Rally ’round de West Indies

Hey lovlies, let me start by apologizing because I know it’s been a while. Today we’ll be talking about Sports.

  • Sport as a cultural activity
  • The role of sport within material culture society
  • Sport as an embodied practice
  • Sport as a gendered practice

Can you tell me what you think sport is?

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Sport is an $800 billion industry that is produced and consumed at the same time. It is a cultural activity that is of social, political and economic importance. In addition, sport is a gendered practice. It is male centered, male focused and male identified. Power, inequality and oppression are all embodied in sport. As I write this post the song Game of Love & Unity by Shaggy comes to mind. Some of you may have never heard of this song before so I’ll share snippets of the song with you here and leave a link at the end.

Game of Love & Unity by SHAGGY, Rupee, Faye-Ann

“Play, in this beautiful game
Where the rules and aim
Will never change
It’s the game of love unity

Sending out invitations
All over the world
Every race, every class,
Every man, every girl
Whether near, whether far
Come and join in the fun
(Oh na na na)

This is it, one big game that you cannot miss
No matter who you are – everyone’s on the list
This is the game of life and we all are one
(So come along)”

One Love-White-600x600Sport plays an important role in the lives of many Caribbean people. The song above speaks about cricket being a beautiful game of love and unity, free of discrimination and gender biases. I view sport as a social and cultural experience uniting people, inside and outside of the Caribbean. I say this because thousands attend sporting events such as cricket, track & field, horse racing, boxing, swimming events, whether regional or international. Personally, i’m not a sports fan but Caribbean people are extremely passionate about sports, especially the game of Cricket. So much so that sport has the power to change their mood depending on wins or defeat.

Sports are connected to other areas of society, such as politics and culture. It is through sports and many other entities that colonialism is resisted and nationalism is reinforced. Sport evokes feelings like joy and pride and a sense of identity. This pride and identity stems from the support of our local athletes that represent us on the international level. When our athletes accomplish great things on the international arena, we as a Caribbean people feel proud. We feel accomplished and we share in those victories as our athletes go out into the world and make a name, not only for themselves but for their islands and region as well. They become role models for the generations to come as they show that passion and perseverance is the key to success, not money and social status because many of our successful athletes came from humble beginnings. Key-to-Success (1)

These faces below are representations of the extraordinary talent that emerges from the Caribbean. From left to right: Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell, Kirani James, Sir Garfield Sobers, Brian Lara, Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle.

Sport and Gender Inequality

Gender-equality-in-sport-featuredTraditionally, women have been placed in a bubble when it comes to what activities they can and cannot do. The arts were associated with women and adventurous activities were traditionally viewed as male pursuits. This is why sport is a male-dominated field. The whole issue of gender inequality in sport is as old sport itself. Often times I hear people talk about “men’s sports” and “women’s sports”. Personally, I believe that there is no specific sport dedicated for a specific gender, therefore, I will refer to these categories as male sporting teams and female sporting teams. Compared to male teams, research confirms that less value is placed on female teams, consequently, this leads to unequal wages and media coverage. This is why I love the I Run Like a Girl ad campaign that played during the Superbowl so much because it promotes equality in sports.

Well friends, this brings me to the end of this post once again, I hope you enjoyed. Join me next time for the final post of the semester about New Media. The link to the song is below as promised (btw you’ll hear the rhythmic beats of the Caribbean as you listen to this song, it’s quite distinct actually).

See you next time! 🙂

 

 

1st Photo Credit: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-sports-you-probably-havent-heard-of

2nd Photo Credit: http://www.tantratshirts.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1436

 

Video Credit: http://www.youtube.com

 

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