The Political Implications of Sports


Sports help us develop physical skills and get exercise. They also provide a fun way to make friends and learn to work as a team. They are a great way to develop confidence and self-esteem in young people.

Emotions and Sport

Sports can produce a wide range of emotions, from the exhilarating ecstasy that results from a last-minute goal to the despair that results from an injury to an idolized player. The emotional impact of sport extends beyond athletes and into the arenas of sport management, where media pundits and stage setters orchestrate an array of reactions that fans experience throughout the game.

Globalization of Modern Sports

The global emergence and diffusion of modern sports has been a complex process marked by unequal power relations. The development of Western sports, in particular, has been dominated by European and North American elites who have shaped their rules, organization, and images.

Internationalization of sports has led to the drain of athletic talent from poorer nations that lack the resources to recruit professional players or develop training facilities. This so-called “brawn drain” is particularly severe in sports that have been commercialized, such as football.

As a result, sports have become a significant contributor to national identity politics. Both established and outsider groups use them to construct and maintain national identities. Some conservatives argue that the association of sports with nationalism can be chauvinistic or even xenophobic, but others suggest that it has helped contribute to liberal nationalist political struggles.