STUDY SHOWS PRIDE GAMES HELP REDUCE HOMOPHOBIC LANGUAGE IN SPORT.
- Surprised by the results of the study, Pride theme games, despite a lack of evidence that they are an effective method to stop discriminatory behaviour, do have impact -
TORONTO, ON (AUGUST 26, 2020) The first academic study to investigate whether ‘diversity-themed’ games can help stop discriminatory behaviours will be released Wednesday. Diversity games are now held by sport teams globally to address racism, sexism, as well as homophobia. Previous research has found most diversity ‘interventions’ fail to change attitudes, and few change discriminatory behaviours (see: “Why Diversity Programs Fail”). No one knew if diversity games help stop discriminatory language.
The study led by Australia’s Monash University focused on assessing the impact of Pride Games on homophobic language. Teams that hold these controversial games supporting the LGBT community often attract strong criticism.
The study found players on teams that have held the games used 40% less homophobic language, with a minority (38%) of players on teams that have held LGBT pride games self-reporting they used homophobic slurs such as ‘fag’ in the past ‘two-weeks’ compared to 61% of players on teams that have not held these games. The research was supported by the Australian Government, Salesforce, You Can Play (LGBT sport charity), and Amnesty International.
“Diversity-themed games have proven lucrative to sports teams through ticket and merchandise sales and studies show they improve a team’s reputation and can help to attract sponsors,” said lead author, Erik Denison, from Monash’s School of Social Sciences. “We were interested in whether pride games help reduce homophobic language and make sports more welcoming for LGBT people.”
The study collected data from players on all eight teams in the semi-professional Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL), which features many overseas players looking to gain experience and build their profile; 26.4% of players are from the USA or Canada. The research compared homophobic language use and attitudes toward gay people of the players on the two teams that have held pride games with those of players on the six teams that have not held the games.
· Players on pride games teams were significantly less likely to report hearing their teammates use homophobic language in the past two weeks (54.1% vs. 69.3%);
· There were no differences in factors which often explain differences in homophobic language use, such as homophobic attitudes and the religious orientations of players;
· The study was replicated in a larger, follow-up study with six other sports (prelim results).
“Participants in the study who used a homophobic slur during a pride match compared the feeling to swearing in front of their grandmothers,” said Denison. “The games seem to help the players notice language they use which they describe as habitually. We were surprised by the results because most diversity education programs fail or have minimal impact on behaviours.”
Maxime Langelier-Parent says holding a pride game helped to short-circuit previously thoughtless behaviour of players. He is the head coach of the AIHL’s Melbourne Mustangs, which holds annual pride games. He previously played professional hockey in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“When boys begin to play hockey or other similar sports, they hear older males use homophobic and other types of discriminatory language constantly which they begin to mimic and it becomes habit,” says Langelier-Parent. “I think the games help them notice the language they are using, potentially for the first time. I’m hopeful that these games can help us short-circuit the vicious cycle where this language is passed on between generations.”
The study results will be published in an academic text-book being used to train future sport media & management professionals called “Sport Media Vectors: Digitization, Expanding Audiences, and the Globalization of Live Sport” edited by Ryerson University, Faculty of Communication and Design, RTA School of Media, (Toronto) Assistant Professor Laurel Walzak (previous NHL Director) and Associate Professor Joe Recupero (previous CBC sport Producer/ Director), Book link https://doi.org/10.18848/978-1-86335-221-5/CGP .
“This study helps to address the need for evidence-based solutions that sports organizations can use to stop exclusionary behaviours,” said Walzak. “There is a clear need to do more to ensure LGBTQ+ people, women, people of colour, people with diverse ethnicities, and/or members of an equity-seeking group feel welcome and safe to play sport.”
Note: Study participants or gay hockey players in North America/Europe available for interviews and Images available of pride games and spokespeople.
Erik Denison (lead author)
1-347-983-0664 or +61400996560
Laurel Walzak (co-editor)
About Monash University
Monash University is a public research university based in Melbourne, Australia and ranks among the world’s top 100. It was founded in 1958 and is the second oldest university in the State of Victoria. The university has a number of campuses, four of which are in Victoria, and one in Malaysia. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy, a graduate research school in Mumbai, India and a graduate school in Suzhou, China. Monash University courses are also delivered at other locations, including South Africa.
About Ryerson University
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the University is home to more than 46,000 students, including 2,900 Master's and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and over 200,000 alumni worldwide.
The RTA School of Media strives to provide an inclusive and safe public environment. It is our shared responsibility to keep our classrooms, facilities and online spaces free from discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or ability, even while we explore and engage with important and sometimes controversial topics and social issues. Bullying, harassment, and intimidation are incompatible with the values of this course. Honesty, integrity, respectfulness, kindness and curiosity are integral to the work we do together.
Racial injustice is built into our society and its institutions. We have watched with horror as police killed George Floyd in front of crowds and cameras. The images were outrageous but all too familiar: Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Protests in the wake of his death and the delayed arrest of the police officers involved have been a call to action. They have made it clear that we need to do a better job of dismantling anti-Black racism and creating a just and equitable world.
Racism is complex and multidimensional. It is part of our country’s history and has shaped its economy. It is part of our culture and media and leaves its traces on our psyches. It suffuses the world we live in and persists in places from which we hoped it was banished. Racism is not simply a question of hate, nor is it always dramatic. But its damage is irrefutable.
RTA School of Media is the home of teaching and learning about the creation of media content and the social context and effects of its circulation. We pride ourselves on being innovators and preparing our students to lead in the media arts and industries. But the full participation of people from racialized communities is not yet a reality.
Advancing and intensifying our commitment to making sure that an RTA education addresses issues of equity and teaches students how to engage in dialogue about racism and its eradication is critical. Creating course content that reflects diversity, questions privilege, and supports decolonization; making our classes and extracurricular spaces safe for members of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities as well as those who identify as 2SLGBTQ+; removing bias from admissions and hiring processes and ensuring that leadership reflects the diversity of our city: these are the most obvious ways to take action to counteract systemic and structural racism within the school.
The need to listen is central to understanding the complexity and the gravity of racism. So that our efforts are focused and properly directed, we are working with student representatives to create opportunities for their peers to provide feedback, share their experiences or get involved in efforts to create change. We will also be reaching out to graduates of our programs to learn more about their experiences. Faculty has committed to establishing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Working Group that will support a series of workshops and a speakers series, and we will continue to expand the award offerings and bursaries that recognize diversity and promote equity.
Many members of the RTA School of Media community have been involved in antiracist activism long before this moment. I want to express my thanks for the example they have provided and share some resource pages created by New Media technical staff member Tess Sutherland and recommended by Professor, Lori Beckstead.
The events of the last week have highlighted and laid bare the contradictions and inconsistencies that animate contemporary society’s relation to race. It has left us shaken, but we will not be shocked into silence by criminal acts or inhumanity. Nor will we take refuge in good intentions. Instead, we will commit ourselves to make changes which will affirm that Black Lives Matter.
Sportsnet and Ryerson University Partner to Launch the Sportsnet Diversity and Gender Equity Initiative
– Partnership with FCAD sees Sportsnet invest $100,000 in scholarships and workshops to promote diversity and inclusion in Sport Media program –
TORONTO (January 30, 2020) Teaming up to champion diversity and inclusion in sports media, Sportsnet and Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communications & Design, FCAD, have announced the Sportsnet Diversity and Gender Equity Initiative, set to launch for the Fall 2020 semester.
The Sportsnet Diversity and Gender Equity Initiative empowers students from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in sport media. Sportsnet has committed $100,000 to FCAD’s Sport Media program to provide scholarships to four students, plus year-round diversity workshops at the university’s Global Experience Sport Lab (GXS). The scholarships will be awarded to two high-performing third-year students and two students entering the program who identify as a woman, Indigenous, and/or a member of an equity-seeking group.
As part of the partnership, Sportsnet will also provide resources and mentoring opportunities to foster a culture of diversity in the workplace for Sport Media students.
“Sportsnet is dedicated to cultivating a new generation of media professionals that reflects Canada’s diversity,” said Bart Yabsley, President, Sportsnet. “The Sportsnet Diversity & Gender Equity Initiative embodies the core values and identity we strive towards as a network and media leader in Canada. We are tremendously excited to work with Ryerson to offer this program to Sport Media students.”
“It’s through important partnerships like this with Sportsnet that enable us to provide a unique program centered on diversity and inclusion to prepare students to become tomorrow’s changemakers and thought leaders,” said Charles Falzon, Dean of FCAD at Ryerson.
“At FCAD, we foster a community for women and men to come together and engage in activities and discussions related to gender equity and diversity in sport media,” said Laurel Walzak, Director, GXS and Assistant Professor of Sport Media at FCAD.
As Canada’s #1 sports network, Sportsnet is committed to the unification of diverse communities across the country through the power of sport. In addition to the national production of Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Editionfor the past six seasons, Sportsnet has been a key contributor to the Blue Jays: Pinoy Edition broadcasts on OMNI Television and the historic NHL broadcasts in Plains Cree on APTN.
Based on 70 years of excellence and renown, FCAD at Ryerson is recognized as a prominent thought leader and educator in media, design and the creative industries with strong links to influencers and strategic partners from around the world.
Sportsnet is Canada’s #1 sports network. Uniting Canadians through sport, Sportsnet’s multimedia offerings include Sportsnet (consisting of 4 regional channels: East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet World, the Sportsnet Radio Network, Sportsnet.ca, Sportsnet NOW, SN NOW+, the Sportsnet app, and podcasts. Sportsnet is the official Canadian NHL national multiplatform rights holder, and is the regional broadcaster for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet also has extensive coverage of the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors, as well as NBA, MLB, Grand Slam of Curling, Rogers Cup, CHL, IndyCar, WWE, Premier League, and FA Cup. Sportsnet is part of Rogers Media, which is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit Sportsnet.ca.
About FCAD at Ryerson University
FCAD is an impactful education hub and innovation ecosystem at the heart of Canada's media, design and creative industries. It is grounded in Canadian values but with a truly international perspective and scope. It is home to many of Canada's top schools and programs in their field and recognized as a leading institution around the world. The GXS Lab is the connection between scholarly research and industry practice in sport and sport media that focuses on the intersection between globalization, digitization and commercialization.
Sportsnet - Meghann Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.258.3296
FCAD at Ryerson – Sarah Twomey, email@example.com, 416-979-5000 x7924
First female NFL coach in Toronto hopes to inspire younger generation (at the GXSLab at Ryerson University in partnership with Shes4Sports)
January 16, 2020
First female NFL coach sees video-game appearance as another sign of progress
Lori Ewing, Toronto
The Canadian Press
Published January 17, 2020
/via @globeandmail https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/football/article-first-female-nfl-coach-sees-video-game-appearance-as-another-sign-of/?utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links
Could the Raptors be the first NBA team to hire a female head coach?
by Lindsay Dunn
Posted Jan 17, 2020 5:42 pm EST
Last Updated Jan 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm EST
The Global Experiential Sport Lab at Ryerson University partners with She’s4Sports to move the dial on issues that impact women in sport
September 05, 2019
In partnership with the Global Experiential Sport Lab and exeQutive, the forum for Toronto's LGBTQ leaders, we are proud to present this discussion on LGBTQ+ awareness and visibility in sport media and how we can begin to challenge and address stigma in the industry.
Devin Heroux has been a journalist and reporter with CBC Radio Canada for over 10 years. He has been a cross platform contributor covering many sports, including curling, most recently with CBC Sports for the World Youth Olympic Games of 2020 in Switzerland.
Anastasia Bucsis is a two time (2010 and 2014) Olympian in the sport of Long Track Speed Skating. She is currently the on air host of the CBC Sports podcast Player's Own Voice, bringing her unique backstory and voice to conversations with high performance athletes, exploring their stories and issues.
Scott MacArthur is a multi-platform media contributor working in the Sport media industry for close to two decades. He has worked as a reporter, on air anchor, host and play by play announcer at various media outlets including Rogers TV, Chum Radio, TSN, and Bell Media. Scott can currently be found at Sportsnet 590 The Fan as host of their Morning Sports Talk Radio show Lead Off with Ashley, Ziggy and Scotty Mac.
Register for Free, Click on Link Below
Kicked off on Jan 16/20 with four exceptional sports professionals:
November 6, 2019
Our Founder and Director of the Global Experiential Sport Lab, Laurel Walzak, has been nominated for the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Employee Award.
"Alan Shepard was provost and vice-president, academic of Ryerson from 2007 until 2012, and a champion for equity, diversity and inclusion. OVPECI is proud to sponsor the Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Employee Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals or teams/committees who advance EDI through their work and/or their volunteer contributions in the Ryerson community.
GIRLS GOT GAME - RADIO INTERVIEW WITH LAUREL WALZAK, S2E4, November 5, 2019
TORONTO, September 5, 2019 – The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab), based at Ryerson University’s FCAD, the Faculty of Communication and Design, is teaming up with She’s4Sports, an organization that focuses on giving women a larger voice in sports.
Through the GXSLab,both organizations will collaborate to amplify the contributions of women in sport and address gender diversity and barriers women and girls face in sport. The Own It event, which is the first initiative led by the two organizations, kicks off on September 17 at Ryerson and will highlight the achievements of six diverse female entrepreneurs in sport.
“The GXS Lab is a natural fit with She’s4Sports, as it focuses on bridging the gap between scholars, students, faculty and industry, to address issues and trends that impact the ever-evolving sport and sport media industry. This includes diversity and issues that impact women and girls with the goal to mobilize change and eventually achieve equitable opportunities for women and girls to participate in sports on all levels,” says Laurel Walzak, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University, RTA School of Media, Sport Media, and Director of the GXSLab.
Both organizations will work together to create event programming and digital content to engage the students, academic and sports communities on gender diversity in sport and develop opportunities for female students at Ryerson to participate in the sports industry through industry mentorship,” says Ainka Jess, Founder She’s4Sports. “This partnership will not only create a safe space for women to come together to discuss sports but will transform the narrative and even the playing field for women and girls to thrive in sports without barriers.”
The GXSLab is housed at FCAD’s Catalyst, a 5,000 square foot interdisciplinary research hub, home to 20 labs and centres with a mission is to promote and support the Faculty’s SRC.
The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab)
The GXSLab is the connection between scholarly research and industry practice in sport and sport media. GXS focuses on the intersection between Globalization; Digitization; and Commercialization. Under the GXS Lab’s Gender in Sport platform, it’s GXS Women in Sport is an initiative and a community for women and men to come together and engage in activities and discussions related to gender inequities in sport, sport media and sport business. The GXSLab is physically based at Ryerson’s downtown Toronto campus within the Catalyst, FCAD’s interdisciplinary research hub.
She’s4Sports is a Toronto-based digital and events platform that brings women together to have a larger voice in sports. The network represents a community of over 3000 passionate women and men who want to amplify and celebrate the contributions of women in sports.
FCAD at Ryerson University
Ryerson FCAD is an impactful education hub and innovation ecosystem at the heart of Canada's media design and creative industries. It is grounded in Canadian values but with a truly international perspective and scope. It is home to many of Canada's top schools and programs in their field and recognized as a leading institution around the world.
Laurel Walzak, Assistant Professor
Ryerson University, RTA School of Media, Sport Media
Director, The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab)
Ainka Jess, Founder
--ON SPORT MEDIA: "It’s understanding the fan and how to monetize the viewing consumption experience is exactly what everyone is trying to figure out," said Walzak.
--ON SPORT SPONSORSHIP: "In the end, it’s likely McDonald’s decided it needed to change its overall marketing strategy and the Olympics were no longer a good fit. The Olympic brand, however, still faces its own challenges", Walzak wrote.
--ON HOCKEY SPONSORSHIP: We're talking multi-million [dollar investment]. We're not talking about some free apparel and some free running shoes here and there, said Walzak, when referring to women's hockey (CBC Sports Jamie Strashin Nov. 18, 2019)
--ON BODYBUILDING: “Don’t hesitate – sometimes women are afraid to go into the weight room because it’s predominantly men in there, but I can tell you from experience that they are usually helpful and supportive,” she says. “I recommend working with a trainer or using a buddy system with a friend, and celebrate every milestone. And it doesn’t matter your shape or size because when you are physically strong, you go through your life also feeling strong and confident, said Walzak.
ARTICLES & VIDEO MEDIA
1. CBC News Nowhere to go: Girls can still dream in wake of CWHL's collapse, just not too big | CBC Sports https://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/winter/hockey/womens-hockey-minor-hockey-collapse-cwhl-1.5349714?__vfz=medium%3Dsharebar by Jamie Strashi
2. CTV News, October 8, 2019, NBA and China https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1799619
3. Full Stream Ahead by Jeff Hamilton, Winnipeg Free Press Laurel's opinion on Broadcast and Streaming Sports "It’s about trying to get a piece of a very lucrative pie that comes with owning the streaming rights for live sports," said Laurel Walzak, an assistant professor who specializes in sports media at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto.
4. The Olympic-McDonald’s breakup: It’s not you, it’s us, by L. Walzak via The Conversation
5. Business of the Mayweather vs. McGregor Mega Fight (CBC Radio Interviews)
6. Laurel's Expertise Broadcast and Streaming Sports Article
7. Laurel's Opinion - Mayweather vs. McGregor "Mega Fight" August 25, 2017
8. Laurel's Opinion - Cam Newton comment shines light on women's struggles in sports reporting https://lnkd.in/eRztt3M via @torontostar October 5, 2017 by Maija Kappler
9. China Europe International Business School, CEIBS, Shanghai, China https://youtu.be/8E-Kj9yq9po
10. WiSE https://youtu.be/ToseqUfKzO4
11. DAIS/Bell Media/ Ryerson https://www.facebook.com/pg/daiscreates/videos/
12. Business & Burn Out http://bit.ly/2r1BtAf
13. 500 Women Are Transforming Canada's Economic Strengths https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/500-women-transforming-canadas-economic-strengths-laurel-walzak
1. International Women's Day https://www.walktop.com/blogs/walktop-news/a-womans-perspective-on-international-womens-day
June 5, 2018
February 9, 2018
October 5, 2017
Via Toronto Star Article: Cam Newton comment shines light on women's struggles in sports reporting by Maija Kappler (opinion L. Walzak)
September 20, 2017
August 26, 2017
Bars hope to Cash in on Mayweather and McGregor fight, Walzak weighs in
August 25, 2017
Tune in to learn what Laurel Walzak thinks about the Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregar "Mega Fight" on CBC Radio
Big money fight http://www.cbc.ca/1.4262099
SCHEDULE - August 25, 2017 6am to 9am EST
5:45 Toronto--Metro Morning Matt Galloway
6:10 LONDON - London Morning Host: Rebecca Zandbergen
6:20 Ottawa - Ottawa Morning Hallie Cotnam
6:50 Cape Breton (Sydney) - Steve Sutherland
7:20 Winnipeg - Information Radio Marcy Markusa
7:40 Windsor - Windsor Morning Tony Doucette
7:50 Ontario AM Wei Chen
8:00 Whitehorse - A New Day Sandi Coleman
8:10 Calgary--The Eyeopener David Gray
8:30 Prince George / Prince Rupert - Daybreak North Hosts: Robert Doane (PG) Carolina DeRyk
8:40 Regina - The Morning Edition Host: Sheila Cole
8:50 Vancouver - The Early Edition Rick Cluff
July 11, 2017
March 8, 2017
What does international women's day mean to you? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-international-womens-day-mean-you-march-8th-laurel-walzak/