Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape (Akashic Book‘s Edge of Sports imprint).



Football teams create playbooks, in which they draw up the plays they will use on the field. Coaches and players memorize these playbooks. Each individual play is given a name and can be communicated in a matter of seconds from sideline to field. If all goes well, the large amount of work that goes into a single play suddenly looks like a natural flow of bodies moving in unison that result in the movement of the ball down the field or the successful stop of the other team’s offense.

Playbooks are how teams work and why they win.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape is about a different kind of playbook. Over the last three years, this has been a hot topic as people are wondering aloud and often about the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, especially when it involves the football players on people’s favorite teams. This book explores that playbook, the one coaches, teams, universities, police, communities, the media, and fans seem to follow whenever a college football player is accused, charged, and/or convicted of sexual assault. It’s a deep dive into how different institutions — the NCAA, athletic departments, universities, the media — run the same plays over and over again when these stories break. If everyone runs their plays well, scrutiny dies down quickly, no institution ever has to change how it operates, and the evaporation of these cases into nothingness looks natural. In short, this playbook is why nothing ever changes.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct unpacks this societal playbook piece by piece, and not only advocates that we destroy the old plays, it suggests we replace them with ones that will force us to finally do something about this issue.

Excerpts from Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

Reviews for Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

Media for Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

Find it at Akashic’s site, Amazon, Indiebound, BookPeople, and Goodreads.

Coming in 2018, How To Love Sports When They Don’t Love You Back, co-authored with Kavitha A. Davidson (University of Texas Press).

How To Love Sports will be a guide for conflicted fans who want to keep watching the sports they love but who acknowledge the problems with the industry, addressing topics such as How to Watch Football When We Know About CTE, How to Cheer For Your Hockey Team When There’s An Accused Rapist On It, and How to Watch March Madness When You Know The Athletes Aren’t Getting Paid.

Represented by Jennifer Johnson-Blalock at Liza Dawson Associates.

Contributor in The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future, edited by Alexandra Brodsky & Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (The Feminist Press).

Feminist Utopia


What do we want?

In this groundbreaking collection, more than fifty cutting-edge voices, including Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti, and Mia McKenzie, invite us to imagine a truly feminist world. An abortion provider reinvents birth control, Sheila Bapat envisions an economy that values domestic work, a teenage rock band dreams up a new way to make music, Katherine Cross rewrites the Constitution, and Maya Dusenbery resets the standard for good sex. Combining essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations, and short stories, The Feminist Utopia Project challenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given—and inspires us to demand a radically better future.

Find it at Goodreads, KoboAmazon, iBooks, and B&N.

Contributor in The Hunting Ground: The Inside Story of Sexual Assault on American College Campuses, edited by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. (Skyhorse Publishing).

Chapter title: “Sports on Trial.”

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The Hunting Ground, the new documentary by award-winning filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, has taken this debate to a new level, becoming a galvanizing catalyst for discussion at the hundreds of campuses where the documentary is being screened each month. The film has sparked calls for legislation by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and other prominent public figures and sparked a backlash from university administrators, fraternities, and conservative groups.

Now, in a new companion volume to the film, all those concerned about the “rape culture” on campus will be offered an inside perspective on the controversy, as well as reactions to the film from a range of leading writers and guidance on how to learn more and get active. As in the film, it’s the gripping personal stories told by female students—and the obstinate refusal of college administrators and law enforcement authorities to recognize the severity of the problem—that will rivet readers.

Contributor in BedPost Confessions: Real Sex. Real People. Real Confessions., edited by Mia Martina and Katherine Hale

Chapter title: “It’s the Cunnilingus, y’all”

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Description of the book:

Sex: (almost) everybody does it and (almost) nobody talks about it—except at BedPost Confessions, a live storytelling series based in Austin, Texas. Whether the featured performers are funny, informative, political, or completely personal, the anonymous confessions from the audience are the stars of every show. This collection is a highlight reel of the “titillating delight” that “stuns Austin audiences with the power of story.” (Austin Chronicle).

Cancer, fast food, celibacy, genderqueer identities,the vagina-mind connection, 19th-century polyamory, coming out, motherhood, bondage, online dating, oral sex, fisting, aging, pegging, lesbian pulp fiction, dating violence, Catholicism, trans girlhood, sex work, and a lot of pee–somewhere in these 35 stories, essays, and poems, y’all will find something to spark a fantasy or start a conversation.

Contributor in Football, Culture and Power, edited by David J. Leonard, Kimberly B. George, and Wade Davis. (Routledge Research in Sport, Culture, and Society).

Chapter title: “A Societal Mirror & a Force for Change: The NFL & Its Response to Domestic Violence”


Description of the book:

What does it mean when a hit that knocks a human being unconscious is experienced as pleasurable by viewers? When these athletes and their families are suffering long-term damage from this harm and yet such suffering is rarely put into narrative? And when a players tattoos or social media controversies results in greater attention and litigation than the social stances of players?

This book brings together scholars, writers and commentators to examine the relationship between football, violence and the larger relations of power in which we all live our lives. Within the context of the NFL and the structural conditions in which the NFL has emerged, this book explores issues of racism, sexism and homophobia as a window into the social, political and cultural imprint of America’s national pastime. The book argues that the NFL reveals a collective psychic participation, by which our subjectivity is formed within historical systems of violence, power, and hierarchy. The NFL’s participation in and production of hegemonic masculinity, alongside its practices of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism, allows us to think deeply about the historical and contemporary systems of violence we are invested in and entertained by. Football becomes a cultural text to examine and learn from. The book also recognizes that the NFL also performs good in the world, drawing together communities, providing platforms for players to reach out to young athletes across class and race, and to inspire the best in what sports offers people. Through an analysis of American football and intersecting social issues, this book provides a language for critique that can generate conversation and accountability.

Find it at Routledge and Amazon.

Coming January 2017, contributor in Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen (Algonquin Young Readers)


A YA anthology of essays, lists, poems, photos, and illustrations about feminism from a diverse range of well-known voices.

Contributors include Michaela and Mia DePrince, Matt Nathanson, Wendy Davis, Mindy Kaling, Roxane Gay, Kody Keplinger, Courtney Summers, Siobhan Vivian, Daniel José Older, Mikki Kendall, Sarah McCarry, Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, and many more.

Find it at Goodreads.