Honey or Vinegar? Athletes With Disabilities Discuss Strategies for Advocacy Within the Paralympic Movement
Article written byAndrea Bundon and Laura Hurd Clarke from Loughborough University, UK, and The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
“Drawing on interviews with 25 athletes with disabilities and para-sport participants (coaches, volunteers, and supporters), and on posts and comments made on a multi-authored blog discussing Paralympic sport, this article addresses how individuals advocate on behalf of disability sport. Our findings indicate that athletes and their allies adopt different styles of advocacy ranging in tone from more congenial (honey) to more confrontational (vinegar). In selecting what strategy to employ, advocates take into consideration their assessment of the perceived effectiveness of the strategy as well as the potential for backlash. We discuss our findings in light of Stake and Rosu’s definition of advocacy as a “fundamental act of human being” and within the context of the historically tumultuous relationship between disability rights advocacy and elite sport systems.”
The article was published online before print at the Journal of Sport & Social Issues 0193723514557823, first published on November 18, 2014 as doi:10.1177/0193723514557823