Social Avatars and Future Boxing Identities

Sarah Kate Crews, P. Solomon Lennox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2020, video footage of Franchón Crews-Dezurn’s weave being forcibly removed from her head during a championship boxing match went viral on social media. A month later Deontay Wilder became an internet meme on account of the excuse he gave (the weight of his ring walk costume) for his first professional loss. In response to the incidents, Crews-Dezurn reclaimed ownership of the viral moment, patenting the hashtag associated with the clip and building a merchandising and branding campaign focused on challenging gendered narratives about Black female bodies and hair. A month after his incident, Wilder collaborated with AFROPOLiTAiN magazine in a photoshoot depicting him as an African king. We apply a reading of social avatars and futurism to these case studies. We argue perceptions of social avatars, as they pertain to both boxers, queer the hegemonic readings of their gendered and racial bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-320
Number of pages17
JournalVisual Resources
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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