Weighing the Options

Discrimination Against Fat Golfers

Authors

  • E. Nicole Melton University of Massachusetts–Amherst
  • George B. Cunningham Texas A&M University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2016-0017

Keywords:

weight, prejudice, fat, NCAA, athletics

Abstract

In drawing from multiple theoretical frameworks, including stigma theory (Goffman, 1963; Paetzold, Dipboye, & Eslbach, 2008) and social dominance theory (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999), the purpose of this study was to examine the possibility of weight discrimination among coaches of NCAA women’s golf teams. Coaches participated in an experimental study, where they reviewed the resumes of high school golfers and indicated the likelihood of offering the golfer an athletic scholarship. The resumes varied by weight of the golfer and skill level, and coaches’ social dominance orientation was also measured. Fat golfers were less likely to be offered a scholarship than were thinner golfers. Player skill level moderated these effects, as did the coaches’ social dominance orientation. Contributions, limitations, and future directions are discussed.

Author Biographies

E. Nicole Melton, University of Massachusetts–Amherst

Melton is with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. Cunningham is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

George B. Cunningham, Texas A&M University

Melton is with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. Cunningham is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

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Published

2016-12-01

How to Cite

Melton, E. N., & Cunningham, G. B. (2016). Weighing the Options: Discrimination Against Fat Golfers. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 9(2), 268–281. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2016-0017