The End of Sport Podcast

In The End of Sport, academics Derek Silva, Johanna Mellis, and Nathan Kalman-Lamb provide critical commentary, analysis, and interviews on sport and society. The End of Sport Podcast raises questions about the role of sport in our daily lives and whether or not we can reimagine sport and sporting cultures in the future.

Listen on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Samsung
  • Podchaser


Friday Aug 25, 2023

In this episode, all three hosts sit down to discuss how transphobic attempts to prohibit trans women from sports participation fit into a larger fascist project unfolding in North America today. We delve into Johanna's recent article for The Guardian on the question of 'allyship' (and, indeed, the politics of how we speak about allyship), why Trump and others made a spectacle out of the early loss of the USWNT, and why a seemingly comparatively insignificant issue (sports) has become so central to the political discourse today.
You can find Johanna's article here.
You can find Nathan's meditations on the subject from this summer here, here, and here.

Wednesday Aug 16, 2023

All three hosts get together to discuss an apocalyptic summer in college sport. Our conversation begins with an in-depth analysis of Northwestern and the hazing/abuse culture that permeates college football and then ranges to a discussion of conference realignment and gambling. This is a conversation both for those who have been following closely and anyone who has not been paying close attention and wants to be brought back up to speed.
You can learn more about Northwestern hazing via the coverage of The Daily Northwestern here and here.
You can find the FOS story on Minnesota's toxic culture under P.J. Fleck here.
You can find Nathan and Derek's story about Northwestern and the broader culture of abuse in college football here.
Follow the show on Bluesky at

Thursday Aug 10, 2023

In this short episode, Nathan shares his Canadian Sociological Association conference presentation on the book manuscript for The End of College Football: Exploitation and Harm in the Academy and on the Gridiron, co-authored with Derek. The manuscript has just been submitted (yay!) to the University of North Carolina Press for peer review (and only 100% longer than promised!).
This seventeen-minute presentation distils the core arguments of the book and shares some of the player testimony upon which it is based for the first time. Also, Nathan introduces the talk by complaining about conferences.

Thursday Aug 03, 2023

On this episode, @kristi_allain joins @Derekcrim and @nkalamb to comprehensively explore what's wrong with the culture of Canada's favourite game. Kristi Allain is Associate Professor of Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Physical Culture and Social Life at St. Thomas University. Her work examines physical culture and its complex relationships with national identities, perhaps no more obvious in her work on how men’s hockey produces, contests, and supports dominant expressions of Canadian National identity.

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

In this episode, Johanna is joined by repeat guest and close friend of the show, interdisciplinary scholar extraordinaire Kelly Wright. We discuss and compare the media's reactions to Angel Reese during 2023's March Madness to a white German commentator's remark about the Moroccan World Cup team's gesture last summer. After recapping for us what happened with and against Reese, Kelly shares her agreement with and expands upon Letisha Brown's excellent First and Pen analysis: how the incident exemplified the dehumanization of Black people under our white supremacy, as well as how Reese's response could not have addressed sports' anti-Blackness and misogynoir in a better way. We also refer back to Kelly's insights from her prior episode about the white gaze of sports scouts and extend it to the mainstream media landscape that spewed racism and misogynoir against Reese. Kelly emphasizes how speech is an act, and not just words; hand gestures and body movements (and responses to them) are actions too, and we must analyze them as such regarding systemic violence and resistance to it. We pivot to the racism at the 2022 Men's World Cup: when a white German commentator chose to describe the Moroccan player's hand gesture as an "Islamic State gesture " (folks, he held up his index finger to suggest #1, like athletes do worldwide). We discuss sporting nationalism and whiteness in relation to this incident. Considering the German state's insistence that criticism of Israel is antisemitic, we briefly talk about how this fits into Germany's nationalist use of Holocaust commemoration for anti-Arab racism. 

Wednesday Jul 19, 2023

Zack Furness is Associate Professor of Communications at Penn State Greater Allegheny. He is the author of One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Temple University Press, 2010), editor of Punkademics (Minor Compositions, 2012), and co-editor of The NFL: Critical and Cultural Perspectives (Temple University Press, 2014). Importantly, he is also author of the excellent journal article “Reframing Concussions, Masculinity, and NFL Mythology in League of Denial” in Popular Communications.
In this conversation, we explore how Zack's biography as the child of former Pittsburgh Steeler Steve Furness, a member of the 1970's Steel Curtain, has come to shape him as a scholar and as a person more broadly. The conversation traces questions of masculinity, health and harm in football, representation and ideology, and the concussion industrial complex.
You can follow Zack on Twitter at @riseandgrindcor and Bluesky at

Thursday Jul 06, 2023

Chen Chen is Assistant Professor of Sport Management in the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He is the absurdly published author of seemingly countless high quality academic journal articles that interrogate the themes of capitalism, racism, imperialism, and settler colonialism both in the discipline of sport management and in high-performance sport.
In this second instalment of our two-part series with Chen Chen on sport management, we delve into the question of how the discipline is complicit in the reproduction of racism, colonialism, and the exploitation of international students in the context of its fundamental commitments to a capitalist project.
You can follow Chen Chen on Twitter @cchenDr

Friday Jun 30, 2023

Chen Chen is Assistant Professor of Sport Management in the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He is the absurdly published author of seemingly countless high quality academic journal articles that interrogate the themes of capitalism, racism, imperialism, and settler colonialism both in the discipline of sport management and in high-performance sport.
In this episode, Derek and Nathan are joined by Chen Chen to answer the question, what's the deal with sports management? In the first part of our conversation, Chen Chen explains the disciplinary orientation and history of the field and then we jump into a discussion of the political economy and epistemology of sports management as a project intimately linked to the reproduction of capitalism.
You can follow Chen Chen on Twitter @cchenDr

Tuesday Jun 20, 2023

Member of the legislative assembly for Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore and leader of the Liberal Party and official opposition in New Brunswick Susan Holt joins Nathan to discuss the controversy in the province over educational Policy 713 and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ developments in the province's politics.
Check out Nathan's commentary piece on these issues in NB Media Co-op here.

Thursday Jun 15, 2023

Theresa Runstedtler is Associate Professor of History and Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies at American University. She is the author of Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line (UC Press, 2012) and, this year, Black Ball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and the Generation That Saved the Soul of the NBA (Bold Type Books, 2023). She is also a former member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak and has worked in public relations for a national sports network.
On this episode, Dr. Runstedtler joins Johanna Mellis and Nathan Kalman-Lamb to explain the history of the NBA's 1970s and how an era of anti-racist athletic labor struggle came to be discursively distorted as a 'dark age' for the professional basketball league. This wide-ranging conversation also covers cultural studies as an epistemological and methodological framework for understanding sport, youth sport as a site of child labor, dance as sport/labor, and so much more.
You can find Dr. Runstedtler on Twitter @DrTRunstedtler.

Copyright 2020 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20230822