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Book Preview: Loving Sports When They Don’t Love You Back

Bookshelves in a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Christiana, Delaware.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, professional and NCAA sports were an extremely lucrative industry in North America. While competition has been temporarily suspended, play will resume in North America later this summer as team owners and university athletic departments lend their support to the collective effort of pretending COVID-19 no longer exists popularly known as “reopening.”

The book LOVING SPORTS WHEN THEY DON’T LOVE YOU BACK: DILEMMAS OF THE MODERN FAN has been scheduled for release on September 1, right in the middle of the expected MLB divisional races and NBA playoffs and the ongoing summer surge in coronavirus infections. Authors Jessica Luther and Kavitha Davidson wrote about ethical issues relevant to sports prior to COVID-19. However, their thoughts promise to be relevant to fans leery of supporting the return to play while the pandemic poses a danger to their favorite athletes as well as support staff and the community surrounding the players.

Kirkus Reviews has given the work a starred review, describing it as “[a]n incisive, damning indictment of the world’s most popular pastimes.” A starred review from Kirkus is an especially prestigious mark of distinction in the publishing industry which means that the writing is of excellent quality.

According to the review, the authors examine the cognitive dissonance that arises in sports fans when the actions of players and owners conflict with their values. The book covers some of the most controversial topics in sports today, such as doping, credible sexual assault and domestic violence allegations against athletes, and “economic inequities surrounding college basketball’s March Madness.”

I have put LOVING SPORTS WHEN THEY DON’T LOVE YOU BACK on my list of books I am looking forward to reading this year, and I plan to discuss it further here upon its release.

Featured Image: Bookshelves in a Barnes & Noble bookstore by Mihai_Andritoiu /