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Heritage and Sport: An Introduction

Ramshaw Final Cover

I am pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of Heritage and Sport: An Introduction. The book is published by Channel View Publications and is scheduled for release in Fall 2019.

Heritage and Sport: An Introduction provides a holistic view of the relationship between heritage and sport. It examines four types of sport heritage: tangible immovable sport heritage (sports venues, monuments and memorials, landscapes); tangible movable sport heritage (museums and halls of fame, events, living sport heritage); intangible sport heritage (intangibility of sport heritage, institutions, existential); and goods and services with a sport heritage component (tourism, marketing, management). It offers both theoretical and applied approaches to the heritage–sport relationship and intersects with many contemporary topics in heritage, sport, tourism, events and marketing. It will be useful to students and researchers in sport tourism, sport studies, heritage studies, sport history, museum studies and sports management. The table of contents is as follows:

Introduction

The Relationship Between Heritage and Sport

Part 1 – Tangible Immovable Sport Heritage 

Sports Venues and Sport Heritage

Monuments, Memorials, and Sport Heritage

Landscapes and Sport Heritage

Part 2 – Tangible Movable Sport Heritage 

Sports Museums, Sports Halls of Fame, and Sport Heritage

Events and Sport Heritage

Living Sport Heritage

Part 3 – Intangible Sport Heritage 

Intangibility and Sport Heritage

Institutions and Sport Heritage

Existential Sport Heritage

Part 4 – Goods and Services with a Sport Heritage Component

Tourism and Sport Heritage

Marketing and Sport Heritage

Managing Sport Heritage

Conclusion

Future Directions in Sport Heritage

The book is currently available for pre-order from the following websites:

Channel View Publications, Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), and Amazon (Canada).

I will add further details about release dates etc. as they are received.

 

 

Memorials and Sport Heritage: Gilles Villeneuve and Circuit Zolder

Excerpt from Gerald Donaldson’s Gilles Villeneuve: The Life of the Legendary Racing Driver:

“Saturday, May 8, 1982 – Zolder, Belgium

It was 1.52 p.m. in the pine forests of eastern Belgium. There were just eight minutes to go in the final qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix. The sky was dull and grey after morning showers, but the track surface was dry. The drivers were trying to improve their grid positions for tomorrow’s race.

None was trying harder than the French Canadian in the red number 27 Ferrari. He came powering through the chicane on full throttle and disappeared over the hill towards Teramenbocht, one of the most difficult curves on the Zolder circuit. It was to be his last lap.

The engine noises stopped. An eerie hush spread around the 4.26-kilomtre track. Spectators whispered nervously at the unexpected silence. Suddenly the track announcer began screaming hysterically about a huge accident involving one of the Ferraris…”

Tragedy is not a particularly common theme in sport heritage. From the academic field, Stride et al for example examined tragedy and memorialization for soccer players killed mid-career while Huggins looked at graveyard commemorations of sporting heroes. Public memorials to, for example, the Busby Babes of Manchester United have been looked at in detail, but most athletes do not die particularly young and rarely while participating in their sport. However, motor sport is perhaps one of the areas where we see the memorials to athletes most frequently, although they provide unique geographical forms of recognition, remembrance, and memorialization.

Gilles Villeneuve was a Canadian racing driver, most famously competing with Ferrari in Formula One between 1977-1982. He was known at the time as one of the fastest and most unrelenting drivers in the series. During the qualifying at Zolder for the Belgian Grand Prix, he hit another car while passing, launching his car into a air and then somersaulting – ultimately throwing Villeneuve from his car. He was sent by air ambulance to the St Raphael hospital in nearby Leuven where he was pronounced dead later the same evening. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, later competed in Formula One, winning the championship in 1997.

Circuit Zolder is no longer used for Formula One races (the Belgian Grand Prix has been at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit since 1985) though it does regularly host races from other racing competitions. Villeneuve is remembered at the site in three different ways. The first is in the paddock area, and is a publicly accessible sculpture which features Villeneuve’s car, helmet, autograph, maple leaves to represent his Canadian homeland, and the Ferrari logo to represent his team:

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The other two memorials require special access (in our case, generously provided by one of the Zolder staff). One is the chicane which is named after Villeneuve (was changed from a corner to a chicane in the mid-1980s):

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The other is a small memorial at the location where Villeneuve’s body lay after his crash:

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Zolder is one of several locations throughout the world where Villeneuve is honoured, including at the Ferrari test track and in his hometown in Quebec where there is a museum about him. Perhaps most notably the circuit in Montreal, where the Canadian Grand Prix is held, is named after him. The geography of memorialization in this case – and maybe it is the case through other motorsports deaths – is somewhat dispersed, perhaps recognizing the rather nomadic nature of the sport which does not necessarily have a “home field” or venue in the same ways as other sports do. In this case, Villeneuve has memorials in three different countries, owing to his citizenship, the location of his death, and his team. Similar dispersed geographies of remembrance can be seen in the case of Dale Earnhardt Sr, who has various locations named after him, as well as a heritage trail in his hometown. Interestingly, the location of his death at the Daytona International Speedway – though having a statue of him – does not appear to discuss his death in their public tours and museum.

An intriguing element to the Villeneuve story in Belgium is that two of his memorials in Zolder – the chicane and the trackside marker – are both inaccessible to the public. In our case, it was only the generosity of a Zolder staff member who took us to the site in his car that made our access possible. In discussions with this staff member, he noted that the track does not really want to promote their association with Villeneuve’s death – noting that it “is already bad enough that he died here.” He also said that the interest in seeing the memorials are sporadic, normally occurring around the anniversary of his death on May 8. He also said that the main people who want to visit are Canadians and Italians, owing to Villeneuve’s nationality and team. He said that very few general motorsport or Formula One fans express much knowledge or interest in the Villeneuve story at Zolder.

A final, and unmarked, location in the Villeneuve story in Belgium is that of the St Raphael Hospital in Leuven, where Villeneuve actually passed-away later the same day as his accident:

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There are, as expected, no public markers noting the historical link to Villeneuve. In some respects, Villeneuve “died” at Zolder, with the announcement at Leuven being a mere formality.

Although there appears to still be interest in Villeneuve by some racing fans, his legacy appears to be largely viewed through the lens of nationality and team affiliation. Certainly, Zolder acknowledges his death, but does not publicly promote their track as a place of pilgrimage. Perhaps the closest parallel to Villeneuve is Ayrton Senna, who died at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. However, though Villeneuve and his memory appears to be largely part of the sport’s past, Senna may still be one of the sport’s most popular drivers some twenty-five years after his death. Unlike Senna, Villeneuve’s memory is not necessarily a commodity beyond a select few tourists who make their way to one of his memorial sites in Canada, Belgium, or Italy. Senna name and legacy, on the other hand, are attached to numerous events, products, and tourism experiences. Indeed, one could see Villeneuve perhaps being forgotten by race fans over time.

 

 

 

 

 

The Legacy Museum: Should Athlete Activists Receive More Attention?

Special post by Felipe Tobar, doctoral student at Clemson University.

Introduction

The 2019 MLK Civil Rights Trip organized by Clemson University through “Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center,” between January 18-21, took undergraduate and graduate students to Montgomery, Alabama, in order to foster discussions regarding slavery and racism throughout the history of the United States. This trip included visiting sites such as Tuskegee University, The Legacy Museum, and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

In addition to learning more about US history, my focus of this trip was (a) to identify how the Legacy Museum in particular incorporated Sport Heritage; (b) understanding how this discourse was created; and (c) make in situ observations to identify visitors’ reactions at different museums displays. Besides the presentation of the highlights of this experience, this essay discusses an alternative to increase the level of activism of the museum’s visitors, especially young visitors, toward racial inequality in the current century.

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(Photo of the Legacy Museum’s façade)

Legacy Museum Overview

Opened to the public in April 2018, “The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration” is a project of “The Equal Justice Initiative,” a private nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, to advocate against racial and economic injustices experienced by marginalized people, in particular African Americans. As part of the project to change the narrative about race in America, the museum was intentionally built on a former warehouse where enslaved black people were imprisoned, and between a historic slave market and the main river dock and train station which was a point of entrance for a large number of enslaved people.

According to the museum’s official website, its creation was influenced by international initiatives that organized similar projects to tackle, expose, and debate tragical moments of the human history such as the genocide in Rwanda, the Apartheid in South Africa, and the Jewish persecution by the Nazi regime in Europe. The museum’s initial displays demonstrate a Transformative Paradigm which combine traditional exhibitions with new technology to help understand the conditions of enslaved people, as well as contend with the histories of slavery, lynching, and segregation which has its roots in the 17th century.

For Creswell (2014), this paradigm was adopted in the 1980s by researchers who did not agree with a post-positivist framework that did not recognize marginalized individuals or social issues that should be addressed. As such, the Transformative Paradigm also differentiates from a constructivist stance for clearly assuming a political standpoint and inviting an action agenda to support those minorities against “different oppressions based on gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class that results in asymmetric power relationships” (p.88).

Indeed, the first impressions regarding this paradigm were later confirmed through different statements made by people who are directly or indirectly involved with the museum in a video posted at the museum’s website.  Located in a state still famous for racist incidents (e.g., the public celebration of Dr. Sims, “the father of gynecology,” honored with statues at the Alabama State Capitol, even after conducting hundreds of brutal medical experiments on enslaved black women), the museum was created to “be a place where the truth can be told” (Jonathan Kubakundimana); to “expose the narratives that allowed us, as a country, to tolerate suffering and injustice among people of color” (Sia Sanneh); and to incentive people to “come through our museum and walk out with an opportunity to do something” (Bryan Stevenson).

The museum purposely provokes an emotional response from visitors. Chronologically, its displays explain how slavery was justified by false notions of black inferiority and supported by legal, political, religious and scientific institutions, as well as emphasize details about the practice of lynching, the domestic slave trade, mass, and other relevant topics.

Visitors face shocking historical facts such as the murder of 4.000 African Americans between 1880 and 1940 in lynching events based on the necessary effort “to protect white southerners from black criminals”, or the separation of nearly half of all black families in the USA as a consequence of the domestic slave trade (1808-1865). Throughout the museum, it is also possible to read newspapers announcements and second-hand testimonies regarding the impacts on the lives of African Americans before, during and after the official period of slavery in America:

“I saw a mother lead seven children to the auction block. She knew that some of them would be taken from her; but they took all. (…) She wrung her hands in anguish, and exclaimed, ‘Gone! All gone! Why don’t God kill me?” (Second-hand testimony displayed in the first stage of the museum next to the entrance)

“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” George Wallace – Governor of Alabama, 1963

(Quote presented in the third stage of the museum which highlights the historic process of segregation).

John Hart field will be lynched by Ellisville mob at 5 o’clock this afternoon- 1919, June 26. “It is expected that he will be burned.”  (Newspaper announcement displayed in the fourth stage of the museum which highlights episodes of lynching).

In summary, visitors will have an impactful experience within the Legacy Museum when confronted with the reality of racism in America, both in the past and today.

Sport Heritage at the Legacy Museum

As Ramshaw and Gammon (2016) argue, the sporting past is not only about celebrating and nostalgic moments, but can also illuminate harmful and negative legacies from sport’s past. The authors suggest two approaches: the ‘heritage of sport’ which examines sport heritage that is self-contained (records and athletic achievements, for example) A second approach (and more useful to this essay) looked at “sport as heritage”, that is to say, “when its practices, its rituals, and its history transcend sport and become representative of a people” (Ramshaw & Gammon, 2016, p.117).

Regarding the latter conceptualization, the achievement of Jackie Robinson in 1947 as the first Major League baseball player to break the color barrier since 1880, which provided an encouraging influence in the “upcoming Civil Rights Movement by giving Americans a heroic African-American sports figure to rally around” (McBirney, 2017) is often remembered. Although the Legacy Museum does not account for the impact of Jackie Robinson in the historical segregation process in America, Muhammad Ali was pictured among others social activists.

 

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(Photo of Muhammad Ali amongst other social activists)

Here, it is noteworthy to emphasize that Ali’s resistance to racial inequality was not addressed separately, i.e., with particular attention to his achievements out of the boxing ring but through a quote of Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) who stated:

If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs.

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(Texts from laws during the Jim Crow era)

Another stage of the museum displayed transcripts of the Jim Crow laws’ period (1876-1965), where racial segregation was mandatory in public facilities in the states that were part of the former Confederate States of America. Six, in particular, were connected to Sport Heritage and exemplified the constraints concerning leisure experiences that black people were forced to deal for almost a century.

The first display illustrated paragraph 66-1005 of the “1942 Code of the City of Atlanta (Georgia)”, which state:

It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play … within two blocks of a play grounded devoted to the white race.

The article 614-11 of the Texas Penal Code of 1947 was also displayed demanding segregation rules into the boxing and wrestling practices:

“No individual, firm, club, copartnership, association, company or corporation shall …. Knowingly permit any fistic combat match, boxing, sparring or wrestling contest or exhibition between any person of the Caucasian or “White” race and one of the African or “Negro” race.

By its turn, one excerpt of the Oklahoma state laws (Chapter 70, paragraph 13246 of 1935; and Title 82, paragraph 489 of 1949) regarding the fishing, boating and, bathing exercises was transcript too:

“The [Conservation] Commission shall have the right to make segregation of the white and colored races as to the exercise of rights of fishing, boating and bathing.”

Additionally, the Alabama State code (Chapters 20, paragraph 28; and 34, paragraph 5) of 1952 was portrayed to illustrate other restrictions suffered by black people either on games or public spaces, respectively:

“It shall be unlawful for a negro and a white person to play together or in company with each other in the city in any game of cards, dice, dominoes or checkers.”

“It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator or person in charge of any room, hall, theater, picture house, auditorium, yard, court, ball park or other indoor or outdoor place to which both white persons and negroes are admitted, in the city, to cause, permit, or allow therein or thereon any theatrical performance, picture exhibition, speech, educational or entertainment program or athletic contest of any king whatsoever, unless such place has entrances, exits and seating or standing sections set aside for and assigned to the use of negroes, by well defined physical barriers, and unless the members of each race are effectively restricted and confined to the sections set aside for and assigned to the use of such race”.

Finally, The Code of the South Carolina State (1962) was found pictured in the museum, however in connection to restriction on Public Parks, Pools and, Beaches:

“In all counties containing a city of a population in excess of 60,000, according to the 1930 census, it shall be unlawful to maintain public parks, public recreation centers, public amusement centers, and public bathing beaches for the joint use and enjoyment of both the white and colored races.

….

It shall be unlawful for any person of the white race to enter, use or attempt to use any such place which is duly posted to be dedicated and maintained for the use of the colored race; and it shall be unlawful for any person of the colored race to enter, use or attempt to use any such place which is duly posted to be dedicated and maintained for the use of the white race”.

Despite those impactful displays that correlated with the sporting past, it seems that the museum could obtain even more resonance if explored contemporary issues of the American sports universe. This opinion is discussed in more details in the following topic.

Kaepernick and Racial Inequality: An Opportunity Missed?

In the last stage of the museum, visitors come across a large wall displaying pictures that invite critical reflections toward polemical themes that have been affecting the lives of African Americans. Below each photograph, there is a question purposely designed to install in visitors a sense of injustice. (e.g., “Why memorials and monuments are still honoring soldiers of the Confederacy Army in many southern states?”; “Do churches and people of faith have a special obligation to address the history of racial inequality?”).

This “Critical Wall” also address distinctive topics such as the problem of sentencing children to die in prison, rehabilitation of incarcerated people, racial segregation in schools, the death penalty, racial injustice and the church, school to prison pipeline, and police shootings of unarmed people.

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(Photo of the “Critical Wall”)

However, even though the historic tradition of players activists in America (e.g. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos) who have used sports as a platform to reach a bigger audience and promote social awareness about racial inequality, the “Legacy Museum” revealed a complete absence on addressing past and contemporary racial issues through activist players’ lenses.

As the literature already demonstrated sport is a vehicle for progressive social change (Kaufman and Wolff, 2010) and, a representation of, the increasing cultural importance to debate the relevance of human rights (Giulianotti, 2005). In this decade America has experienced a remarkable case within the football universe that produced significative discussions and criticism between owners, players, media, and fans in general about the role of the government policies to achieve an egalitarian country.

“I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world.”

Whether you may think that this phrase is attributed to Colin Kaepernick, you are wrong. In fact, this is a quote made by the former star baseball player, Jackie Robinson, in his autobiography in 1972 “I Never Had It Made.” Indeed, there is no doubt that it could be easily linked to the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, who started in 2016 a series of peaceful protests against social injustices and policy brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games. Contrary to the legendary number 42, who has been celebrated by professional sports organizations as does Muhammed Ali, Kaepernick who is still considered a free agent after no team offered him a contract since 2017 is only accumulating awards for his awareness and encouragement for the matters of minorities outside the sports community.

In 2017, Kaepernick was the recipient of the “2017 Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award”, an honor attributed to a person who uses sports as a stage for changing the world. In the occasion, through the words of Lonnie Ali, Muhammad’s widow, it becomes clear how many similarities both shared in defense of black people interests:

“Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”(Rosenberg, 2017).

In addition, after receiving Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies, the “W.E.B. Du Bois Medal” (Nathan, 2018), Kaepernick joined Muhammad Ali (2015) as the only other athlete to be presented with this award. Kaepernick acknowledged the importance to continue raising debates and initiatives to change the status quo:

“I feel it’s not only my responsibility but all of our responsibilities that – as people who are in positions of privilege, in positions of power – we continue to fight for them, uplift them, empower them.”(BBC, 2018).

As demonstrated throughout recent America’s history, influential players have become a voice for black communities in an attempt to promote better living conditions, and in parallel ended up representing the roots of the Transformative framework, markedly impacted by political and social action. Even though still neglected by the museum, the connections with Colin Kaepernick’s social justice advocacy are evident if we take into consideration that the museum displays the central symbol of the NFL player protests: The United States flag. In the museum entrance, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is critically adapted with the museum’s motto: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.

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(American flag augmented to include the museum’s motto)

Another factor that would justify the inclusion of players activist prominence in discussions promoted by the museum touches on the original purpose of the museum’s creation. As posited in the official website, the museum was built to serve as a reconciling and educational vehicle to tackle racial inequality in contemporary problems. In this regard, considering that the observations made in situ revealed a significative number of youngers visiting the museum, not adding current sporting heritage discussions through their displays reveals a missed opportunity to influence activism on a public that is remarkably connected to sports, most specifically, with particular athletes.

As pointed out by Smoll (2015), a sports psychologist at the University of Washington, athletes are role models that can positively influence the next generation. In other words, the players’ lifestyle is a significant influential factor in children’s values, character, and behavior. Then, in a country where the education system is structured aligned with sports programs at the high school and college levels, offering a critical view through players’ lenses constitutes a golden opportunity to enhance social awareness.

Reinforcing this suggestion are the numbers provided by the National Center for Education Statistics showing that in fall 2018, about 56.6 million students attended elementary and secondary schools, and 19.9 million were enrolled in colleges and universities. On the other hand, the identification of roughly 8 million high-school student-athletes in the U.S. by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is another solid representation about the need of using the history of players activists in the Legacy Museum.

The museum experience could also help student-athletes realizes the social, economic and political influences that they are exposed in their institutional sports programs, therefore encouraging them not to hide their personal beliefs and fostering a critical thinking behavior about the challenges of modern life. Last but not least, by opening this contemporary sporting channel of discussions, museums’ organizers could also establish a parallel with the alleged collusion plan orchestrated by NFL owners that structured a type of “death penalty” on Kaepernick’s dream to play professional football to explain harder issues of racial segregation that have been happening in the past with black people on a range of other social environments.

Conclusion

Although the “Legacy Museum” is a site where visitors are exposed to sorrowful episodes of America’s history that even can lead to disbelief on humankind, simultaneously, it was revealed to be a critical space that either instigate or reinforce active engagement concerning racial issues.  Throughout this essay, it was possible to demonstrate the existence of sport heritage displays inside the museum, however under a structure which restrains the potential influential contributions that sports are capable of addressing for this kind of exhibitions.

In a country which needs to promote social consciousness regarding the history of African Americans, especially to the next generations that will ended up substituting the current one who inevitably still have racist influences on their behavior, the connection with Sport Heritage through the examples of remarkable players activists like Colin Kaepernick, ought to be considered by the museum organizers. Such important addition to the “Critical Wall” would certainly increase the probability of visitors leaving Montgomery not only as “students” or “student-athletes” but as social activists for a most egalitarian American society.

FELIPE BERTAZZO TOBAR is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department at Clemson University.  His interests lie in critical studies of heritage, with a particular interest in sport heritage. He received his bachelor’s degree in Law (2014) and obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage and Society (2017) from the Univille University, in the city of Joinville, Brazil. He can be reached on Twitter at @felipebtobar

Works cited

BBC Sport. (2018). Colin Kaepernick: NFL quarterback calls for further protests against racial injustice. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/sport/american-football/45833787

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). (n.d.). About EJI. Retrieved from https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/about

EJI’s New Legacy Museum. (2017) Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=101&v=SMvPXAowNgk

Giulianotti, R. (2005). Sport: A critical sociology. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Kaufman, P., & Wolff, E. A. (2010). Playing and protesting: Sport as a vehicle for social change. Journal of Sport and Social Issues34(2), 154-175.

McBirney, J. (2017). How Jackie Robinson Changed Baseball. Retrieved from: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/how-jackie-robinson-changed-baseball

Nathan, A. (2018). Colin Kaepernick Receives W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard. Retrieved from: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2800384-colin-kaepernick-receives-web-du-bois-medal-from-harvard

National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Fast Facts. Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

NCAA. (n.d.) Probability of Competing Beyond High School. Retrieved from: http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes

Robinson, J., Duckett, A., & Davis, O. (1972). I never had it made. New York: Putnam.

Rosenberg, M. (2017). Colin Kaepernick is Recipient of 2017 Awards Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. Retrieved from:https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/30/colin-kaepernick-muhammad-ali-legacy-award

Smoll, F. (2015) Are Athletes Good Role Models? Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/coaching-and-parenting-young-athletes/201504/are-athletes-good-role-models

Creating a new heritage: Changing names, emblems, kits, and mascots of football clubs.

Special post by Felipe Tobar, doctoral student at Clemson University.

In a country where a variety of football elements is recognized as part of the cultural heritage of different states and cities (Tobar and Gusso, 2018), any intent that seeks to modify that heritage will undoubtedly generate polarized opinions usually influenced by the passion that guides fans towards their beloved football team.

On December 11, 2018, the former ‘Clube Atlético Paranaense’ (CAP), a Brazilian football club, became the focus of the football press in Brazil not just because of their participation in the Copa Sudamericana 2018 finals against Junior Barranquilla from Colombia, but rather after unveiling the new visual identity of the club which consisted of a new name, emblem, uniforms, and mascots. The changes were presented by Mario Celso Petraglia, former club’s president, who reinforced that such moment was part of a long-term project operated by modern practices of football management that envision the internationalization of the club: “Atletico needs an identity, a national and an international identity. If we pretend to be one of the biggest clubs in the world, we have to have a unique identity. The creation of our own identity was necessary as we have never had one.” (Facebook page of CAP, 2018).

Based on a quantitative research that asked 18.000 official supporters about several topics including what constituted the club’s essence, the brand design company hired to create the club’s new identity concluded that the club’s nickname – `Furacāo` (Hurricane in English), was part of the DNA of the club, thus deserving to be a central element in the transformative process. As such, taking the Brazilian indigenous interpretation regarding the word ‘Hurricane,’ which consists of a ‘Promise of a new era’ and in an explicit attempt to avoid similarities with Atletico Mineiro, a Brazilian football team where former Barcelona star, Ronaldinho Gaúcho played in 2015, the club readopted the original name ‘Club Athletico Paranaense’. This included a redesign of the former emblem which dated back of 1997, changing the traditional black and red vertical stripes on the uniform that was a reminder of the AC Milan shirt, announcing the new mascots which comprised of a family with a dog (a clear message against previous episodes of violence produced by the organized supporters named “Os Fanatics.”)

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Photo 1: Throughout its history, the club had more than ten different emblems.

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Photo 2: Comparisons between the old and new uniform.

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Photo 3: Comparison between the old and new mascots.

For many fans, all these elements are considered sacred, and therefore could never be modified. To illustrate, in the recent past Hull City fans did not support the new brand identity proposed by the owner Assem Allam who wanted to rebrand the club as ‘Hull City Tigers’ as he believed it was more marketable than simply ‘Hull City’ (Jolly, 2013), while Everton temporarily angered fans in 2013 after removed from their emblem the Latin motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum (Nothing but the best is good enough), which was later reincluded due to an online petition moved by fans to club’s board (BBC, 2013). Also, Cardiff City fans forced the club owner Vincent Tam in 2015 to reestablish the blue kit with a bluebird badge after the decision of playing in red shirts with a dragon badge. (ESPN, 2015). In the current year, approximately 51.000 Leeds United supporters did not agree and criticized through an online petition the new emblem that the club intended to launch to mark the club’s centenary, thus forcing to reopen the consultation process and keeping the current logo. (BBC, 2018).

As Williams (2017) cleverly identified “(i)n soccer (football), altering or even the suggestion of altering, heritage-filled insignia is a perilous task. Changing iconic, and often beloved, emblems that are emblazoned on clothes and mugs, painted on city walls and even tattooed on bodies has become an almost certain way to cause rifts among fans and provoke outrage on social media, where criticism can be registered and amplified exponentially in an instant.” Nonetheless, despite this visceral relation that many fans nurtured with different club heritages, history have demonstrated that several football teams have changed at least one of their elements throughout their histories. For example, Manchester United had five different emblems throughout its history, and has played as Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in a green-and-gold kit until 1902 when switched to the famous red. Chelsea was first named ‘The Pensioners’ and only saw the adoption of the famous Lion in 1950. Arsenal also rebranded its emblem in 2002, with the most significant change on the cannon that faced other direction (left to right). Liverpool, which in 2018 revealed a new emblem to commemorate its 125th anniversary, excluding historical elements such as the shield added in the 1980s as well as the Shankly Gates and Hillsborough tribute on which were stamped the words to the club’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” inserted in the 1990s. Most recently, clubs like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and with more significant impact, Juventus, based on market strategies also redrawn their logos in an attempt to attract more fans and become a lifestyle brand.

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Photo 4: Evolution of Juventus’ emblems since its foundation.

As Dave Moor (2009) inform the tradition of wearing uniform kits began to appear around 1870 as a response to the difficulty of distinguishing players of both teams. For example, accordingly, to the rules of Sheffield FC in 1857, there was just the obligation to wear a red or dark blue flannel cap by each side. In 1890, two years after its foundation, the Football League determined that clubs should register their colors and kits to avoid repetition, which has helped the development of football as a spectator sport since fans could pick out their teams from a considerable distance.

The intentional reference to this rule facilitated many of the protests on social media promoted by Athletico’s fans against the modification of the heritage elements of the club. Many authors from social sciences (Archetti, 1994; Coelho, 2002; Giulianotti, 2002) have demonstrated that football plays a crucial role in identity-building. If at the beginning of the football association fans started to identify themselves with teams only through the uniform colors, football supporters nowadays consider every element that constitutes the team (name, emblem, uniform, mascots, nicknames, and other symbols) as vehicles of representation of the club’s identity, and by extension, of their respective personal identities.

According to McGregor (2014) identity is a source of proud (e.g., proud to be part of a family, a neighbourhood, or a city) and is exercised through the construction of symbols and discourses that necessarily need material support and meanings to exist. In this sense, the heritage elements of any club play a fundamental role nurturing this proud between fans either as a way of remembering historical achievements or simply by aesthetic reasons. Athletico’s fans who declared opposition to the redrawn process of the tangible heritage elements of the club would probably argue that such changes were not needed since the glorious achievements of the past happened when the team wore the former kit and emblem (e.g., Brazilian Championship in 2001 and the Copa Sudamericana in 2018). As football can be interpreted as a ‘social active language’ (Domingos, 2015) influencing the everyday discussions, several fans through a constant oral or written exercise of social and intergenerational interaction will end up reproducing those unforgettable moments, thus creating some resistance to what they consider radical changes to the history and identity of the club.

Aesthetic reasons are also one of the justifications in the rejection of this new heritage, especially if the new design does not match the values and beliefs of the supporters. Here, is essential to remind that fans usually take control of the club’s heritage elements to not only state their values, beliefs, and preferences, but most importantly (as it is implied in the core of the identity concept) to differentiate themselves from other clubs and supporters (especially in relation to their biggest rival). Regarding this point, as soon as the new brand was announced, many fans from Coritiba, Athletico’s biggest rival started to create memes and jokes on social media targeting the fact that the emblem reminded them of Honda’s motorcycle brand.

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Photo 5: Similarities between the logos of CAP and Honda.

Others denounced that the new logo was a copy of Nike’s logo for a 10km race promoted in Stockholm in the year 2015.

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Photo 6: Nike’s logo for a race promoted in Sweden.

Despite the criticism from rivals and from some of the club’s own supporters, the `Club Athletico Paranaense` reinforced that the changes operated on the “symbolic system” of the club will remain, therefore giving space for the “creation of new moments, a future heritage” (Critchley, 2017, p.151). As a consequence of making room for new heritages, the Brazilian club can benefit economically from what is already being considered an authentic move for many sports journalists who view Athletico as a pioneer in best football management practices. (The club has the most modern training facility in Brazil featuring hotels, restaurants, and thermal pools, and is the only football team in South America to have a stadium with a retractable roof).

As sport heritage is even more connected to marketing initiatives, there is a broad avenue of opportunities for Club Athletico Paranaense make even their most angry fans happy and satisfied again with the new era of the club. As Scola and Gordon (2017) suggests there are five practical areas of retro marketing in sport: 1- Imagery (Logo/uniform redesigns; throwback uniforms); 2- Merchandising (Retro-centric sport merchandisers and team retro merchandise); 3 – Venue (Team hall of fames; Historical displays); 4 – Gameday Promotions (Giveaways; Theamed games/events); and 5 – Advertising (Elements in traditional ads; Campaigns celebrating milestones).

For example, CAP can create a throwback section for its fans offering the beloved uniforms as well as establishing one special game in the following seasons to players wear the former kit. Particular designs emphasizing the team’s past could also be included in new new souvenirs and apparel. In addition, there is much potential to explore legendary players images by promoting their past through displays at the stadium or even to inaugurate their hall of fame museum. This latter initiative would also symbolize the definitive access to a new future where new legends are expected to be `worshiped` by the fans.

Furthermore, game days can be a vehicle to promote the conquers of the past, thus boosting a desire on fans to repeat it in the new era inaugurated by the club. By activating the `golden memories` of their fans, CAP can repeat the success of many American teams which not only celebrate the past with a giveaway but celebrate the anniversary of a championship gathering the players in front of the entire stadium. The title of the Copa Sudamericana 2018, certainly can be a target for this kind of action in the next year. Another sphere that is open to exploring is advertising and as Scola and Gordon (2017, p.204) informs utilizing retro marketing into the nostalgic feelings of their fans has been found to be effective in marketing.

As this post intended to demonstrate the ‘Club Athletico Paranaense’ has built a new heritage, therefore provoking several changes on its tangible elements followed by passionate discussions between their supporters and rivals. Furthermore, it showed that this move is not uncommon throughout the football history which exhibits an extensive list of important clubs that modified especially their emblems. However, this particular move of CAP can also represent the first attempt of any Brazilian team to acquire the right of a place in the global football stage, which has been explored by few European clubs seeking for new markets, thus reinforcing the common assumption which understands football as the global game. As such, there won’t be a surprise if, in the next season, Athletico Paranaense start international tours and in few years opening offices abroad as Bayern Munchen, Barcelona and Manchester United have recently done in Asia or North America.

FELIPE BERTAZZO TOBAR is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department at Clemson University.  His interests lie in critical studies of heritage, with a particular interest in sport heritage. He received his bachelor’s degree in Law (2014) and obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage and Society (2017) from the Univille University, in the city of Joinville, Brazil. He can be reached on Twitter at @felipebtobar

References

Archetti, E. (1994). Masculinity and football: The formation of national identity in Argentina. Game without frontiers: Football, identity and modernity, 225-243.

Athletico Paranaense’s Facebook page. In Facebook. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.facebook.com/atleticopr.

BBC. Everton motto to return after fans condemn badge redesign. In BBC.com. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-24157391

BBC. Leeds United: Consultation on change to club’s crest to be reopened. In BBC.com. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/42811556

Coelho, J. N. (2002). Some notes on football and national identity in Portugal. Fanatics: Power, Identity and Fandom in Football, 158.

Critchley, S. (2017).What We Think About When We Think About Football. London: Profile Books.

Domingos, N. Futebol e Colonialismo, Corpo e Cultura Popular em Moçambique. Lisboa: ICS, 2015

ESPN. Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan confirms return to traditional blue kit. In ESPN.com. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from http://www.espn.com/soccer/league-name/story/2234909/headline

Giulianotti, R. (2002). Supporters, followers, fans, and flaneurs: A taxonomy of spectator identities in football. Journal of sport and social issues26(1), 25-46.

Jolly, R. Hull to become ‘Hull City Tigers’. In ESPN.com. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from http://www.espn.com/soccer/barclays-premier-league/story/1517599/hull-city-owners-to-change-clubs-irrelevant-name

McGregor, J.  Patrimonio Cultural como fundamento de la identidad y memoria. In Youtube. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRAQXYXPr7I&t=1404s

Moor, D. A Brief History of Football Kit Design in England and Scotland. In Historical Football Kits. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Articles/History.htm

Scola, Z., & Gordon, B. S. (2018). A Conceptual Framework for Retro Marketing in Sport. Sport Marketing Quarterly27(3).

Tobar, F. B., & de Carvalho Gusso, L. S. (2018). Tras los bastidores de la patrimonialización cultural del fútbol brasilero en siglo XXI. Em Questão.

Williams, J. In Soccer, Teams Change Logos at Their Peril. In New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/sports/soccer/britain-soccer-liverpool-crest.html

The Cultural Heritage discourse inside the Brazilian National Team Museum

Special post by Felipe Tobar, doctoral student at Clemson University. For Part One about this topic, please see here.

As previously stated in my first contribution in this space, the second post of a two-post series focusing on heritage analysis of the “Museu da Seleçāo Brasileira” (Brazilian National Team Museum – BNTM), would be concentrated on how CBF is managing the discourse of the practice of football and the National Team as Brazil’s Cultural Heritage through its museum displays. The purpose of this debate derives from the results of my master’s thesis in which I revealed a well-structured patrol at the National Congress by the `bench-ball` (approximately 40 politicians supported directly or indirectly by CBF) participating in discussions of draft bills which intended to recognize football and the Brazilian national team as part of the Brazilian Cultural Heritage realm.

In that post, I concluded that such mobilization derived from CBF’s knowledge and concern of session 5 (III) of the Brazilian Public Prosecutor’s Office Law (Law No 75 of 1993), which states, among others functions and duties that the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office shall protect the Brazilian Cultural Heritage. As such, whether both were declared part of Brazil’s Cultural Heritage, first the hegemonic discourse of complete autonomy against any state interference would be put into jeopardy; second and more critical, the CBF’s economical transactions could immediately be placed under investigation as the entity would fall under the radar of the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The international context of football directors’ arrests as a result of the disclosure of FIFA Gate case in 2015, which forced CBF to increase its vigilance in the backstage of the political field towards any attempts against its interests has led me to expect a lack of displays linking the Brazilian National Team or the practice of football to the discourse of Cultural Heritage.  As I anticipated in my first post, since the beginning of the tour CBF introduces a nostalgic video which highlights historical moments demonstrating the social importance of football and the National squad to the Brazilian population. By engaging in a sociological interpretation, it was a representation of the social construction of the Brazilian identity through football initiated during the presidential term of Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945 / 1951-1954).

Despite the fact that the second exhibition (“Origins”) also reinforced how football become an influential element of the Brazilian culture, traditions, and habits of its population, I ultimately could find answers regarding the use of the cultural heritage discourse by CBF after entering into the seventh exhibition entitled “Brazil: 27 States, only one DNA.” Almost at the end of the tour, CBF displays 27 balls that were randomly collected by its employees along 26 states and at the Federal District from kids who were playing the game on the streets in exchange for new and official balls.

Brazil 27 states

Photo: Brazil: 27 States, only one DNA.

According to the guide, the intention of organizing and displaying those balls into acrylic boxes decorated with particular symbols of the respective state cultures that can be visited and experienced in Brazil, was to reinforce that although the existence of multiple football cultures – different styles of play – coexisted within the country, at the end football was perceived as an unfragmented tradition of its people. Perhaps the most symbolic proof of this interpretation is the creation of the famous slogan “the jogo bonito” (the beautiful game), which is a representation of the unique Brazilian football style often remembered, explored and commented every four years as a result of the World Cup.

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Photo: “Rio de Janeiro State Football Box” – The pavement promenade from Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro is featured in the company of samba houses and the ‘favelas’ (shanty towns), another particular characteristic of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Immediately after listening such explanation, I asked the guide if that display was planned to show visitors that football and by extension its National Team were part of Brazil’s Cultural Heritage. For my surprise, the guide answered that both were already nominated as part of the Brazilian Cultural Heritage as a result of the bill n. 1429/2007 presented by Deputy Silvio Torres, which object stated: “The Brazilian football team, in its various categories, compose the Brazilian Cultural Heritage and is considered of high social interest, for the Public Prosecutor Act 1993 Section 5 (I and III)”. Contrary to what the guide believed, the legislation proposal although approved at the Commission of Culture in December 2015, was later rejected after majority decision (9 votes against 5) at the Commission of Sport in November 2016. Currently, the bill is waiting for new analysis at the Commission of Constitution and Justice since April 2017. In this sense, rather than correcting the wrong information provided by the guide, I choose to ask him if the confirmation of both as Brazil’s Cultural Heritage was part of the official script of the BNTM. His answer provided in a sad tone revealed that it was only his personal opinion based on what both represented to him and that he was not allowed to introduce his views into the official script of the tour.

Therefore, we can conclude that CBF is well aware of the risks of potential explicit use of the heritage discourse inside its museum in the same extent that its directors with the support of the “bench ball” denied several heritage claims at the National Congress in the past decade. Finally, and perhaps most important, this case study constitutes a clear example of the political nature of heritage which according to Smith (2011) even though can be accepted from a symbolic and subjective perspective shared by thousands of people, still can be neglected, and not entered into the official national record.

References:

Smith, L. (2011). All Heritage is Intangible: Critical Heritage Studies and Museums. The development of Anglophone heritage studies, 6-36

FELIPE BERTAZZO TOBAR is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department at Clemson University.  His interests lie in critical studies of heritage, with a particular interest in sport heritage. He received his bachelor’s degree in Law (2014) and obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage and Society (2017) from the Univille University, in the city of Joinville, Brazil. He can be reached on Twitter at @felipebtobar

One year after the PyeongChang Olympics: What happens to the Olympic venues?

Special post by Jungah Choi, doctoral student at Clemson University:

PyeongChang has four ski resorts, including two major ski resorts in the county were the focus of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games (Alpensia resort and Yongpyong resort).

Alpensia Ski Jumping Center

Photo of the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre 

The city of PyeongChang is already a popular winter sport destination for domestic tourists, though few international skiers visit. By hosting the Olympic Games, South Korea’s vision was to develop the PyeongChang County as a winter sports hub in Asia. They spent around $14 billion on the Olympic Games, which is significantly less than the 2014 Sochi Games ($51 billion). Also, the majority of Koreans think that the Games were success (about 80%). Does it mean that PyeongChang in a good position to become a winter sports hub? It seems a new high-speed train system, called KTX High-Speed Rail, for the Games which serve access to the ski resort for those who came from Seoul to PyeongChang in under two hours will help further South Korea’s vision for creating an Asian winter sports hub. However, post-Games use of Olympic venues does make us wonder if South Korea’s vision for a winter sports hub is viable. Previous host cities like Lillehammer and Vancouver have become popular destinations for winter sports and in many ways the gold standard for post-Games success in that all of the venues still in use.

jeongseon-alpine-centre

Photo of the Jeonseon Alpine Centre 

Just near a year after the end of the winter festival, legacy is still a major concern following the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, with concerns existing about the use of venues. Currently, some of the venues are ‘underway’ for post-Games legacy planning. For example, the PyeongChang Olympic stadium, which costs about US$110 million to build, has been demolished after being used four times in total (opening and closing ceremonies for Olympic and Paralympic Games). Such demolition would help to prevent the stadium from falling into inevitable disrepair with a huge amount of money to maintain that afterwards. In its place, the PyeongChang province is planning to create an Olympic park, including post-Games Olympic Museum and Olympic monument around the structure bearing the Olympic flame, called the ‘wall of champions’ to commemorate the achievement of medalists.

Eight of the venues including Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, Gangneung Ice Arena and Gangneung Curling Centre will be used as multi-purpose sports facilities following the Games. For example, the landing area of Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre could be used for other sporting venue during summer season. It was used as a home stadium for K-league football team, called Gangwon FC in the past. Also, this place is possible to make a little bit of profit by developing tourism products with observation platform. In addition, Gangneung Curling Centre will be usedas a winter sport facility by hosting 2018Pacific Asia Curling Championships, helping to position the region as an Asian winter sports hub for decades to come. However, still no plans have been put in place for the Gangneung Hockey Centre, the Gangneung Oval and the Jeongseon Alpine Centre so far.Especially, Jeongseon Alpine Center, which took two years to build, destroyed a 500-year-old forest, and cost $200 million become a massive white elephant. There is a different stance on these issues between central and regional governments whether the forest area should be restored to its natural state or maintain the center as a future ‘comprehensive leisure’ zone since it could cost about $200 million over 20 years.

In this situation, South Korea’s vision of creating a top winter sports hub might be in doubt. Recently, the Gangwon province has announced their hosting idea to make PyeongChang as a permanent home for winter events rather than holding the games in a different city. For instance, they have several plans to host the 2021 Asian Games, the 2025 Winter Universiad and the 2021 Winter Military World Games, expecting it works as the most effective way to prevent the “white elephant” problem by allowing organizers to reuse set facilities over and over.

JUNGAH CHOI, is a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management department at Clemson University. Her research focuses on sport tourism, especially on post-event Olympic tourism, Heritage through the Olympics and Olympic legacies. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sport Science from Ewha Womans University, South Korea and a masters’ degree in Sport Management from Seoul National University, South Korea.

The Brazilian National Team Museum: Are corruption scandals being represented?

cbfheadquarters2

Entrance to the CFB Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

Special post by Felipe Tobar, doctoral student at Clemson University:

As a social phenomenon, sports provide a rich platform of controversial and interdisciplinary topics to be investigated within the academia. Although limited by a pattern of selecting specific narratives over other for commercial reasons, sports museums – through what they display and what they omit – are a fruitful spaces whereby historical or/and contemporary sporting issues such as gender, racism, sexism, gambling, migration, politics, corruption, culture or economy can be critically scrutinized.

This is the first post of a two-post series that will examine my perceptions regarding a tour that I took on 9 May 2018 at the “Museu da Seleçāo Brasileira” (Brazilian National Team Museum – BNTM) located at the Headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Seeking to advance on the findings of my master’s thesis entitled ‘Brazilian Football in the ‘game’ of Cultural Heritage: An interdisciplinary analysis about the relations of power’, and rather than making a recreational visit, the purpose of the tour was twofold: First, analyze how the museum displayed the images of the last two CBF presidents, Mr. Jose Maria Marin, and Mr. Marco Polo Del Nero, both involved in corruption scandals. In this particular, it is essential to highlight that at that time of the tour, Mr. Marin was already found guilty in New York by the practice of money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy, while Mr. Del Nero, on 27 April 2018 was banned for life from all football-related activities after FIFA’s Ethics Committee considered him guilty of receiving bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments in Latin America.

The second aim was identifying whether the museum exhibits the view of the National Squad as part of Brazil´s Cultural Heritage, or if it rejects such notion to the same extent the ‘ball bench’ – a group of more than 40 politicians (congressmen and senators) who are close to and guided by the CBF, have been assuring at the Brazilian National Congress. Since 2005, six bills, one provisional measure and one constitutional amendment were unsuccessfully presented to nominate both the practice of football and the National Squad as part of Brazil´s Cultural Heritage by politicians like the former player and 1994 World Cup Champion, Senator Romário. The intentions surround these projects was seeking to put CBF under the radar of the Public Prosecutor’s Office by the fact that in Brazil, session 5 (III) of the Public Prosecutor Act states, among others functions and duties, that the public prosecutor shall protect the Brazilian Cultural Heritage. Consequently, CBF’s controversy economical transactions could immediately be placed under investigation if the practice of football and the National Team become part of the official heritage realm. That said, in this post, I will shed some lights on the first intention of the tour, primarily because the topic has recently gained in relevance after Mr. Marin was sentenced by Judge Pamela Chen in a Brooklyn federal court on August 22, to four years in prison following his conviction on corruption charges, thus becoming the first football director involved on `FIFA Gate` to be sent to jail.

Marin and Marco Polo Del Nero

The pictures show how Mr. José Maria Marin and Mr. Marco Polo Del Nero are being depicted through the Interactive and electronic panel of the session ‘A centenary legend’ in BNTM.

The tour itself, originally named “The CBF Experience,” mirrors the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Experience Tours, as it shares the same Spanish company (Media Fio), which oversaw the creation, concept, and layout of all three museums.The intentions of the tour lead visitors to ignite or reaffirm the love of Brazilian people to its national team, regardless of their geographical location. Visitors were encouraged to watch a nostalgic video entitled ‘We are Football,’ which featured the most memorable moments of the National Team in World Cups as well as fans cheering and dancing the samba (Brazilian popular music genre) either on the streets or at the stands, thus emulating a sense of national identity through football. After that, an interactive audiovisual journey guides the visitor through the history of the National Team by ten exhibitions: 1 – ‘Passion’; 2- ‘Origins’; 3- ‘Our skin’; 4 – ‘A centenary legend’;  5- ‘A Galaxy of Trophies’; 6- ‘360º – The kings of the World’; 7- ‘Brasil: 27 States, only one DNA’; 8- ‘Brazil Planet’; 9-‘CBF Immersive’ and 10- ‘We are Canarinho’. The tour ends at the CBF store where fans can purchase souvenirs (e.g., official t-shirt) related to both the country and the National Squad.

WE ARE FOOTBALL

“We Are Football” at the CFB Museum

Managed by interactive and electronic panels, the fourth session provides to its visitors an immediate contact with the past throughone single touch, either by listening recordings of memorable matches called by sportscasters from radios or tv channels or looking into theachievements of the `protagonists` (players, head coaches, and CBF former presidents) at international contests since its foundation. After a quick search of the displays, Mr. Marin and Mr. Del Nero, as well as Mr. Joāo Havelange (former FIFA president too) and Mr. Ricardo Teixeira –  both of whom were part of a bribery scheme from a collapsed marketing company (ISL) in the 90’s as documents released by a Swiss Court in 2012 proved – were easily identified. As expected, they were depicted in a celebratory fashion and displayed alongside of the titles captured by the National Team under their leadership. As such, realizing that CBF intentionally omits these dark chapters from public attention, I asked the guide whether there was a kind of embarrassment in his perspective by continuing displaying those sports directors. Although he answered that they were part of the Brazilian football history, thusdeserving a place in the museum, there was no explanation (and only an awkward silence) about why the other part of the history such as the corruption scandals were not being told to the public.

Joao Havelange and Ricardo TeixeiraThe pictures show how Mr. Joāo Havelange and Mr. Ricardo Teixeira are being depicted through the Interactive and electronic panel of the session ‘A centenary legend’ in BNTM.

When omitting or ignoring critical moments from the past especially if they are broadly known by both fans and non-fans alike – as the corruption scandals was for Brazilians – are a way to jeopardize the legitimacy of the site as a repository of a sport’s past. It can be said too that is a way to not harm the public image of the sponsors that contribute to the maintenance of the CBF’s private museum. In this sense the BNTM through its fourth display reflects much about what the most important institution of football in Brazil defends as its values.Regardless of the current discourse that portrays a “new” CBF, based on transparency through compliance methods, nothing indicates that CBF no longer will continue displaying convicted former directors as role models for sporting success within its museum. The election of Rogério Caboclo, former CBF Executive Director, as the new President of the sports entity, helps us to conclude in such a direction, mostly if we take in account that according to Brazilian football press, he was an indication of Mr. Del Nero.

In the next post, in addition to showing how CBF is managing the discourse of the practice of football and the National Team as Brazil’s Cultural Heritage through its museum displays, more details about the other sessions available to visit in this one-hour tour will be provided.

Additional Note: On September 29, 2018, the author’s father went to BNTM museum and confirmed that all those former CBF presidents, especially, Mr. Jose Maria Marin and Mr. Marco Polo del Nero, are still being displayed without any mark of corruption. In fact, Mr. Marco Polo del Nero even though is currently banned for all football activities is still presented as the CBF President.

FELIPE BERTAZZO TOBAR is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department at Clemson University.  His interests lie in critical studies of heritage, with a particular interest in sport heritage. He received his bachelor’s degree in Law (2014) and obtained a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage and Society (2017) from the Univille University, in the city of Joinville, Brazil.