The System is Broken: Why Canada Needs a Judicial Inquiry into Harm and Abuse in Sport and Why That’s Not Enough

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 16:00to18:00
Faculty Club Ballroom, 3450 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E5, CA
The System is Broken event poster with photo of Derek Silva

The Fall 2023 Eakin Lecture, delivered by Professor Derek Silva.

This event is free but registration is mandatory. Please register via this link.

Sport is perhaps the most popular form of culture in society today. For many, sport provides an outlet for pleasure and relaxation and can function as an “opiate” to negotiate the rigours of everyday life. Yet, although sport can provide participants, fans, and onlookers with meaning, pleasure, and emotional investment, the contemporary lifeworld of Canadian sport is rife with stories of harm, abuse, and exploitation by those who participate in it. Look no further than the recent Standing Committee on the Status of Women and Girls in Sport Parliamentary hearings or the very current calls for an independent judicial inquiry into abuse in Canadian sport by scholars and athletes alike. Contextualizing the long histories of harm and abuse that are at the core of elite sport in Canada, we will explore the familiar realm of sport from a perspective that underlines the many ways harm and abuse have proliferated and become embedded in the Canadian sporting landscape. Echoing similar calls from scholars and athletes, Professor Silva will aim to answer the questions of why Canada needs an independent judicial inquiry into harm and abuse in sport and why that is nowhere near enough to provide justice for survivors.

Derek Silva is associate professor of sociology at King’s University College at Western University in London, Ontario, and the Fall 2023 Visiting Eakin Fellow in the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. His areas of interest include sociocultural studies of sport, labour, racism, and punishment. His book The End of College Football: Exploitation and Harm in the Ivory Tower and on the Gridiron (with Dr. Nathan Kalman-Lamb) will be published with UNC Press in Fall 2024, and his most recent book, Power Played: A Critical Criminology of Sport (with Dr. Liam Kennedy), was published in 2022 with UBC Press. In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Silva has published in major media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, TIME, The Guardian, Jacobin, The Daily Beast, among others, and he is a co-host and producer of The End of Sport podcast, which focuses on questions of harm and justice in the sporting world.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and reception.

The lecture will be livestreamed and later saved to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgPE892eP1c&ab_channel=MISCMcGill

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