Sport is mute

Despite the chatter of sport journalists, the yelling of coaches, the chanting of supporters, and the trash-talk of sportsmen and -women, I will argument that sport is what it is since it is mute. What we discern as sport is in every case a series of trials in which the properties of human and nonhuman actors are enacted and investigated.

The noise and murmur from the people in and around the sporting event is undeniably there; sport without sound would be dull. Still, this is macropolitics and macrofascism – representations, identity, and such.

The mute interaction between human and nonhuman actors on the field – that is the real experiment. I also happen to believe, and so I will argue, that the enactment of these relationships is what makes sport such a profound contributor to the modern constitution.


  1. at times sport is mute, but most of the time its very communicative. and it helps a LOT to be good communicators in the "field of play". depends on the sport of course, but anything like hockey (which is very much based on continual flow, improvisation and almost a "free jazz" reading/feel) is very dependent on communication.

    theres great times while playing where you lose time, or are in a "zone" (see Graham Harman's post on Kevin Durant a few weeks back), or are very muted, etc... but from my own experiences in hockey (where muted moments do exist), its far more a constant of communication and playing off each other like a free jazz band.

  2. id like to add that if youre just playing the "game" in a casual setting, its a lot more quiet and less dependent on the urgency of communicating with a competitive, "must win" goal.

    pick-up basketball, shinny hockey, etc... very quiet moments in my day playing those.

  3. Savagist,

    thank you for commenting!

    I would like to begin with saying that I as a practitioner of soccer support your view of sport as a communicative act. Arguments in sociology, psychology, and philosophy should also be in favor for this perspective.

    This said, I would strike a blow for the argument that one of the main reasons that sport has grown so much during modernity is that it fulfills the task of creating a universal notion of what human is, and what a human body can do.

    And this, from my Latourian reading, I interpret as a mimicking of the testimony of mute objects in nature-producing scientific experiments. in this theoretical composition of what sport is, sport, to be the man-producing activity I hold it to be, makes the subjecthood of the athlete obsolete, i.e. objectifies him or her.

    Interestingly enough, I have been criticized by my team-mates for not signalling where I am, or whom my passes was adressed for. :)