Athletes and Human Rights, Bruce Kidd

Lesson 2 years ago

The Olympic Movement is more than a sports organisation and Pierre de Coubertin saw the potential for athletic training and competition to advance the possibilities of self-realisation. In this lesson, Bruce Kidd explores the various rights of sports people in relation to participation, governance and decision making, and to the issue of doping. Focus is then placed on the development of further rights in the area of media, medicine and education. Media rights concern the notion of ownership of information in rights sales and the control of the athlete over their image. The right to education, which many athletes have to forgo to train and compete, is also discussed. The final part of the lesson relates sporting rights to broader human rights and the need for negotiation and struggle between competing interests to realise the rights of particular groups such as children in sport. The lesson concludes with a view to furthering the cause of athletes’ rights and the potential contribution of the Olympic Movement in achieving this. While broader legislative changes are regarded as necessary, the author emphasises the importance of providing human rights at the individual level.



cv_kiddDr Bruce Kidd is Dean and professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the history and politics of sport and physical activity and the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games. His publications include Political economy of sport (CAHPER, 1979), Athletes’ rights in Canada (with Mary Eberts, Ontario, 1982), and The struggle for Canadian sport (University of Toronto Press, 1996). Recent contributions include: “Another world is possible: recapturing alternative Olympic histories, imagining different games”, in Kevin Young and Kevin Wamsley (Eds.), Global Olympics: Historical and Sociological Studies of the Modern Games (Bangalore: Elsevier, 2005), pp. 145-160; and ‘A new social movement: Sport for development and peace’, Sport in Society, 11 (4), 2008, 370-380. Throughout his career, Bruce has served on numerous international and Canadian advisory boards and commissions.