This poster from Nike’s “Unleash the Beast” ad campaign fits nicely with the chapter from Threshold Concepts on the social construction of gender. Football players are often depicted as the embodiment of masculinity (especially in Texas!), and this player is no different. In Nike’s take on the idea of extreme athletes as beasts, the football player charging down the field is surrounded by images of ferocious, menacing predators including bears, wolves, and tigers. I think the animal pictures shift the focus from the idea of a competitive, athletic masculinity to something more predatory. Launius and Hassel write, “violent masculinity is at the foundation of patriarchal culture, based on, as hooks states, ‘the belief that it is acceptable for a more powerful individual to control others through various forms of coercive force.’” In this picture, coercive force is valued and celebrated. I also think it’s interesting that the player in this ad is African American. On one hand, it’s a sign that African American athletes are valued as much as white athletes. On the other hand, it perpetuates the cultural stereotype of African American men as predatory and aggressive.