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.

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Episodes

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 @punkademic.bsky.social.

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.

Friday Jun 09, 2023

In this episode, Johanna talks with repeat guest and one of our favorite sports journalists, Frankie de la Cretaz, about their incisive piece for The Nation, "How Women's Swimming got so Transphobic." Per Frankie's research, "Almost no other sport is as hostile to trans athletes - and that's because its culture created the perfect conditions for transphobia to take root." Frankie first discusses the confluence of 3 main factors upon which the sport's dangerous transphobia has emerged: the sport's whiteness and related anti-Blackness, its history of rampant mainly cisgender heterosexual white men's sexual abuse of mainly cishet white girls and women, and the East German state doping program against its female swimmers during the Cold War. The sport's whiteness is not just a dangerous condition that impacts many people today (check out our 2020 episodes with Kevin Dawson and Matt Hodler if you haven't already); people also use it as a shield to claim that swimming "doesn't have a race problem" in a way that gives foundation to denying cishet Black female swimmers as well as trans women their gender. The invocation of the GDR's doping scandal for transphobia is a misappropriation of East German women's suffering that inaccurately denigrates their experiences and silences trans girls' and women's experiences today too. We also talk about USA Swimming's use of white women on its staff as a possible cover for its sexual abuse history, and how cishet white women are always the main beneficiaries of "diversity" schemes due to their proximity to the white patriarchy. Frankie moreover details the challenges they encountered in finding an outlet that would accept their pitch, and contextualizes the sport's transphobia compared to how other sports are responding to anti-trans activity. Johanna ends with a call to action to fellow cishet white women to directly challenge transphobic rhetoric and policies as they support the resurgence of violent fascism and its attempted genocide of transgender people today. 
Read the Sports Illustrated piece that Frankie mentioned about Lia Thomas here. 

Friday Mar 17, 2023

In this episode, Johanna and Nathan are joined by one of our all-time favorite journalists and a repeat guest: Joel Anderson from Slate. Joel came on to expand on his argument for what prospective Black athletes might do regarding Florida from his February 13th episode of Hang Up and Listen in the "Afterball" segment. We begin by laying the landscape of the FL state's discriminatory policies, including the proposed HB 999 legislation that aims to ban Gender Studies, gives faculty hiring decisions to schools' Board of Trustees, banning many "diversity" programs, and more. This is all on top of banning the AP African American history course as well as requesting that schools submit information about trans students receiving gender affirming care to the state. We talk through how these dynamics could impact the college sport landscape and what prospective athletes could think about doing moving forward: take their labor outside of the state or attend HBCUs in Florida. We discuss the complicated structures coercing athletes to stay silent and compliant, and how athletes simultaneously always have more power than they think they do. The state propaganda photo op over Florida's new NIL legislation of governor Ron DeSantis with UF's athletic director and head football coach alongside counterparts at FSU and athletes has been used to link DeSantis's white supremacy with racial capitalism sport. Black coaches outside of Florida also have a role to play in the resistance, as do other athletes and athletic administrators whose salaries are paid by the exploitation of college athletic workers. While not an uplifting episode, we hope to urge listeners who are athletes, academics, sports journalists, and yes even coaches to stand up and openly resist Florida's fascism and attempt to create "silent and compliant" racialized workers across all industries and walks of life. 
 
For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Updated semi-regularly Credit @punkademic)
Research Assistance for The End of Sport provided by Abigail Bomba.
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested, you can support the show via our Patreon!
As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
www.TheEndofSport.com

Thursday Mar 09, 2023


Today we have a special episode which is actually a recording of a symposium panel session Johanna, Nathan and I participated in. The symposium panel was part of William & Mary’s Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice spring symposium series called “Level the Playing Field: How Sports Both Advance and Hinder Social Justice Goals,” and was hosted by William & Mary JD Candidate Eric Beinhart, who you will hear as host of the session. In this panel we covered a lot of topics that may be of interest for listeners including a bit more detail on how the show got started, what we hope to accomplish through the show, and, of course, we go off again on college athletics and the cartel that is the NCAA.
 
For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Updated semi-regularly Credit @punkademic)
Research Assistance for The End of Sport provided by Abigail Bomba.
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested, you can support the show via our Patreon!
As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
www.TheEndofSport.com

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