“We Want More Diversity but…” in Sports Clubs

The Key Argument of the Article

The main argument of the article by Spaaij et al. is the need for the development of an insight into the reasons behind the realization of change being sluggish even if demographic diversity is allegedly strongly treasured (1). Participation in sports has been greatly appreciated by policymakers and governments across the globe (Spaaij et al. 1). Over and above their physical health gains, sports competitions are perceived as undertakings that uphold positive social consolidative purpose. Remarkably, local, national, and international governments with diverse populace have strategies and plans that encourage the contribution of people from marginalized or poorly represented groups in sport. Many nations have made the participation of all communities in sport possible particularly under programs of voluntary organizations, the majority of which identify diversity as a fundamental principle. For instance, the Australian Sport 2030 plan desires to have a broad sport and physical exercise policy that will enable most citizens to be regularly active.

The Canadian sport approach underscores a strategic objective that provides chances for people from conventionally marginalized or underrepresented populations to take part in all facets of sporting activities, encompassing leadership functions. Nonetheless, change has been slow since compared with their counterparts, people from marginalized or underrepresented populations have a low likelihood of engaging in recreational and sporting endeavors. Based on the conceptualization of the issues of opposition and empirical evidence on diversity in recreational sports clubs, Spaaij et al. establish six discursive progressions that people in leadership positions of sports clubs capitalize on to fight diversity (9). The six practices encompass speech actions, ethical boundary effort, in-group essentialism, bodily inscription, denial/quietening, and self-victimization. The study establishes that opposition to diversity in sports clubs has surfaced from a confluence of discussions that permit noncompliance at the micro stage with the application of a macro-phase subject of diversity.

Critique of the Article

The problem with the article is that it outlines the existing challenges concerning resistance to diversity in sports clubs but does not offer helpful practices that may assist in rising above the current state of difficulty, which needs to be fixed. Therefore, the arguments in the article fail to lay a strong foundation for future research in the field. The authors only presented a narrow experiential focus on sports clubs to investigate the degree to which resistance to diversity negatively affects marginalized and underrepresented groups. Additionally, while it is largely thought that improving diversity in sports clubs should be guided by the people who hold leadership positions, the article only establishes that such changes have not been forthcoming because such organizations are not socially diverse. It is left for the reader to believe that the existence of dominance and discursive foundations in local sports clubs might function in comparable ways while resisting change and upholding privilege.

Research that Supports this Article

One research that supports arguments in the article is the study by Evans and Pfister, which affirms that gender inequity in sports clubs, especially in leadership positions, is a serious problem (2). There is rising consensus across the world that women remain underrepresented in decision-making roles with patriarchal selection progressions and the existing culture strengthening such inequity, although even men who hold leadership positions understand the problem. Irrespective of the establishment of gender equity policies, actions towards the pursuit of impartiality are highly limited hence presenting challenges for women in both sports and leadership roles. Another research that supports findings in the article is a study by Wicker et al. They assert that the intense public discourse concerning gender diversity in management roles does not only exist in businesses and politics but also in the sports sector (Wicker et al. 17). In sporting endeavors, male dominance is characteristically more conspicuous than in other segments.

How Arguments in the Article Can be Applied to My Presentation Scenarios

Arguments in the article may be developed in future research projects based on sport policy and strategies. There is a need for extensive discourse and changes to ensure that diversity is effectively upheld in sports clubs. Nevertheless, this does not imply that sports policies should exclusively center on increased participation among marginalized and underrepresented groups because this may not result in the alteration of discriminatory practices. Sports clubs might embrace diverse players but fail to successfully transform their expansive practices. Sport club leaders and volunteers might be unaware of how their practices can cause marginalization or underrepresentation of women and other minority groups. There is a need for heightened awareness and education of sport club leaders concerning diversity and inclusion to easily overcome existing problems. It would also be beneficial for the leaders of sports clubs and all their members to hold discussions concerning effective construal and implementation of diversity programs. Club-centered education will make leaders understand that normalized daily practices have detrimental effects on their operations. For diversity approaches to be incorporated as normal practices in sports clubs, governing bodies should ensure that such operations are not undertaken as extra or voluntary work but are entrenched in the organizational culture to guarantee that all stakeholders remain committed.

Work Cited

Evans, Adam, and Gertrud Pfister. “Women in Sports Leadership: A Systematic Narrative Review.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 1, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-12.

Spaaij, Ramón, et al. ““We Want More Diversity but…”: Resisting Diversity in Recreational Sports Clubs.” Sport Management Review, vol. 23, no. 3, 2020, pp. 1-11.

Wicker, Pamela, et al. “Board Gender Diversity, Critical Masses and Organisational Problems of Non-Profit Sport Clubs.” European Sport Management Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-21.

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