Friday, October 23, 2020

Research questions

I am getting lots of questions about research questions. This is a really oversimplified explanation for the current readings literature review assignment, so please check with your advisor if you are reading this post for other purposes. In a nutshell, you need a clear, concise, and arguable "how" or "why" question. Here are some I have used before. Feel free to use them as inspiration for creating your own research question. If you will use a "what" question you really need to narrow it down so you so not end up with a vague search. "How" questions are my personal favorite, but you can use any as long as they are clear, concise, and arguable. They also have to be complex (so no yes/no questions). 

  • How do bystanders react to witnessing sexual harassment?
  • What are the personal characteristics that differentiate active v. inactive bystanders in sexual harassment situations?
  • How is sexual violence in sport depicted by the media? 
  • What are the organizational factors that influence the recognition of behaviors that constitute sexual harassment in the workplace? 
  • What are the factors negatively affecting the validation of males as legitimate victims of sexual violence? 
  • How does team cohesion affect the likelihood of bystander intervention during a sexual harassment situation? 
  • What are the most common sexual harassment behaviors experienced by male and female athletes? 
  • What are the most common sexual harassment behaviors experienced by gender and sexual minorities in athletics? 
  • How do bystanders react to the sexual harassment of gender and sexual minorities? 
  • How does a reputation for covering up sexual harassment affect a team's fandom? 
Try to stay away from trending topics (like COVID-19 related topics) as it is unlikely you will have enough literature this year to do a thorough review. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Philosophy & Ethics MoNo 10/19/20

Philosophy & ethics
 Monday Notes - 10/19/20

Sensitive content warning - domestic violence (graphic video). 

In today's article, the authors evaluate Roger Goodwell's (NFL commissioner) strategy to the media criticism of his response to Ray Rice's domestic violence video on February 19th, 2014 (below). They focus on this event because it is the 1) first crisis with leaked evidence highly publicized in social media, 2) they want to examine the separation strategy used, and 3) Goodwell's notoriety before the scandal, which afforded him a certain advantage to use this strategy. 

 Results show the strategy worked with some stakeholders, but not others. Mainly the media continued to criticize the decision. The owners applauded Goodwell and supported him. The fans were upset at Rice's actions and the initial reaction from the NFL, but it seems the separation strategy worked as this had no bearing on their continued watching intentions. The authors suggest future studies explore the notoriety and the public perception of them prior to crisis as an influence on the type of image repair strategies they may successfully employ. 

Here are a couple of questions for your consideration: 
  • Would these types of decisions (penalties for off the field behavior) be better handled proactively (i.e. by pre-written policies), and if so, should they be clear-cut on the types of penalties or leave it up to interpretation? 
    • Whose interpretation. More specifically who gets to be the judge-jury-and executioner as the author puts it?
  • Would this have been handled better if the decision had been made by an appointed or convened committee, or should the commissioner continue to be the sole decision-maker on off-field behavior player discipline? 
  • Are the players the only ones being disciplined for their off-field behavior? Should the NFL penalize the Patriots organization or Robert Kraft personally for his off-field behavior? Why or why not? 
  • What are other lessons we can extrapolate from this incident? 
To-do list for Wednesday class: 
  • See you in person if you are scheduled to come in person on Wednesdays! There is a bonus points opportunity for those of you scheduled to come in on that day. 
  • See you via zoom if that's your class method on Wednesday. If you missed your bonus points opportunity because you were not in class today come see me during office hours. 
  • We have an SIT assignment due
  • Hanna, you present on Taylor et al., 2020. 
Upcoming activities: 
  • Deandre presents on Taylor & Paule-Koba, 2020 on Friday
  • There is a Quiz Monday that includes the second part of the sexual violence literature. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Current readings

 Welcome to current readings! This is one of the most exciting courses I teach. It is also exhausting, so gear up for a challenge! I am including the syllabus here as well as 3 videos below. Video 1 includes my contact information and course objectives. Video 2 includes the class policies and describes the assignments. Finally, video 3 goes over the course readings, grading, and schedule. There is more information on the syllabus than what is shown on the videos, such as the BioSig policy, the curriculum map. and A-States COVID technology recommendations. Thus, I encourage you to read it thoroughly and make sure you ask clarifying questions. I look forward to an invigorating semester where we work hard together. Onward and upward everybody!

Video 1. Contact info & objectives 

Video 2. Policies & assignments

Video 3: Readings, grading, & schedule

Mini-doc feedback

Great job on your drafts today guys. I know they were rough, but that is the idea of a draft. Let's take our feedback and run with that. I cannot wait to see what all you come up with for the final mini-doc products next week. Just as a matter of summary here is the general feedback tossed around in the classroom: 

  • Live class footage
  • Hype music or mixed music (think DJ)
  • Client or student interview
  • Coaches interviews
  • List hours, classes, or other important information
  • Pay attention to sound quality
  • Interview graduates employed in the industry
  • Voice over pictures
  • Smooth out transitions
Next week activities (10/20)
In class: Mini-doc final draft
  1. Midterm
  2. Self-evaluation
Don't forget I am off to an all-day workshop the week after (10/27) so we will do an asynchronous discussion. Those of you presenting an article, please send me your voice over slides by 10/26. You can find the presentation roster here.  

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Does unity through sport undermine democracy?

In a brilliantly written essay, the author takes us through years of activism by Black athletes. Starting with Carlos and Smith's raised fists in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games through the more recent kneeling by Kaepernick. Most importantly, the author deconstructs the rhetoric around the reactions to these public protests and critiques the frequently alluded unifying attribute of sport.

The essay frames sport as an optimal space for legitimizing rivalry without romanticizing it. Most notorious is the call for sport as a space to preserve contest, not unity. Although the author acknowledges sports' ability to unify, it cautions against using it unquestioningly as a unifying agent at the expense of healthy democratic dissent and the pluralism that defines the United States. Finally, it makes a case for activism in sport, such as disrupting the national anthem, not as a threat to unity, but its illusion. An illusion that is more threatening to democratic health than the activism itself. 

The author mentions the "inside these lines" NFL commercial within the article and commented that an NFL spokesperson stated, “We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about. It stands in stark contrast to someone who practices the politics of division” (Stetler, 2017, as cited in Butterworth, 2020, p. 465). However, later comments this could have been directed either at President Trump or Kaepernick. Who do you think this was directed at? and why? Also, share your thoughts after reading the article. Does unity in sport undermine the pluralistic values necessary for a democratic society? Have the claims for unity attenuated the purposes of the protest/activism?  


Butterworth, M. L. (2020). Sport and the Quest for Unity: How the Logic of Consensus Undermines Democratic Culture. Communication & Sport, 8(4-5), 452-472. 2167479519900160.