2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Molly Yanity

Quinnipac University
Session: Warrior Women in Sport
Ribbons and Rainbows, but Never Recruits: Why the U.S. Military Doesn’t Turn to Women’s Sports Teams to Promote Itself

Sports teams in the U.S. have promoted – typically through logos or designs on their uniforms -- everything from breast cancer awareness to gay pride month. However, when it comes to promoting the U.S. military, only men’s teams have been drafted. Major League Baseball teams regularly sport camouflage uniforms, while men’s college basketball teams wear jerseys with valorous words on the back, and National Football League  players don army green towels on Veteran’s Day. This study will employ a rhetorical analysis to look at the showcase of U.S. nationalism in the country’s sporting culture and attempt to explain why women – despite comprising 15% of the active-duty U.S. armed forces personnel (Parker, Cilluffo & Stepler, 2017) – are left out of the promotional games in sport.

Session: Sport & Masculinity
Masculinity and War Narratives in the Coverage of American Baseball
Susan Jeffords (1988) argued that many popular narratives after the Vietnam 
War were used to restore a specific kind of masculinity – one that conveyed strength, success, “Americanness,” and whiteness. The resurrection of this kind of masculinity, she suggested, was 
both a response to losing the Vietnam War, as well as to feminist challenges at home. She noted that these narratives reinforced patriarchal structures that reasserted “the values, definitions, and relations upon which patriarchy depends” (525). The narratives, she claimed, were found in American movie theaters, as well as in newsprint. Using Jeffords’ approach, my study will
compare selected post-Vietnam narratives - particularly in the mainstream coverage of Major League Baseball  – to post-9/11 narratives of similar scope and style. This analysis 
will compare rhetorical strategies of framing main events (championships, all-star games, profiles of star athletes) in terms of nationalism and masculinity.