This paper analyzes the impact that foreign investments in professional sports has on the 21st century geopolitical landscape and global economy as a whole. Using the LIV Golf tour, World Cup, Olympics, the Premier League, and the NBA’s relationship with China as case studies, this study seeks to understand how sports has been used to normalize the rise of authoritarian capitalism around the world and how that affects our ability to respond to crises around the world, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tensions between China and Taiwan, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi that was ordered by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the FIFA bribery scandal that resulted in the 2022 World Cup being in Qatar, and more. Professional sports will be used to highlight that perhaps capitalism and democracy are not as synonymous as many people believe, while also highlighting the spread of capitalism since the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union did not lead to the expansion of democracy nearly as much due to international finance prioritizing one over the other.
Graduate Student and Teacher Assistant, Sociology, Stony Brook University, New York, United States
Community, Professional Sports, Globalization, Global Economy, International Finance, Authoritarian Capitalism