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Dr Rory Magrath

Associate Professor of Sociology

Department of Sport and Health

Headshot of Rory Magrath


Rory is an associate professor of sociology in the Department of Social Sciences and Nursing.

He graduated from Solent University in 2010 with a degree in BA (Hons) Football Studies. Following this, he completed an MSc in Sociology of Sport at Loughborough University. He returned to Solent on a part-time basis in 2011, before being appointed as a lecturer in 2014, senior lecturer in 2016 and associate professor in 2020.

Research interests

Broadly speaking, Rory’s research focuses on gender and sexuality, primarily – but not exclusively – in the context of sport. He has explored this relationship in numerous research projects including most recently, a funded project on the experiences of LGBTQ+ sports fans, as well as the construction of masculinities among young, ostensibly heterosexual male athletes.

Alongside this, he has conducted research on sports media, inclusion of LGBTQ+ athletes, sports policy, men’s friendships, masculinities, sports activism, non-exclusive sexualities, and head trauma in sport. He is regularly asked to comment on his research in national and international media.

Rory is also Associate Editor of the Sport in Society journal, and sits on the editorial boards of the Sociology and Managing Sport and Leisure journals. He also co-edits the Palgrave Studies in Masculinity, Sport and Exercise book series with Jamie Cleland and Eric Anderson. He reviews for numerous journals on a regular basis.

He welcomes contact from potential PhD or MPhil students interested in LGBTQ+ experiences in sport, men’s friendships, sports activism, or head trauma (in sport).




Sport, football, sexuality, gender, masculinities, LGBTQ, friendships, media, activism

Further information


Magrath, R. (2024). LGBT Football Fans: Authenticity, Belonging and Visibility. London: Routledge.

Anderson, E. and Magrath, R. (2022). Advanced Introduction to the Sociology of Sport. Cheltenham: Elgar.

Anderson, E. and Magrath, R. (2019). Men and Masculinities. London: Routledge.

Magrath, R. (2017). Inclusive Masculinities in Contemporary Football: Men in the Beautiful Game. London: Routledge.

Anderson, E., Magrath, R. and Bullingham, R. (2016). Out in Sport: The Experiences of Openly Gay and Lesbian Athletes in Competitive Sport. London: Routledge.

Edited books

Magrath, R. (2022, ed). Athlete Activism: Contemporary Perspectives. London: Routledge [open access].

Magrath, R., Cleland, J. and Anderson, E. (2020, eds). Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Magrath, R. (2019, ed). LGBT Athletes in Sports Media. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Journal articles

Martinez, M.M., Magrath, R. and Bullingham, R. (2023). ‘I didn’t know girls could coach football that well’: The experiences of female football coaches in the South East of England. Sport in Society (Online First).

Hardwicke, J., Roberts, C.J., Anderson, E. and Magrath, R. (2023). Drafting behind LGB: Transgender athletes in the sport of cycling. International Review for the Sociology of Sport (Online First).

Magrath, R. and McCormack, M. (2023). Friendship dynamics of young men with non-exclusive sexual orientations: Group diversity, physical intimacy and emotionality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 40 (4), 1204-1222

Nunes, N.A., Coutinho, D., Gouveia, V. and Magrath, R. (2023). An analysis of ball possession and unbalanced number in small-sided games: a comparative study with Chinese and foreign soccer players. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 23(5), 343-355.

Hill, S., Magrath, R. and White, A. (2023). ‘Part and parcel of the game?’ Physical education teachers, head trauma, and the Rugby Football Union’s “Headcase” programme. Managing Sport and Leisure, 28(1), 1-15.

Magrath, R. (2022). The experiences of bisexual soccer fans in the UK: Inclusion, engagement, and digital lives. Journal of Bisexuality, 22(4), 580-598.

Magrath, R., Batten, J., Anderson, E. and White, A. (2022). Five-year cohort study of White-British male student-athletes’ attitudes toward gay men. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 16(3), 262-276.

Magrath, R., Batten, J., Anderson, E. and White, A. (2022). Examining attitudes towards homosexuality among young, athletic BME men in the UK. Sport in Society, 25(8), 1489-1505.

White, A., Batten, J., Howarth, N.E., Magrath, R., Piggin, J… and Pollock, A. (2022). Imposing compulsory Rugby Union on schoolchildren: An analysis of English state-funded secondary schools. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living (Online).

Walser, J., Fletcher, T. and Magrath, R. (2022). Fan attitudes towards sexual minorities in German men’s football. Leisure Studies, 41(3), 356-371.

White, A., Parry, K., Humphries, C., Phelan, S., Batten, J. and Magrath, R. (2022). Duty of Karius: Media framing of concussion following the 2018 UEFA Champions league final. Communication and Sport, 10(3), 541-563.

White, A., Magrath, R. and Morales, L.E. (2021). Gay male athletes’ coming-out stories on International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 56(7), 1017-1034.

Magrath, R. (2021). Gay male football fans’ experiences: Authenticity, belonging and conditional acceptance. Sociology, 55(5), 978-994.

Lawless, W. and Magrath, R. (2021). Inclusionary and exclusionary banter: English club cricket, inclusive attitudes and male camaraderie. Sport in Society, 24(8), 1493-1509.

Magrath, R. (2021). Inclusive masculinities of working-class university footballers in the South of England. Sport in Society, 24(3), 412-429.

Magrath, R. (2020). ‘Progress…slowly, but surely’: The sports media workplace, gay sports journalists, and LGBT media representation in sport. Journalism Studies, 21(2), 254-270.

Magrath, R. and Stott, P. (2019). ‘Impossible to implement?’: The effectiveness of anti-homophobia policy in English professional football. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(1), 19-38.

Magrath, R. and Scoats, R. (2019). Young men’s friendships: Inclusive masculinities in a post-university setting. Journal of Gender Studies, 28(1), 45-56.

Magrath, R. (2018). ‘To try and gain an advantage for my team’: Homophobic and homosexually themed chanting among English football fans. Sociology, 52(4), 709-726.

Cleland, J., Magrath, R. and Kian, E.M. (2018). The internet as a site of decreasing cultural homophobia in association football: An online response by fans to the coming out of Thomas Hitzlsperger. Men and Masculinities, 21(1), 91-111.

White, A., Magrath, R. and Thomas, B. (2018). The experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and staff at a Further Education college in South East England. British Educational Research Journal, 44(3), 480-495.

Gaston, L., Magrath, R. and Anderson, E. (2018). From hegemonic to inclusive masculinities in English professional football. Journal of Gender Studies, 27(2), 301-312.

Magrath, R. (2017). The intersection of race, religion and homophobia in British football. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 52(4), 411-429.

Roberts, S., Anderson, E. and Magrath, R. (2017). Continuity, change and complexity in the performance of masculinity mong elite young footballers in England. The British Journal of Sociology, 68(2), 336-357.

Magrath, R., Cleland, J. and Anderson, E. (2017). Bisexual erasure in the British print media: Representation of Tom Daley’s coming out. Journal of Bisexuality, 17(3), 300-317.

Magrath, R., Anderson, E. and Roberts, S. (2015). On the door-step of equality: Attitudes toward gay athletes among academy-level footballers. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50(7), 804-821.

Book chapters

Humphries, C. and Magrath, R. (2024). Homophobia, hate crime and men’s professional football. In I. Zempi and I. Awan (eds.) Racism and hate crime in football (110-133). Bristol: Policy Press.

Willson, J. and Magrath, R. (2023). Football and homophobia: From hegemonic to inclusive masculinity. In S. Whigham, W. Roberts, D. Parnell and A. Culvin (eds.). Critical Social Theory and Football (149-161). London: Routledge.

Bullingham, R. and Magrath, R. (2023). ‘Pink hair, don’t care’: A print media analysis of Megan Rapinoe at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. In A. Bowes and A. Culvin (eds.). International Perspectives on the Professionalisation of Women’s Football (219-232). London: Emerald.

Magrath, R. and Anderson, E. (2023). Sport, masculinities, and heteronormativity. In L. Wenner (ed.). Oxford Handbook of Sport and Society (889-906). New York: Oxford University Press.

Letts, D. and Magrath, R. (2022). English football and LGBT+ fans: Evidence of a changing cultural context. In D. Coombes and A. Osborne (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Sports Fans and Fandom (192-203). London: Routledge.

Parry, K. and Magrath, R. (2022). Social media, digital technology, and sexuality in sport. In J. Sanderson (ed.). Sport, Social Media, and Digital Technology: Sociological Approaches (127-144). London: Emerald.

Magrath, R. (2021). ‘Russian sensation’ or ‘Mean Girl’? Maria Sharapova, drug bans, and ‘schadenfreude’. In J.N. Rosen and M.M. Smith (ed.). The Circus is in Town: Sport, Celebrity and Spectacle (142-164). Mississippi: University of Mississippi Press.

Cleland, J. and Magrath, R. (2020). Association football, masculinity, and sexuality: An evolving relationship. In R. Magrath, J. Cleland and E. Anderson (eds.). Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport (341-357). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Magrath, R. (2019). LGBT athletes, changing social contexts and the ‘sports media’. In R. Magrath (ed.). LGBT Athletes in the Sports Media (1-26). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Magrath, R. and Anderson, E. (2017). Football, homosexuality and the English Premier League: A changing cultural relationship. In R. Elliott (ed.). The English Premier League: A Socio-Cultural Analysis. London: Routledge. 150-162.

Magrath, R. (2017). Media accounts of the first transgender person to work in the English Premier League. In E. Anderson and A. Travers (eds.). Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport (116-128). London: Routledge.

Magrath, R. (2016). Footballing masculinities: The changing nature of English football academies. In J. Price and D. Kilvington (eds.). Sport and Discrimination (109-121). London: Routledge.

Magrath, R. and Anderson, E. (2016). Homophobia in men’s football. In J.E. Hughson, K. Moore, R. Spaaij and J. Maguire (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Football Studies (314-324). London: Routledge.

Taught courses

BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

This degree helps you develop critical perspectives on social behaviours, exploring justice, crime and inequality, to prepare you for a successful career and make a meaningful contribution to society.

BSc (Hons) Football Studies

The course is designed and tailored for those individuals passionate about football, enthusiastic to learn from the game in order to reach their aspirations to work within it....

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology

Explore the fascinating behaviours of individuals, as well as the cultural and political issues that shape collective experiences, on this BPS accredited degree.

BA (Hons) Sociology

An exciting subject, sociology challenges the world in which we live, including politics, media and social inequality. Get practical experience to work in public and private sectors.

BSc (Hons) Sport Management

Develop your passion for sport, and progress to a successful career leading and managing sporting events and organisations on this CIMPSA accredited course.