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Evgeny Salnikov   1, Inna Salnikova   2
  • 1 Orel Law Institute of the Ministerium of the Interior, Ignatova Str., 2, Orel, Russian Federation 302027
  • 2 Orel State University named after I.S. Turgenev, Komsomolskaya Str., 95, Orel, Russian Federation 302018

Combating Discrimination or Repoliticizing Sports? The Specifics of the Perception of Black Lives Matter in Sports-Fans Online Communities

2021, vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 250–272 [issue contents]
This article is devoted to the study of the transformation of the processes of the politicization of sports. The authors show that the development of modern states naturally included sports in the system of power relations both at the domestic and foreign policy levels. At the beginning of the 21st century, a new form of this process was a kind of interpretation of racial discrimination, proposed in the framework of critical racial theory. The most striking embodiment of the ideology and practice of critical race theory was the BLM movement, whose actions were supported by a number of athletes and sports organizations causing a mixed reaction in the fan community. Based on both domestic and Western studies of the attitude of sports fans, we attempted to analyze the specifics of the perception of BLM actions of Russian fans in sports. The empirical basis of the study was the comments of fans on the forums of sports news agencies in 2020. The research hypothesis was based on the assumption that the study of online comments on the news about the participation or non-participation of Russian athletes in BLM events will reveal the unconscious attitudes and semantic framework for the perception of domestic sports fans of a new interpretation of the racial problem in sports. As a result of the analysis, there was a lack of unity in the assessment of BLM-shares in sports. Some fans support athletes in the fight against discrimination in sports, while some evaluate the actions of athletes negatively, and categorically do not accept their position. Here, on a mundane level, the illusory nature of BLM is recognized. The specifics of the social dimension of racism, which CRT insists on, are not understood by domestic fans; BLM actions appear to be an external phenomena in sports, primarily having a political dimension. Special attention should be paid to the pattern of Russia as a special space; because of the moral characteristics of the population and its specific mentality, discriminatory practices are historically generally uncharacteristic, and the fight against these discriminatory practices is irrelevant in the Russian fan community.
Citation: Salnikov E., Salnikova I. (2021) Bor'ba s diskriminatsiey ili repolitizatsiya sporta? Spetsifika vospriyatiya dvizheniya Black Lives Matter v onlayn-soobshchestvakh sportivnykh bolel'shchikov [Combating Discrimination or Repoliticizing Sports? The Specifics of the Perception of Black Lives Matter in Sports-Fans Online Communities]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 20, no 2, pp. 250-272 (in Russian)
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