1st Edition

Violence, Silence, and Rhetorical Cultures of Champion-Building in Sports

By Kathleen Sandell Hardesty Copyright 2023
    154 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book takes a close look at systems and rhetorics of silencing in sports training. Using the case study of the Larry Nassar abuse scandal at Michigan State University and within USA Gymnastics, the book explores multifaceted problems of speaking, silencing, and listening in youth and college athletic organizations, investigating the cultures of abuse and discursive practices that silence victims while protecting abusers.

    The author foregrounds the victims’ voices through an analysis of victim impact statements and victim interviews, while examining other textual artifacts to understand the institutional behaviors and actions both before and after the case caught public attention. Exploring the issue far beyond the single organization, the author discusses the norms, values, ideologies, and expected behaviors of youth and college sports programs as institutions to help describe “rhetorical cultures of champion-building.”

    This innovative study offers new perspectives that will interest students and scholars of sport communication, rhetoric, organizational communication, criminology, and feminist theory.

    Acknowledgements;  1. Introduction: Violence, Silence, and Athletics;  2. Just Do It: Rhetorical Cultures of Champion-Building;  3. A Predator in USA Gymnastics;  4. Victims’ Voices;  5. Institutions of Silence;  6. The Uphill Climb Forward


    Kathleen Sandell Hardesty teaches English and technical communication at Florida Polytechnic University. She has also worked as a technical writer/editor and communications consultant for the engineering industry.