Examinations of sports workers’ welfare in spaces of geopolitical conflict

‘The country is under threat, but the game goes on’

Authored by: L. G. Purdy , G. Z. Kohe , R. Paulauskas

Routledge Handbook of Athlete Welfare

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367193256
eBook ISBN: 9780429201745
Adobe ISBN:


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Late in 2013 and early in 2014, friction between Russia and Ukraine escalated into violence, and conditions continue to be unstable. While political, developmental, and humanitarian issues have been the subject of scholarly attention, there has been an absence of discussions of the ‘everyday’ experiences of people living within these conflict zones. This chapter focuses on the consequences of these contexts for sports workers within broader debates regarding employee welfare and organisational responsibilities. Based on interviews with European, Ukrainian, and American professional basketball sports workers employed in Ukrainian clubs during the 2013–2014 season, we construct short vignettes that demonstrate some of the consequences of conflict on welfare conceptualisations and provisions. Our examinations reveal varied responses to conflict that, we argue, provide pause to question scholarly assumptions about the extent of organisations’ welfare capacities.

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