Fifteen Years of "Beckhamology" and David's Coming Third Age

In this article, we review the major dimensions of the sports celebrity literature on David Beckham. We identify first and second ages of Beckham’s celebrity, describing a shift from the emphasis on his status as a sports star toward a mainstream celebrity that resonates more broadly than his original career, specifically in terms of fashion, family, and lifestyle. Throughout both stages, however, there has been a focus on his representation of masculinity, particularly in terms of how he both reflected and contributed to transformations in masculinity toward a more “metrosexual” norm. We then argue that the emphasis on Beckham’s athletic prowess will return to centre stage in the next phase of his celebrity. Although this may be understood chronologically as his “third” phase of stardom, we suggest that it will emerge because Beckham has reached the threshold of the sociological, rather than chronological, “Third Age.” Using the example of Beckham, we argue that the key components that ageing celebrities model for the Third Age have a keen affinity with the qualities associated with sports stars. We conclude, therefore, that we will see an increasing use of ageing and retired sports celebrities to model and promote Third Age identities and lifestyles to ageing consumers, in a way that reintroduces their athleticism as central to their celebrity status.

Sport, Alcohol Use, and Youth in a Canadian Sample

Although some research has demonstrated an association between sports activity and lower levels of alcohol consumption, contradictory research suggests alcohol use may be typical for adolescents involved in sport. To address these opposing findings and the current lack of Canadian data, this study examined whether adolescent drinking behaviors differed by gender, type, frequency, or context of sporting involvement in one school system in western Canada. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 497 grade 10 students. Results demonstrated that males reported consuming more alcohol than females. Student participation in sports outside of school was related to increased alcohol consumption. Students participating in hockey, boxing, or wrestling outside of school self-reported consuming significantly more alcohol than students who did not participate in these sports. Gender by sport interactions were also found. These findings suggest participation in sport is not a protective factor against alcohol use for all youth in this sample. Instead, there appear to be differences in alcohol use specific to sport, gender, context, and frequency of sporting involvement. This study informs coaches, educators, and parents regarding youth drinking behaviors in relation to sport, guide further research, and aid in the development of educational material in sport development programs.

Causal Attribution of Teammate Injury: Intercultural Sensitivity and “Blame” for Teammate Injury

When considering the injury of an athlete, recent research suggests that the answers athletes generate for questions related to that injury can affect recovery, team cohesiveness, and risk of re-injury. Athletes have been shown to question why the injury has occurred, how this relates to one’s identity, what impact this will have on the future, who is responsible for the injury, and who is responsible for recovery. Answers to these questions are important, of course, and have generated much literature focusing on risk of injury, recovery from injury, injury prevention, and psychological readiness to play. Additionally, how an athlete attributes his or her own injury has been shown to have a profound impact on each of the aforementioned variables. These questions are important for understanding the total picture of injury from a psychological standpoint. But what determines the way an athlete attributes the injuries of his or her teammates? It appears that surprisingly little research has been directed at this question. In an attempt to study this issue, thirty-five student athletes were asked to self-assess on Bennett’s levels (denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, and integration) of intercultural sensitivity ) and were asked to rate how much “blame” a teammate deserved for an injury. Results show that progress on Bennett’s levels of intercultural sensitivity across a semester had no effect on athlete attributions for self-injuries but was related to a lessening of “blame” assigned to a teammate for injury. Additional literature relevant to this work and implications for the findings are discussed.