While the word “athleticism” applies to physical characteristics and skills, “athletivism” refers to the behaviors, qualities, and choices of athletes engaged in activism within the realm of sports.
Athletivism embodies the specific tactics—Leadership, Absence, Entrepreneurship, Adornment, and Action—that sports activists use to make a difference. Oftentimes, the players using these techniques are misunderstood, criticized, and the recipients of outrage; a common reason being that many people don’t realize or acknowledge the strong link that exists between sports and society. The goal of Athletivism and its interactive web-based timeline is to visualize the tactics; demonstrate how sports activism has been impacted by historical events; show how sports activists peacefully disrupt society; and validate the right of athletes to use their platforms as role models and civic engagers working to create change. As a whole, Athletivism should challenge current perceptions of sports activism and broaden ideas of what it truly means.
Each tactic has its own history. What Leadership, Absence, Entrepreneurship, Adornment, and Action looked like back then varies from what they are now. Explore the website on desktop or mobile to familiarize yourself with these tactics and to learn about the athletes and moments, some known and others unheard of, that characterize Athletivism.