Vulnerability and Exposure: footballer scandals, masculine identity and ethics presents a critical investigation of contemporary masculine team sports and football scandals and their relationship with gendered cultures, institutions and identity norms. Drawing on reports of Australian Rules football off-field scandals over the past decade, the book critically examines cases of sexual assault, illicit drug use and binge drinking, homophobia, violence and other controversial behaviours that have become norms in the reporting of sportsplayers’ off-field lives.
Using a range of approaches to unpack some of the ways in which these scandals are produced and understood, and how they impact on reputations (of players, clubs and the game itself), Cover identifies the cultural factors significant in the production of the contemporary footballer identity, and the ways in which these identities are constructed, performed and reported on.
In utilising scandal to develop ways in which off-field behaviour in sport can be re-made as a relatively harmless event for women, bystanders and players, this work develops an approach to ethics by showing that footballers are well-placed to see the vulnerability of others through their own vulnerability to injury, career breaks and loss of reputation.
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