Tuesday, Feb 09, 2021
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Sport is deeply embedded into culture and society, yet at the same time can operate in bubbles – both literally and figuratively these days. Sports can be forces for good, positively impacting lives both individually and collectively; but they can also be tools for conflict and despair. At its core, sport is complex, riddled with tensions and irresolvable dilemmas – a sportsplex.
In this talk I will explore some of these tensions, particularly ethical tensions that confront sport in the 21st Century, using examples including Caster Semenya’s fight to participate as a female athlete, Lance Armstrong and the ethics of doping, and the future of sport embodied in the Paralympics. To conclude, I will argue that this complexity, these tensions, makes sport one of humanity’s greatest ‘inventions’ and explains why we do invest so much into it.
Tim Elcombe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). A Past Chair of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Tim’s scholarship explores the connections between sport, society, and culture from ethical and political perspectives. He is currently the co-lead for the BSIA’s STEM for Global Resilience research cluster.