Examining the inclusiveness of sport fandom and spectatorship


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What we know about sport fandom and spectatorship is primarily based on the perceptions and experiences of white, middle-class, educated men. Thus, one aim of the special issue is to diversify and broaden our understanding of sport fan and spectator experiences. A second aim is to highlight sports fans’ and sports organizations’ strategies and actions to improve equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice. We want to shed light on fans’ actions to denounce and challenge exclusionary practices in sport and to create more inclusive spaces. Additionally, we want to draw attention to organizational practices to include a broader range of fans and spectators, to address issues contributing to people’s marginalization as fans, and to establish EDI initiatives targeted at fans, such as marketing initiatives aimed at the LGBTQ market or creating LGBTQ-inclusive fan codes of conduct.

List of Topic Areas

Questions and topics of interest to this special issue include but are not limited to:

  • Institutional and organizational practices (e.g., marketing, communications, facility design, merchandising, policies) aimed at enhancing inclusion and belonging for underserved, overlooked, or marginalized fans and spectators in sports.
  • Examinations of the paradox of inclusivity for sport fans.
  • Lived experiences of sport fans and spectators who identify with or are situated in LGBTQ2S+, dis/ability, low-income, marginalized ethnic, and/or religious communities.
  • Fans’ strategies to resist and change discriminatory practices in sport.
  • Using queer theory, critical race, feminist, conflict, anti-oppressive, decolonial, anti-racist, disability, and/or intersectional perspectives to explore sport fandom and spectatorship.
  • Sport fans’ inclusive or discriminatory practices towards athletes, coaches, support staff, and other spectators.
  • Cultural analysis of sport fan sites, fan merchandise, fan memorabilia, or experiences of different subgroups of fans (e.g., ultras, travelling, specific sports, season ticket holders) regarding the inclusivity of fans and spectators in sport.
  • Discourse analysis of policies, social media posts, websites, or marketing campaigns to examine equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and justice for sport fans and spectators.
  • Spatial analysis (e.g., online, in-person, indoor, outdoor, private, public) contributing to the inclusivity of fans and spectators in sport.

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Submissions open: 01/04/24

Submissions close: 31/05/24