Monday, September 21, 2009

Recession, health care, and roller derby

I was just talking to a friend the other day about how roller derby is such a hot topic in sport studies because it's a great venue for examining gender roles, subversion, aggression, alternative sport, sexuality, and a host of other things.
And of course the forthcoming (I cannot wait!!) Whip It with Juno star Ellen Paige and directed by Drew Barrymore will draw even more critical and popular attention to the sport.
Unfortunately, with the recession, roller derby has been experiencing some problems. Most articles about sport and the recession have focused on keeping fans in the stands, but this one is about keeping players in the rink. Roller derby is not a professional sport--the players do not get paid. They have to finance their own gear, travel expenses, and health coverage. And we all know what kind of a state health care is in these days. And even though some players could skate by (pardon the pun) on multiple part-time gigs, if they are without health care, roller derby is not the sport to be participating in.
It appears that it's the economy, not the injuries, that are bringing most players down.

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