Refs and punishment. Finally, an analysis!

Rooney gets sent off for England.

Finally an analysis of referees from a Discipline and Punish perspective:

From this interaction, finally, emerges the most logical reason for why fans hate refs. Namely, it’s a lack of accordance between their punitive gaze and that of the referees. Through all of this, a clear sense of discipline, however contested by protesting (though, ultimately, powerless) fans, players, and coaches, emerges. The players, to return to Foucault, are, much like us, really so many inmates in the metaphorical Panopticon that is constructed in part by sports and their officials. Not only are they subject to the refs’ authority, as well as the fans’ secondary interpretations of the same, but they are also circumscribed by the coaches, the owners, league commissioners, and corporate sponsors. That’s not to say that players suffer unduly, though, or even to question the fairness of the dynamic. For Foucault, all of that’s beside the point. What really matters is the way in which sports, through its institution of officiating, helps us to internalize the application of authority and the consequences of rule-breaking.

Zidane gets sent off for France.

One Response

  1. terrible. is it just me, or is this kind of flattened out “use” of foucault something very, very american? why is it that so many people in american academia don’t seem to read (or understand) a word of foucault’s writing beyond d&p?

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