According to many year-end commentaries, 2015 was a year when women stood out in sports. Four sports scholars – from the US, Canada, and the UK – discuss the accomplishments and advances of the past year as well as the persistent barriers that remain for women in sport.
Rachel Allison, Amy Bass, Courtney Szto, and Jean Williams
Women Who Write About Sports, and the Men Who Hate Them
As Ashley Judd learned after tweeting her support of the Kentucky basketball team, women who dare express an opinion about sports will find the Internet to be a hostile place. Sports historian Amy Bass knows this all too well.
Tribute to a Scholar
Mike Marqusee passed away on January 13, after a distinguished career of writing about cricket and boxing as well as Renaissance art, Indian culture, Bob Dylan, and Zionism. Although eclectic, his body of work earned the respect of specialists.
Calling Nature a Cheat
Every elite athlete is a genetic anomaly. We don't say that an Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps should be excluded because of their extraordinary physical makeup. Why then are women athletes banned for their natural advantages?
When Sports Go Bad, How Can Fans Be Good?
Does putting on our team's shirt mean that we cover up our sense of right and wrong? With the NFL engulfed in scandal over players' off-field offenses and wavering leadership by league officials, four of our writers discuss the line between fan loyalty and individual morality.
Mike Austin, Amy Bass, Andrew Guest & Alon Raab
"Our sports are so refined and designed – so rule bound and internally complete, with lore and custom as well as their own rules or law – that they can have the character of cults, those closed-off, self-contained cultures that demand one's total being, one's total assent."
–A. Bartlett Giamatti