Athlete activism: Advancing socio-political causes at mega sporting events

Sharyn McDonald, P David Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Highly mediated, mega-sporting events provide opportunities for elite athletes to use their prominent status to elicit social change. However, with expectations and policies in place to regulate behaviour that prevent athletes from making political statements, athlete activists face risks. An examination of the 2018 Commonwealth Games highlighted two athletes who used their personal reputation whilst at this highly mediated global sporting event to raise the visibility of societal issues. Through the lens of persona studies, this research examined how these athlete celebrities crafted individualised narratives through internetworked platforms of new and traditional media to demonstrate forms of athlete citizenship. This research illustrates how athletes can become co-creators of the social cause narrative demonstrating how valuable athletes can be in amplifying the core values of major sporting events by reinforcing a fluid form of intercommunication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPersona Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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