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'Winning Bigly': Sporting Fantasties of White Male Omnipotence in the Rise of Trump and Alt Right White Supremacy


Kyle W. Kusz

University of Rhode Island, US
About Kyle
Dr. Kyle W. Kusz is associate Professor of Kinesiology and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Rhode Island. His research critically examines the cultural politics of white masculiniteis in sport media. He is the author of Revolt of the White Athlete: Race, Media, and the Emergence of Extreme Athletes in America (Peter Lang, 2007).
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In this article, the author offers a critical contextual analysis that seeks
to answer Giroux’s (2015) call for scholars to map and critically examine
the “cultural circuits, points of connection, internalized values, discourses
and pedagogies. . . responsible for both promoting and legitimating the likes of Donald Trump” (Don’t Get Distracted by the Buffoonery section, para. 1). To this end, this essay explores how the Trump candidacy and presidency, the rise of the Alt Right, and the appeal of New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, to his fans who have nicknamed him as the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ (i.e. The G.O.A.T.), are all linked by 1) the lionization of a particular performance of white masculinity as omnipotent, and 2) a desire to unapologetically revitalize white male privilege and prerogative as the unquestioned norm across American culture. The author articulates these three cultural sites together—Trump’s racial and gender performance as a politician, the alt-right’s visions of white national manhood, and cultural representations of Brady as the embodiment of white male omnipotence—to emphasize the point that the white supremacist and anti-feminist ideas expressed by Trump, his administration, and the alt-right are not just beliefs held just by a handful of white racists with ‘hate in their hearts.’Instead, these retrogressive and anti-democratic ideas about race and gender have been circulating and cross-pollinating across American film, television, and sport media (among other cultural sites) over the past decade and have primed anxious white men to perceive the Alt Right and Trump’s efforts to revitalize white male prerogative in American civic life as reasonable.

Keywords: whiteness, masculinity, White male prerogative, popular
culture, alt-right, Trumpism

How to Cite: Kusz, K.W., 2019. 'Winning Bigly': Sporting Fantasties of White Male Omnipotence in the Rise of Trump and Alt Right White Supremacy. Journal of Hate Studies, 14(1), pp.113–135. DOI:
Published on 27 Feb 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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