Social media and politics in sport

Katie M. Brown, Sarah M. Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Purpose: This chapter provides an analysis of the history of politics in sport, how nationalism has amplified divisions in politics and sports and how social media has impacted politics in sports. Design/methodology/approach: The authors examine how the nationalism narrative is present in sports, thus further enmeshing politics in sport. A review of literature and case studies are used to provide context of how athletes have used their social media for political purposes and how political ideologies and social media can impact international sport markets. Findings: While politics and sports being deeply intertwined is not new, social media has pushed even publicly apolitical organizations to get involved in political discussions. Social media has allowed for some to continue pushing a nationalism narrative as it relates to sport and challenge athletes who appear to threaten seemingly nationalistic values. However, social media also enables athletes to engage their fans and advocate for themselves and political issues in real time. Research limitations/implications (if applicable): n/a. Originality/value: The chapter looks at nationalism, politics in sport and how social media can be used to further amplify and/or divide over political ideologies. Athletes are in a unique position to use their social media platforms to speak directly to their fans and engage in politics, pushing organizations to seemingly abandon their once public apolitical stances. This chapter examines how athletes, organizations and politicians are using social media to debate matters, advocate for social justice and call attention to a myriad of political issues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Sport
PublisherEmerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Apr 13 2022

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Sport
ISSN (Print)1476-2854


  • Athlete activism
  • Nationalism
  • Politics
  • Social justice
  • Social media
  • Sport


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