As of late, the media has paid more attention to the Miami Dolphins’ locker room than their play on the gridiron. Much of this interest stems from off the field controversies regarding two of the team’s players, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Shortly after news broke that Martin had left the team to deal with “emotional issues,” it was revealed that he had been on the receiving end of a series of over-the-top hazing practices by Incognito. The practices in question involved numerous voicemails and text messages with racial slurs and threats of violence against him and his family. After initial public backlash towards Incognito and his inappropriate actions, many prominent figures around the league, including his teammates, have come to his defense. They and others argue that while Incognito’s antics may seem excessive to the public, they are acceptable, even appropriate, within the context of a professional sports locker room.
The enactment of hegemonic masculinity in professional sport reproduces steep hierarchies and exacts emotional and physical cost.
- Messner, Michael. 1992. Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity. Boston: Beacon.
Sport culture generates and affirms a masculinist social order both on and off the field.
- Burstyn, Varda. 1999. The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics, and the Culture of Sport. Toronto: University of Toronto Press