Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sport Studies

Major Professor

Joy T. DeSensi

Committee Members

Leslee Fisher, Allison Anders, Terrell Strayhorn, Doris Corbett


Fantasy sports are the latest addition to the sports industry. Fantasy sports (FS) participants compete against one another by using players from the “real” world to create a virtual team. FS simulates the structures of the real sporting world. The most popular FS is football, due to the success of the National Football League (NFL) (World Fantasy Games, 2009). Black males represent a vast majority of the athletes in the NFL and are often bought and sold by white participants who represent a critical mass of FS players. The purpose of this dissertation is to read fantasy football participation and consider the un/conscious commodification, fetishization of black masculinity, which is used for cultural transmission. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) to analyze interdisciplinary literature enhances the discourse surrounding the intersectionalties of race, gender, sexuality, and sport. Critically reading FS, employing bricolage has made it possible to pragmatically analyze FS. I argue race is central to the acquisition, maintenance, and exposition of power that is paramount in sport, and evidenced within FS. The paradox of allowing the masses of white sport consumers to exercise virtual control over black bodies via FS is that it reveals cultural dogma of racialized masculinity with psychosocial links to fetish.

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