Ricky and the sticky icky: marijuana, sport and the queering of black masculinity

Dickerson, Nikolas (2016) Ricky and the sticky icky: marijuana, sport and the queering of black masculinity. In: European American Studies Association, 22 - 25 April 2016, Constanta, Romania.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


In the 2014 Super Bowl the Denver Broncos took on the Seattle Seahawks. One of the more interesting side stories of this game was the fact that both of these teams hailed from states (Colorado & Washington) where marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older. Since this Super Bowl, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC have also legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Despite the legality of the recreational use of marijuana in states such as Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia where the National Football League (NFL) has pro franchises, the NFL still characterizes the plant as an illegal substance. Additionally despite the recent shifts in marijuana policy in the United States at both the medicinal and recreational level the plant still remains illegal at the federal level. Given the complex status of the marijuana plant in American culture this paper examines mediated narratives of one of the most famous NFL players to use marijuana Ricky Williams, in order to gain a larger understanding of cultural narratives of marijuana use. In this paper I use newspaper coverage, a documentary, and a television interview to examine the cultural narratives constructed about Ricky Williams marijuana use. I draw on Mark Anthony Neal’s concept of “illegible black masculinity” to argue that a critical examination of these texts can work to challenge dominant conceptions of marijuana use, black masculinity, and understandings of mental health at a time where the United States is taking steps to reform marijuana policy.

Keywords:race, masculinity, marijuana, narrative analysis
Subjects: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
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ID Code:24190
Deposited On:19 Sep 2016 08:45

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