The Athlete as National Symbol

Critical Essays on Sports in the International Arena

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About the Book

Examining the phenomenon of nationalism in the world of sport, this collection of new essays identifies moments when athletes became national symbols through their actions on and off the field. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and related global events of the 1980s and 1990s, scholars have explored how race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by nationalism and national participation. Topics include: race, golf and the struggle for social justice in South Africa; sport as a battleground within the Israel/Palestine conflict; multiculturalism and the Olympic Games; and white privilege in sport. These case studies explore the strength (and fragility) associated with national identity, and how athletes become icons for their nations.

About the Author(s)

Nicholas Villanueva, Jr. is an award winning author and an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He serves as the director of critical sports studies, a discipline that examines sports and their social, cultural, historical, and economic contexts.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Nicholas Villanueva, Jr.

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7117-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3835-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

Part One: Race, Gender and Social Justice

Land of the Free? Sporting Nationalism and White Privilege in the United States (Nicholas Villanueva, Jr.) 9

Diversity and Organizational Productivity: Examining the Role of Race and Gender in U.S. Olympic Team Success at the 2012 London Games (Jomills H. Braddock II, Christina Sanchez Volatier, ­Adrienne Milner, Ashley B. Mikulyuk and Marvin P. Dawkins) 24

Part Two: Sport and National Identity

“Damn!—welly good white man’s game”: Race, Golf and the Struggle for Social Justice in South Africa, c. 1890–1991 (Hendrik Snyders) 47

National Heroes or Disgusting Nazis? Soccer Patriotism, German National Identity and the “Gaucho Gate” Incident After the FIFA World Cup 2014 (Yannick Kluch) 71

National Identities and International Sport: What About the Women? (Ali Bowes) 88

Part Three: Athletes and the Global Spectacle

A Fatwa for German Soccer (Bruce S. Burnside) 113

A Cause Without a Rebel: In Search of a Palestinian Sporting Hero (Jon Dart) 138

Part Four: Media ­Re-Presentation of Nationhood and Sport

Team Orders: Mass Media Complicity with State Nationalisms Expressed Through Motorsport (Zachary T. Androus) 167

Taking Our Ball and Staying Home: Nationalistic Exceptionalism and Cultural Imperialism in U.S. Sports Coverage and Leagues (Jared Bahir Browsh) 190

About the Contributors 217

Index 219