Hollow Ring: Race, Spectacle, and the Mayweather/McGregor Fight

The notion of what constitutes a “race fight” is a complex and multivalent issue, not simply relegated to “black” versus “white.” The Mayweather/McGregor fight that took place on August 26, 2017, constituted one of the most profitable pay-per-view spectacles in history. However, despite the way race within the Mayweather/McGregor fight was mediated, the question of race in this fight is more nuanced and worthy of serious academic attention. This commentary establishes a partial typography of American “race fights” throughout history and argues that the Mayweather/McGregor fight was primarily a “commodified spectacle” and not simply a representation of black versus white in the boxing space. For the purposes of this article, a “race fight” is an event that is deliberately conceived and promoted and with the intention of exploiting racial difference. As such, a “race fight” does not necessitate two fights with different skin colours. Rather, a “race fight” consciously contests notions of racial identity within the boxing ring. This article argues that the Mayweather/McGregor fight does not fit the traditional typography of a “race fight,” as exemplified throughout boxing history. Race in the sport reflects the politics of the time. Mayweather/McGregor, while an example of a racialized space, is not a reflection of the politics of race but, rather, a commodified spectacle of wealth and excess.

Understanding Gender Differences in Collegiate Student-Athletes’ Help-Seeking Behaviors and Attitudes toward Counseling

This study investigated specific factors that may impact attitudes and expectations about counseling by assessing athletic identity, attitudes toward help-seeking behavior, and expectations about counseling of 408 university student athletes. Participants were 414 athletes from a Northeastern university in the USA (M = 19.72, SD = 1.34). Measures were the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPHS), the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), and the Expectations about Counseling Questionnaire (EAC). Data indicated significant differences between males and females on the ATSPPHS (F(1, 404) = 40.47, p = .001); the AIMS, (F(1, 404) = 15.17, p = .001), and the EAC (F(1, 403) =13.05, p = .001). For both male ( = -0.205) and female ( = -0.232) student athletes, expectations about counseling were a significant predictor of attitudes toward counseling. However, athletic identity did not contribute significantly to the variability in attitude scores in this sample. Given these findings, it will be important for professional personnel addressing student athletes to consider presenting the information about counseling services in a gender-specific manner. In addition, it would be helpful for programming on counseling services for student athletes to address the counseling process and how one participates in counseling.

Student-Athletes’ Sense of Belonging: Background Characteristics, Student Involvement, and Campus Climate

The purpose of this article was to examine student-athletes’ experiences and perceptions of campus climate in relation to perceived sense of belonging on college campuses. We used data from the NCAA Growth, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Learning Survey (GOALS) to better understand student-athletes’ perceptions. The GOALS survey includes data on student-athletes’ academic, athletic, and social experiences; health and well-being; and time commitments. We employed a hierarchical blocked-regression analysis to determine the extent to which athletic identity, academic and social experiences, and perceptions of campus and team climates predict sense of belonging (after controlling for background characteristics). The major findings from the study indicate a negative relationship between athletic identity and sense of belonging. Further, students of color reported lower sense of belonging than their white counterparts. Of particular importance was the relationship between sense of belonging and institutional and team climates. Having a positive sense of climate on athletic teams positively influenced sense of belonging, particularly for student-athletes of color. This article concludes with implications for policy and practice.