February 10, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
336 Pages

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USD $54.95

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Book Description

Combining theory with practical application, this collection of real-life, provocative case studies on social issues in sports provides students with the opportunity to make the call on ethical and professional dilemmas faced by a variety of sport and communication professionals.

The case studies examine the successes and failures of communication in the corporate culture of sport intersecting with social issues including race, gender, religion, social media, mass media, public health, and LGBTQ+ issues. Topics include the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, sexual abuse scandals, domestic violence, cultural appropriation, and mental health. Each chapter contextualizes a specific issue, presents relevant theory and practical communication principles, and leads into discussion questions to prompt critical reflection. The book encourages students to view the evidence themselves, consider competing ethical and professional claims, and formulate practical responses.

This collection serves as a scholarly text for courses in sport communication, business, intercultural communication, public relations, journalism, media studies, and sport management.

Table of Contents

About the Editors

List of Contributors




PART I: Introduction to Sport and Social Issues

1 Sport and Social Issues: The Touchdowns and Strikeouts

Terry L. Rentner


PART II: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

2 "The Rooney Ruse": Systemic Racism and Hiring NFL Head Coaches

David P. Burns & Chris B. Geyerman

3 When Fandom Stains Your Team

Evaluating the effectiveness of the Utah Jazz’s organizational responses to racist incidents

Nicola A. Corbin & Anne Bialowas

4 Concussion settlement and racial norming: The NFL fumbles into a crisis

Cory Young, Terry Rentner & Annemarie Farrell

5 Major League Soccer’s Navigation of the 2019 Iron Front Crisis

Caleb Bills

6 Protecting the Brees brand: How Drew Brees Said "Sorry" for his National Anthem Protest Comments

Steph Doehler

7 ‘Kicking Hate Out of Our Game’: San Diego Loyal Soccer Club’s Stand Against Racism

and Homophobia

Jeffrey W. Kassing, Isaiah D. Utley & Steffanie M. Kiourkas

8 Issues and Crisis Management in Athlete Activism: Colin Kaepernick and Take a Knee

Lillian Feder

9 Reputation Management Strategies at ESPN

Kevin Hull & Denetra Walker

10 From Les Esquimaux to The Elks: Addressing Social Responsibility in the Canadian

Football League

David J. Jackson & Lori Liggett

11 In the Space of Indecision: Social and Cultural Challenges Facing Major League

Soccer NEXT Academies

Saleema Mustafa Campbell & Erin E. Gilles

12 #WeAreAllMonkeys: Eating Bananas as the Intersection of Hashtag Activism

and Anti-Racist Solidarity

Pratik Nyaupane

13 The Milwaukee Bucks: Professional Athletic Labor’s Position in Racist Late-Stage


Kevin Thompson


PART III: Gender Equity, Identity, & Sexual Misconduct

14 Conquering a Boy’s Club Using an Issues Management Approach: How Women’s

Soccer May Pioneer a Path to Pay Equity

Terry L. Rentner & David P. Burns

15 Communicating in Crisis without the Power to Act

Bradley J. Baker

16 Strategic Resistance through Communication Capital: Rapinoe’s Reframing of Women-Identified Athletes through Mind-Body Performance for Social Change

Elesha L. Ruminski & Dorene Ciletti

17 Alysia, Allyson, and Nike’s ‘Band of Brothers’: Exposing the Hypocrisy between

Corporate Marketing and Internal Practices

Amy Aldridge Sanford, Nikola Grafnetterova & RJ Loa

18 Let Them Wear Shorts! Analyzing the Norwegian Women’s Beach Handball Team’s

Uniform Code Protest

Megan R. Hill, Karen T. Erlandson, & Katey A. Price

19 Sports News Media, Major Leagues, and Intimate Partner Violence

Steve Ingham, Jade Metzger-Riftkin & Tara McManus

20 ‘Play like the Lady you are’: Marketing Women’s Gaelic football

Niamh Kitching

21 Trans inclusion in sports: assumed advantages, (un)fairness, and athlete well-being

Aaron W. Gurlly


PART IV: Mental Health & COVID-19 Pandemic

22 Athlete Influence in Regard to Mask Wearing: An Application of Social Cognitive


Lindsey J. DiTirro & Jennifer R. Allen Catellier

23 Controlling the Narrative: NBC, USA Gymnastics, and Simone Biles at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Aaron W. Gurlly

24 "We Hope to See You Soon" The Green Bay Packers Crisis Management through a Letter to the Fans during COVID-19 Mega-Crisis 

Julia C. Richmond 

25 Blaming Biles: Intersectionality and Organizational Obligations to Mental Health

Jeff Nagel & Scott J. Varda

26 How Can Organizations Better Support Athletes? A Case Study of the Impact of

COVID-19 on Minoritized Communities in Intercollegiate Sport

Yannick Kluch, Shaun Anderson, & Tomika L. Ferguson






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Terry L. Rentner is a Professor in the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio, USA.

David P. Burns is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Salisbury University in Maryland, USA.