Should Guttmann revise his definition of modern sport to take out the term “equality”

Using at least two specific examples   (from lectures, readings, films)  we  discussed   , respond the following questions:

  • Should Guttmann revise his definition of modern sport to take out the term “equality”?
  • Should he simply replace “equality” with “inequality”?
  • Should he include some other, third term that better describes the complexity of difference (disability, gender, race) in modernsport culture?

No matter how you answer these questions, you must provide examples and explain your reasoning! HINT: gender (bicycling, media representations); race (basketball); you might even include disability here: (Murderball, “Blind to Failure,” Women Disability and Sports”).


Guttmann defined equality as a characteristic of sport because it did not discriminate between race, gender, social class, religious beliefs, etc (Guttmann 5). People are allowed to participate and to compete in modern sport although they are subjected to those categories. The definition of equality in sport which Guttmann provided, I cannot find a point to revise from the definition of modern sport as it all seems plausible. For instance, Mary Jo Kane, in Playing Unfair, mentions that “Title IX let young girls and ladies to not worry anymore about playing and competing as a team” (Playing Unfair). This example displays the equality that now exists in modern sport and the reason why I think Guttmann’s definition of modern sport should not be revised.

Although I stated equality did exist in modern sport, it is not a perfect definition as there are some limitation exist in gender, funding, and other terms. For example, Mary Jo Kane mentions that “women are 40 percent of all sport participants, but they only receive 3 to 5 percent of the media coverage” (Playing Unfair). However, I do not think replacing equality to inequality is needed. It just indicates that we as a society do not really care for watching women’s sports in our past. Another example indicates that “Manufactures pursued a variety of strategies for gendering the bicycle, asserting that a women’s mode of transportation was available and that riding need not be masculinizing”(Garvey 69). This example shows the equality of gender in our current society and displays that acceptance of women sports have increased.

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