Ricky and the sticky icky: marijuana, sport, and the legibility/illegibility of black masculinity

Dickerson, Nikolas (2018) Ricky and the sticky icky: marijuana, sport, and the legibility/illegibility of black masculinity. Sociology of Sport Journal, 35 (4). pp. 386-393. ISSN 0741-1235

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2017-0033

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

In this article, I examine the ways the popular press, and two sport documentaries construct narratives of Ricky Williams’ marijuana use, early retirement, and return to the National Football League. I argue that all of the texts in question, work to produce a dominant reading of Williams, as someone who is difficult to define, and it is because of inability to put Williams’s identity into a box, that his marijuana use, “strange” personality, and early retirement is used to shoe-horn him into tropes of the bad black athlete. Nonetheless, this paper draws on Mark Anthony Neal’s concept of illegible and legible black masculinity to argue that a re-scripting of these narratives can be used to imagine alternative forms of black masculinity the emphasizes empathy, sensitivity, emotional maturity, and a rejection of domination and material wealth. This analysis is situated within the changing landscape of marijuana legislation and the racial inequity in arrest rates for marijuana.

Keywords:race, marijuana, masculinity, sport, sport media
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T730 American Society and Culture studies
T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T700 American studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:34682
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 10:03

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