Sport is central to the lives of many Australians. This isn’t simply a reference to participation levels, but the importance of sport as a social institution. Organised sport, from the elite level though to local community clubs, is a part of a complex social ecology that is an important part of our lives.
What began as a form of half time entertainment during Gridiron matches at the super bowl has now evolved into the successful and controversial Lingerie Football League, ‘true fantasy football’ according to the website. And lucky for us founder Mitch Mortaza is now expanding his empire to Australia.
When Edmonton Capitals Manager Brent Bowers went on a homophobic tirade against a gay umpire, the sports world hardly took notice. It took the courage of the umpire's heterosexual colleagues to denounce Bowers's hate speech by threatening a league boycott before North American Golden Baseball League management took significant action and ultimately suspended Bowers for the remainder of the season. Bowers reportedly resigned, before being fired by Edmonton Capitals management.
This 48-page report provides a detailed review of effective practice in violence prevention education among men, drawing on literature on both adult education and violence prevention. It focuses in particular on efforts among male athletes in professional sporting and other settings, as well as those using ‘peer mentor’ approaches.
Allegations of sexual assault and harassment by rugby league and Australian Football League (AFL) players in 2004 and 2005 put the link between sport and violence against women firmly on the public agenda. There was widespread media coverage of the allegations and substantial community debate. In response to these allegations and the issues surrounding them, both rugby league and AFL codes initiated education programs among their players.
After a woman who, fearing for her safety, called herself “Claire,” revealed the disgusting details of a gang rape that was allegedly perpetrated against her by an Australian football team, 100,000 people responded in support of the man who, according to her testimony, orchestrated the gang rape against her.
Australians this week have grieved over the death of cricketer David Hookes, assaulted outside a Melbourne pub. This tragedy should bring into relief the fact that violent assaults occur outside pubs and clubs around Australia every weekend. As long as a culture of aggression and male honour persists, violence will continue to happen, and men (and women) will be injured and killed.
Sport, play and sex are areas in which we often mistreat or ignore our bodies. John Webb suggests how to treat your body differently.
John Webb questions cultural norms in the physical activity of sport.