A new wave of immigrants brought with them the Continental Sunday when they arrived at Ellis Island. According to McCrossen, “Sundays were especially busy in [immigrant communities], for it was then that entire families went to drink beer, visit with friends, listen to music, and dance, just as German and others did in Europe. Walla Walla baseball owes him eternal gratitude for his service on the field and in the courtroom.70 Sunday baseball occasionally collided with blue laws-state or local laws that required businesses to close on Sundays-in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of such blue laws, for example, Major League Baseball did not adopt a full schedule of Sunday games until 1934.
Despite a historical track record of black Americans’ phenomenal athletic success, a racial dichotomy has emerged in the sports media where black athletes’ achievements are qualified based on unearned physical qualities, yet white athletes’ achievements are often attributed to earned cognitive and psychological qualities, like discipline and effort. This presents a problem, as television viewers with limited interactions with individuals outside their own racial or ethnic group tend to rely on the media to form opinions of those other racial and ethnic groups. ESPN’s Sportscenter, with its massive audience and cultural influence, possesses a unique opportunity to undermine stereotypes found in the media coverage of other institutions, like crime and politics. In Understanding Racial Portrayals in the Sports Media: Why is Michael Vick so Fast and Peyton Manning so Smart?, Daniel Coogan analyzes new data on current Sportscenter programming to show that the relationship between portrayal and athlete race may be more complicated than prior research suggests. While evidence of a decline in stereotyping emerges, Coogan identifies that factors, such as the sport, the level of competition, and characteristics of the commentator, affect the likelihood of stereotyping. Understanding Racial Portrayals in the Sports Media presents important reading for anyone interested in the complex relationship between race and the mass media.
This book is an interdisciplinary cultural examination of twenty-first century boxing as a professional sport, a bodily labor, a lucrative business, a popular entertainment, and an instrument of ideology. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted with Latino boxers, women boxers, and boxing insiders in Texas, it discusses boxing from the vantage point of the sundry players, who are involved with it: the labor force, promoters, handlers, ringside officials, medical professionals, media, and the audiences. The various parties have multiple stakes in the sport. For some, boxing is about physical empowerment; others are in it for the money; some deploy it for ideological purposes; yet others use it to claim their 15-minutes of fame, and frequently the various interests overlap. In this book, Benita Heiskanen makes a broader connection between boxing and the spatial organization of racialized, class-based, and gendered bodies within particular urban geographies. Journeying actual sites where the sport is organized, such as the barrio, boxing gym, and competition venues, she maps the ways in which boxing insiders negotiate a variety of conflicting agendas at local, regional, and national scales. Beyond the United States, the worker-athletes conduct their labor within global socioeconomic conditions, business networks, and legal principles. Through this sporting context, Heiskanen’s discussion discloses some complex socio-historical, cultural, and political power relations between urban margins and centers, with ramifications far beyond boxing.
In ‘The Games People Play’, Robert Ellis constructs a theology around the global cultural phenomenon of modern sport, paying particular attention to its British and American manifestations. Using historical narrative and social analysis to enter the debate on sport as religion, Ellis shows that modern sport may be said to have taken on some of the functions previously vested in organized religion. Through biblical and theological reflection, he presents a practical theology of sport’s appeal and value, with special attention to the theological concept of transcendence. Throughout, he draws on original empirical work with sports participants and spectators.’The Games People Play’ addresses issues often considered problematic in theological discussions of sport such as gender, race, consumerism, and the role of the modern media, as well as problems associated with excessive competition and performance enhancing substances. As Ellis explains, “Sporting journalists often use religious language in covering sports events. Salvation features in many a headline, and talk of moments of redemption is not uncommon. Perhaps, somewhere beyond the clichéd hyperbole, there is some theological truth in all this after all”.
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were seen as a success and the hosts were praised for the promotion of equality, tolerance and unity as well as inspiring a legacy to continue these values. This volume contains a collection of sociological case studies which critically assess the diverse impacts of London 2012 and its key controversies.
Is the role of the sports coach simply to improve sporting performance? What are the key ethical issues in sports coaching practice? Despite the increasing sophistication of our understanding of the player-sport-coach relationship, the dominant perspective of the sports coach is still an instrumental one, focused almost exclusively on performance, achievement and competitive success. In this groundbreaking new book, leading sport scholars challenge that view, arguing that the coaching process is an inherently moral one with an inescapably ethical dimension, involving intense relationships between players and coaches. The Ethics of Sports Coaching critically examines this moral aspect, develops a powerful idea of what sports coaching ought to be, and argues strongly that coaches must be aware of the ethical implications of their acts. The book is structured around four central themes: the nature of coaching, the character of the coach, coaching specific populations and specific coaching contexts. It explores in detail many of the key ethical issues in contemporary sports coaching, including: coaching special populations the ethics of talent identification understanding the limits of performance enhancement coaching dangerous sports expatriate coaching setting professional standards in sports coaching. Combining powerful theoretical positions with clear insights into the everyday realities of sports coaching practice, this is an agenda-setting book. It is essential reading for all students, researchers and practitioners with an interest in sports coaching or the ethics and philosophy of sport.
America has always taken pride in being the land of opportunity, a country in which hard work and sacrifice result in a better life for one’s children. Economic growth made that dream a reality for generations of Americans, including many people who started out poor. Between 1947 and 1977, a period in which the gross national product (GDP) per capita doubled, the incomes of the poorest families nearly doubled as well (see figure 1.1).¹ In fact, for the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, economic growth was a rising tide that lifted the boats of the rich and poor alike.
From Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s original objectives in establishing the modern Olympic Games to the increasingly widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs during the Cold War to the 1998 drug scandal during the Tour de France and beyond, Steroids: A New Look at Performance-Enhancing Drugs puts the social construction of steroids as a banned substance under the microscope and interprets the implications of that particular conception of steroid use in sport. Clearly written and highly accessible for all readers, this book addresses a pressing issue in professional and high-performance sport–the use of steroids–by placing it within the historical context of the ongoing desire to achieve the pinnacle of human sport. Topics examined in detail include the three major crises of Ben Johnson’s positive test in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the creation of the World Anti-Doping Association, and the House Committee on Government Oversight probe into steroid use. The author provides a critical examination of the current ban on steroids, and boldly advocates a common-sense solution to the complex problem of steroid use in sport: the adoption of harm-reduction strategies and policies rather than outright proscription.
Is violence an intrinsic component of contemporary sport? How does violence within sport reflect upon the attitudes of wider society? In this landmark study of violence in and around contemporary sport, Kevin Young offers the first comprehensive sociological analysis of an issue of central importance within sport studies. The book explores organized and spontaneous violence, both on the field and off, and calls for a much broader definition of ‘sports-related violence’, to include issues as diverse as criminal behaviour by players, abuse within sport and exploitatory labor practices. Offering a sophisticated new theoretical framework for understanding violence in a sporting context, and including a wide range of case-studies and empirical data – from professional soccer in Europe to ice hockey in North America – the book establishes a benchmark for the study of violence within sport and wider society. Through close examination of often contradictory trends, from anti-violence initiatives in professional sports leagues to the role of the media in encouraging hyper-aggression, the book throws new light on our understanding of the socially-embedded character of sport and its fundamental ties to history, culture, politics, social class, gender and the law.
Offering new approaches to thinking about sports and political ideologies, Sport and Neoliberalism explores the structures, formations, and mechanics of neoliberalism. The editors and contributors to this original and timely volume examine the intersection of sport as a national pastime and also an engine for urban policy–e.g., stadium building–as well as a powerful force for influencing our understanding of the relationship between culture, politics, and identity. Sport and Neoliberalism examines the ways the neoliberal project creates priorities for civic society and how, in effect, it turns many aspects of sport into a vehicle of public governance. From the relationship between sport and the neoliberal state, through the environmental dimensions of neoliberal sport, to the political biopolitics of obesity, the essays in this volume explore the ways in which the “logics” of neoliberalism are manifest as powerful public pedagogies through the realm of popular culture. Contributors include: Michael Atkinson, Ted Butryn, C. L. Cole, Norman Denzin, Grant Farred, Jessica Francombe, Caroline Fusco, Michael D. Giardina, Mick Green, Leslie Heywood, Samantha King, Lisa McDermott, Mary G. McDonald, Toby Miller, Mark Montgomery, Joshua I. Newman, Jay Scherer, Kimberly S. Schimmel, and Brian Wilson In the series Sporting, edited by Amy Bass