Dismantling a Convenient Truth in Sports – Politicization and Local Solidarity in Sports Talk Radio

Authors: Bradley Gardener*, Temple University, Madison Ketcham*, Temple University
Topics: Cultural Geography
Keywords: Geography of Sport
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Proteus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the recently published edited volume, Critical Geographies of Sport, editor Natalie Koch argues that “…sports focused researchers have not always been able to assert the wider relevance of their work to those who are not interested in sport or who fail to see its socio-political importance”

Debates over the flag and police brutality in the National Football League have jumped scale from the realm of ‘just sports,’ to the wider relevance Koch speaks of.
The sports media has also been forced to acknowledge the political nature of sports, particularly in the medium of sports radio.

Sports radio, which has its roots in conservative radio, has typically been understood in the social science literature as a place “where white, heterosexual men bond over the objectification of women, the subordination of gay men, and the occasional marginalization of athletes of color or those from lower socioeconomic class.”

In this paper, we use a critical geographic lens primarily focused on being in/out of place to map sports radio in a different way. While recognizing sports radio’s patriarchal and racist undertones, we also emphasize the scale specific solidarity it creates. In this atmosphere, fissures in the dominant discourse around sports are often accidently discovered, and at times, expanded upon.

Looking at Philadelphia and New York we will examine how local sports cultures have informed sports talk radio in each place. Further, we will examine the effects overtly political talk has had on dominant discourse about race, gender, and patriotism in sports

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