Why this matters
Athletes today are changing the way masculinity in sports is portrayed. Diverting from the old mentality of "show no weakness" they are more open to sharing out mental health resources and even using fashion to play outside of the binary.
When Skip Bayless, co-host of Fox Sports' "Undisputed" show, criticized Dak Prescott on his comments about struggling with depression through last year, the public backlash was swift, severe and unforgiving. Prior the pandemic, athletes were beginning to open up about the struggles they faced in sports, which is a sharp turn away from the "old school" mentality to just "suck it up."
The history of hypermasculinity in sport doesn't start and stop with the athlete. It's a system perpetuated from the top to the bottom, but in today's arenas, younger generations may be helping to change the landscape and detoxify toxic masculinity in sport through an openness of seeking help for mental health to "non-traditional" styles of fashion pushing the boundaries of the binary.
On our next GSM Live, experts discuss this culture shift in sports and the ways to cultivate a more open and supportive environment for athletes today.
Date: Friday, June 18th
Time: 11am (Pacific) / 2pm (Eastern)
Don McPherson | Former NFL & CFL quarterback and author of You Throw Like a Girl: The Blindspot of Masculinity
Erica Rand, PhD | Professor of Art and Visual Culture and Gender and Sexuality Studies, Bates College
Chris Kluwe | Former NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings, outspoken advocate for gender equality, and author of Otaku
Paulette Stevenson, PhD | Residential Faculty at Mesa Community College, doctorate in rhetoric, writing and literacies and gender studies certificate, Arizona State University
Stan Thangaraj | Associate professor of Anthropology at The City College of New York examining stereotypes associated with race, gender and sport, author of Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity
Luke Brenneman, PhD | Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Global Sport Institute
Dr. Brenneman’s research focuses on enhancing the fan experience and leveraging the unifying power of sport to reduce prejudice and foster positive contact between fans of various group identities. He has developed strategies and templates for organizing events to achieve these goals based on his research at the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup, and other events. Brenneman has been published in academic journals, edited volumes, and Host City magazine. He has certificates in Conflict Mediation, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Social Transformation and has experience organizing public dialogue events, professional and academic conferences, and university events. He has also taught courses at ASU on conflict and negotiation, intercultural communication, and other topics.
The spectra of sex, gender, and sexuality challenge our traditional understanding of sport and competition, but are increasingly central to the conversation around athlete and fan experience.
With legislation and organizing increasing around how these various identities intersect, sport makes a natural landscape for discourse and broadening our knowledge of these conversations. How are perspectives changing, and what can we discover by diving into the multitudes underneath these nuanced topics?