This book provides an accessible space for interdisciplinary scholarship and narrative through an analysis of the power of media and sports, focusing on the intersectionality of identity, politics, social justice, and social movements within this context. Contributors examine how identities coalesce in sports and discuss the ways in which sports provide spaces for marginalized communities and create unique platforms that shift how society defines identity. Athletes’ identities and actions—and mass media’s representation thereof—can influence both the perceptions of society as a whole and how individuals view themselves, contributors argue. Each chapter delves into how different aspects of identity, including race, gender, disability, and sexuality, have developed and influenced social change, with a strong focus on lived experiences of both scholars and athletes from marginalized communities. Scholars of media studies, communication, sociology, and kinesiology may find this book particularly useful.
Dr. Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito is assistant professor of sport pedagogy and motor behavior at the University of North Texas.
Dr. Tracy Everbach is professor of digital/print journalism at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas.
Dr. Karen Weiller-Abels is associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation at the University of North Texas.
Introduction: At the Confluence of Sport and Identity
Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, Tracy Everbach, & Karen Weiller-Abels
SECTION I: Spaces that Define
1. “Keep it in the Locker Room”: How Athletic Departments Stifle Controversy and Dissent
Frank D. LoMonte & Dionne L. Koller
Response: Restricting Athletes Speech Puts Athletic Programs at Risk
2. On Balls, Players, Tackle Boxes, and Other Footballing Options: The Politics of Being in the NFL Rulebook
Joshua D. Rubin
3. Shattering the Glass Ceiling Twice: Sports Journalism Framing of Katie Sowers
William P. Cassidy
Response: Women Succeed in Coaching and Family Life
4. Queer Recreation: LGBTQ Sporting Spaces, Community, and Impact
Austin R. Anderson & Eric Knee
Response: Voices From the Field
5. A “Permissible Prejudice”: An Exploration of the Systemic Ableist Barriers to Sport and Leisure Activities for Disabled People
Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito & Suzanna Rocco Dillon
Response: Just Because You Use a Ball Chair Doesn’t Mean You’re Blameless
SECTION II: Black Athlete as Activist
6. #SayHerName: The WNBA and Black Women’s Athletes’ Social Activism Tracy Everbach, Gwendelyn S. Nisbett, & Karen Weiller-Abels
Response: WNBA Athletes Can Spur Women and Girls to Speak Out About Injustice
7. How Social Media Gives Black NBA Athletes a Platform to Rally Around Racial Injustice During the #BlackLivesMatter Movement
Teveraishe Mushayamunda & Mildred F. Perreault
Response: Blackness in 2022: A Personal Perspective
Daryl A. Carter
8. Athletes as Activists: Exploring Audience Evaluations of Black Celebrity Athlete Activism
Gwendelyn S. Nisbett, Newly Paul, & Stephanie G. Schartel Dunn
Response: Being Black is Life
SECTION III: After the Lights Go Out
9. Fairness, Without the Inclusion: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Trans-exclusionary Sports Bans
Response: I am Trans. I am Human.
10. In High Demand: Friday Night Prime Time and High School Athletes with DisabilitiesAllison R. Tsuchida & Nathan M. Murata
Response: Atypical Students Benefit from Friday Night Prime Time
11. Migrant Children with Disabilities in Italian Schools: Educational and Sport-RelatedExperiences
Response: The Story of “A”
Maria Elena Mastrangelo
12. Criticism of Stereotypes in Paralympism and Expectations of Media Portrayals of Latin American Athletes in Rio 2016
Response: Keep Quiet and Let the Results Speak for You
Erica María Castaño Salazar
Conclusion: Leveraging Sport for Justice
Karen Weiller-Abels, Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, & Tracy Everbach
About the Contributors
This collection of articles by authors from different disciplines and continents, including North America, South America, and Europe, focuses on identity politics of marginalized communities participating in sport and how it can impact the wider culture. Overall, the book argues that sport provides the space for the participation and showcasing of marginalized identities, and that because sport operates as a public arena, it can shape the public view of these identities, serving as a vehicle for social change. The editors do not claim to provide an exhaustive examination of the topic but express their goal of highlighting some examples of how sport influences the cultural construction of identity by creating spaces for athletes to build community and showcase how different groups can coexist. The book should appeal to a broad audience given the popularity of sport, but especially because the voices of stakeholders are included. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and professionals, as well as, general readers.
2/13/23, Choice Reviews: This book and review were highlighted as the “Review of the Week.”