Politics of Sport
Fall, 2008
Dr. William L. Rosenberg
3022-D MacAlister Hall

This course is designed to introduce the student to the concepts and issues related to the study of the politics of sport. The material in this course comes from a variety of disciplines and schools of thought. Material will be presented chronologically as well as by sport and by various domains of study including ethnicity, gender, race, nationalism, globalism, economics and class.

It is expected that the student come prepared to class. This includes having read all assigned reading materials, completed all project assignments, and be actively engaged in the process of learning.  This includes attending and participating in class discussions. A number of films will be shown in class. It is the responsibility of the student to watch them during the class time. If at any time throughout the course the student has a problem or question he/she should contact the professor.  Class attendance is not an optional exercise. In addition to class and office hours, a voice mail option is available 24 hours a day at (215) 895-1302.  Be sure to leave your name, a short message, and a number that you may be reached at.  You may also leave e-mail messages at the address listed above.

All papers and projects and examinations are due on the assigned date.  It is not an acceptable option to not complete any portion of this course.


Autobiography due                                Emailed by 6PM,10/1/08
Paper topic due                                     Oct. 13, 2008
The Midterm Examination                      Oct. 20,2008
Sport Event Analysis Report due            Nov. 10,2008
Paper due                                              Dec. 1, 2008
Final Exam                                             TBA

General Reading Assignments

Sport and Society -Week 1

The Structure of Sport

Victorian and Edwardian Sporting Values

Themes in the History of Sport up to the Twentieth Century

Sport and Society

Sport, War, and the Three Orders of Feudal Society: 700-1300

Teaching Sport as History, History Through Sport

Sport and Politics: Kings and Countries: The historical tradition of political involvement in sport

What is Amateur Sport?

Olympiad (Film)

Spirit of the Games (Film)


Olympics -Week 2 & 3   (There is no class meeting Monday, Sept 22nd)  You are to see at the Library Hitler's Pawn

during Week 2.  I will be available that week to discuss materials either through IM Chat or at my office.

Sport and Politics: IOC

Olympic Games (Politics of Sport)

Olympic Games Primer

Munich Massacre (Politics of Sport)

The Olympic Movement as an Example of the Interdependence between Sport and Politics

Hitler’s Pawn (Film)

One Day in September (Film)


Ethnicity  and Class -Week 4

Ethnicity and Sport

What’s in a Name? A Historical Look at Native-American Nicknames and Symbols at Three U.S. Universities

The Politics of Boxing: Resistance, Religion, and Working Class Assimilation

Joe Louis as a Key Functionary: White Reactions Toward a Black Champion

Max Schmeling: Righteous Ring Warrior?

The Second Louis-Schmeling Fight – Sport, Symbol, and Culture

Sport and the Working Classes

Argentina’s Left-Wingers

Organized Sport and Organized Labour: The Workers’ Sports Movement

The Fight: Joe Lewis and Max Schmeling (Film)

Unforgiven Blackness (Jack Johnson film)


Race and Sport -Week 5 & 6

A Tribute to Jackie Robinson

African Americans in the Sports Arena

Black Athletes at the Millennium

Blasphemy! Curt Flood's Suit of Baseball

Diamond in the Rough: Baseball and the Study of American Sports History

Jack Johnson and White Women: The National Impact

Race Relations sociology of sport and the new politics of race and racism

A Student Without Peer: The Undergraduate College Years of Paul Robeson

The Black Athlete in Big-Time Intercollegiate Sports 1941-1968

Glory in Black and White (Film)

Fists of Fury: The Story of the ’68 Summer Olympics (Film)


Gender and Sport -Week 7

Sport and Gender

NCAA certification program does little to improve gender equit

Good Sports? Historical Perspective on the Political Economy of Intercollegiate Athletics in the Era of Title IX, 1972-1997

Billie Jean King Documentary (Film)


Sports and Global Issues -Week 8

Sport and politics and injustice - Zimbabwe

Cricket and Politics in Colonial - India

Soviet Sport and Soviet Foreign Policy

:03 seconds to Gold (Film)


Sport and National Politics -Week 9

Sport in Politics - Politics in Sport: Stalinism in Poland in the years 1949-1956

Richard M. Nixon: The Psychic, Political and Moral Uses of Sport

Move to political arena not a stretch for some ex-jocks

Boxer Muhammad Ali and Soldier Idi Amin as International Political Symbols

Fields of Fire: Sports in the 60’s (Film)

Jim Brown: All American (Film)


Economics of Sport -Week 10

Buying the Games (BBC Transcript)

City and Sport Marketing Strategy: The Case Of Athens 2004

The Economic Impact of the Olympic Games

2002 Olympic Winter Games: Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Impact (Utah)

Micheal Leeds (Video)

Course Grade*

Midterm                                                                        30 %
Class Participation and Attendance                                15 %
Final Examination                                                          35 %
Research Paper                                                             20 %
Total                                                                            100 %

* If the class fails to keep up with the reading assignments a series of unannounced quizzes will be incorporated and will necessitate a change in the mechanism for the calculation of course grade.  Projects, exercises and assignments are due on the assigned date and may not be accepted after that point.

Class Exercises

The following two exercises are required for this course.  While they are not graded assignments (A, B, C etc.) they are required. If they are not satisfactorily completed, 5 points will be deducted for each assignment from the final grade. The concept of "satisfactory" includes both the content related information as well as the grammar and writing aspects of the document. These exercises are required to receive a final grade in the course.

Autobiography - Exercise 1

Each student is to write a two page autobiography.  This should discuss who you are, where you are from (background, experiences, etc.) and where you plan to go with your life. This assignment is due Monday, emailed class time Oct. 1, 2008, assuming you were registered for the course on the first day of class. Otherwise you have one week from the time you first attend class to complete this assignment.. It should be brought to class and separately emailed to Rosenberg@Drexel.edu

Sport Event Analysis Report - Exercise 2 

Each student is to attend a sport event.  This may be High School, College or Professional level event.  This assignment is due Nov. 11, 2008, by class time.  A two page observation report is required to be submitted.  The report should critically analyze the political implications or feature(s) of the event as it relates to the material in this class. You are expected to attend the entire event.  The report should be typed and sent via email to  Rosenberg@Drexel.edu You should be prepared to present this to the class.

Research Paper

Each student is to complete an original research paper. The student may suggest a topic (it may not be used or have been used in another course). The professor will also provide suggested topics as well. This paper should be approximately 10-12 pages in length. Footnotes, graphs and tables are to be included in the report, where appropriate but do not make up the 10-12 pages, they are additional. The student must submit a topic by Oct. 13, 2008 and the paper is due Dec. 1, 2008. Outlines and drafts will be required and will impact paper grade, with dates TBA.

For further information contact Dr. William L. Rosenberg
215-895-1302 or Rosenberg@Drexel.edu.