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Political Correctness[edit]

I know it is pc to say sportsperson, but in this case i fell it may be a severe disservice to wikipedia uses. Most people never hear the term, it is just sportsman. We should use sportsman because it is more commonly known and used. Political correctness in this case just causes confusion and a misunderstanding. We do not call it sportspersonship do we? no... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Falls under WP:PRECISE. The alternative is not sportsman: it's sportsman or -woman, which is in fact much worse. Of course, the page should actually still be at athlete which solves the problem nicely (see below) — LlywelynII 08:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Expansion request[edit]

Perhaps some information on the ACTN3 Genotype and the idea of the "athletic gene"

All-around Athlete[edit]

It would be wise to keep to exceptional examples of such athletes. In particular, there is no point in naming athletes who don't even have a wikipedia entry, unless this is to become a list of all-around athletes. Because of that I have (more than once) removed alleged all-around athletes that did not fulfil these requirements. --rimshotstalk 09:10, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

In the UK[edit]

Here, in the UK, the word athlete means 'a person who competes in athletics and other sports' (though the definition 'a person who is good at sports' is also noted). I think it would be a good idea to make the athlete page into a disambiguation page that links both to here, and the page on athletics (track and field).--Jcvamp 03:21, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Athlete should go straight to the athlete disambiguation page, because it often refers to someone who participates in athletics rather than just a sportsperson generally. Alex9788 20:16, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the redirect on athlete, and also on the mis-spelling athelete. Alex9788 20:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Not according to Talk:List of words having different meanings in British and American English#Athlete. Do you have another source? I'm changing it back. Ewlyahoocom 05:57, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Athletics is on the list, and athlete has exactly the same principle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I presume you used the find on page tool and didn't actually look through the list to see athletics. The word athlete has two commonly used meanings, hence it is ambiguous and athlete should go straight to the disambiguation page. Alex9788 09:06, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Please see Talk:Athlete. Alex9788 08:51, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Ewlyahoocom appears to have changed his mind and has changed the redirect. Thanks, Alex9788 09:07, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
As 'athlete' has a single major meaning, which this page aspires to describe, that should be the page name, with a separate disambiguation page for the other minor related terms, such as the band. 'Athlete' is much more common than the ugly and rare 'sportsperson' including in the UK (I speak as a Brit who defends British English against marginalisation.) As a start to improving this page, I've removed the inaccurate reference to AmE, and - in a first for this page - included a reference to back it up. Here it is in full (note that order of meanings implies importance):
Collins English Dictionary (Millennium Ed) - a British publication
athlete (1) a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed or endurance. (2) a person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities. (3) Chiefly Brit. a competitor in track and field events.
Earthlyreason (talk) 10:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Sportspeople not only players[edit]

Expansion of definition[edit]

When I think of a sportsperson, i think not only of the participants but those that are "sports figures." A sports figure would be a coach, or owner, or perhaps even a mascot (like the San Diego Chicken) although that one i'm VERY IFFY about. Would that be acceptable to add? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  05:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

definition - sportsperson or sports player?[edit]

isn t the UK equivalent of the American 'athlete' in fact 'sports player' and not sportsperson? don t sportspeople include coaches, officials, etc.?

Propose namechange to "Athlete"[edit]

Earthlyreason's Collins Dictionary citation and comments provide clarity as to the British usage of the word "Athlete" to generally mean a sports competitor. SillyFolkBoy said he would support changing this page's name to "Athlete" on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disambiguation. I believe changing this page to "Athlete" will clear up ambiguity like the comments here about sportsperson(s) being coaches, owners, officials, mascots, etc. TommyKirchhoff (talk) 14:32, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

I concur, I was astonished to punch in the perfectly servicable English word “athlete” only to find a disambiguation page linking to “athlete (sports)”, which itself redirected to the absurdly pretentious neologism “sportsperson.” This silly state of affairs is apparently the result of a move from Athlete to here in 2007 over purported British/American English confusion. (talk) 07:41, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
I also concur for a variety of reasons. Will start the discussion below. — LlywelynII 08:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: pages moved -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:16, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

SportspersonAthlete – The content of sportspersonathlete; the content at athleteathlete (disambiguation).

Soooooo many reasons: 1) More common: "Athlete" is the WP:COMMON (and gender-inclusive) WP:ENGLISH term for these people in modern American and British use and has been since the 50s. Since WP:PRECISE keeps us from using "sportsman", there's no contest at all: "sportsperson" is over 50× less common in British English and over 500× in America. (How much more common? After spending the entire lead section of the article trying to explain the British usage to American readers, the entire rest of the article uses "athlete" 8 times, "sportman" once, and "sportsperson" 0 times. Literally the only edit needed for the page is to reverse the order of the terms in the first sentence.)

2) Procedure: The page was begun at athlete in 2003 using American English. It's fine to explain nuances of British usage (we should!) but it is not at all acceptable to violate WP:ENGVAR by creating a WP:POVFORK and turning the WP:PRIMARY namespace into an unhelpful dab.

3) Primary: The content here is the only WP:PRIMARY sense of "athlete", which is currently occupied by a misleading melangerie which should be at athlete (disambiguation).

4) Precise: "Athlete" in any form of English easily refers to men or women involved in competitive athletics. "Sportsperson" in any form of English is a much rarer PC WP:NEOLOGISM attempting to include sportswomen with the more commonly used "sportsman"... but (as noted by separate editors above) it also includes other people involved with sport(s) outside of the competition itself: managers and coaches certainly, as well as managers, trainers, mascots, &c. The OED notes that British usage of "athlete" is somewhat more restrictive, but it is not completely exclusive; the EB9 ("athletæ") and 1911EB ("athlete") have articles on "athlete", albeit mostly on its classical history. Similarly American usage is not so lax that NASCAR drivers and golfers can call themselves "athletes" and have an unbiased audience keep a straight face.

Moreover, wherever the page is, we have to discuss that variant usage. Better to just have the article placed at "athlete", making discussion of its classical, British, and American senses much more natural.

5) Consensus: Well, I suppose y'all will share your voices and thoughts too. But the page was originally at athlete and moved without discussion. Since then, the British User:Earthlyreason, User:TommyKirchhoff, User:, and myself have noted our opposition to this name with no one speaking to defend it. There is some discussion at Talk:athlete about keeping the dab in place rather than redirect to sportsperson directly, but that has to do with the British-English WP:POVFORK currently in place.  — LlywelynII 09:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


  • Support. The nomination explains so thoroughly there isn't really anything to add. Egsan Bacon (talk) 14:32, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - the original notion that this is an ENGVAR situation seems really misplaced. bd2412 T 15:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support if, as (currently) indicated in its opening sentence, the article is meant to be about people taking part "…in one or more sports that involve physical strength, speed and/or endurance" – not all sports (hence sportspersons/people/men/women/etc) necessarily involve at least one of these aspects..? Sardanaphalus (talk) 17:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
    PS If so, perhaps Sportsperson should become a (short) disambiguation-like page that presents the distinction?
  • Support per nom. SnowFire (talk) 00:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. I can't even imagine an oppose argument. --В²C 00:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support This should have been done years ago. --Tarage (talk) 10:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per Sardanaphalus, including disambiguation at Sportsperson (and redirs to it from, or similar disambiguation at, Sportsman, Sportswoman, Sportspeople, Sportpersons, etc.) Cue sports are sports but are not athletic (with the sole exception of Crud (game), but it's really a rough-housing pastime/game, not a sport per se).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:49, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Calidum Talk To Me 21:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. I guess that settles it. Red Slash 19:27, 23 August 2014 (UTC)


  • Comment should athletics similarly be changed, to point to sport and be displaced to athletics (disambiguation) ? -- (talk) 01:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
    No, athletics currently deals with its own WP:ENGVAR issues just fine. I won't bothering going to see if it started out as American use (probably did), but they have to balance that there is an official and professional international use of athletics in addition to the more common one. Here, there is only one primary sense in both forms of English and nothing so overwhelming to overcome the original American form of the page. — LlywelynII 02:16, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
    I'm coming to the party late, but I agree with LlywelynII on this particular issue. For some people, "athletics" means any sport. For others, "athletics" means a particular sport than encompasses track and field but is not synonymous with track and field. I think those points should be kept in mind regarding any discussion for the movement or renaming of certain articles. Location (talk) 07:14, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • NOTE articles that carry disambiguation "(athlete)" should all be changed, since athlete is currently a disambiguation page, and if the rename goes through, will be about any sportsperson. They are therefore in many cases be ambiguous with other sportspeople sharing their names. In the current situation (disambiguation page at "athlete") and the new situation ("sportsperson" moved to "athlete") the disambiguation of "xyz (athlete)" all needs to be changed.
    I don't think that's necessarily true. It would depend on whether the disambiguator still distinguishes the person from others in other fields of sport. Certainly, whether this page is moved or not, many people already equate "athlete" with "sportsperson", but also think of "athletics" as track and field. bd2412 T 02:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
    Whenever a person is disambiguated with "athlete" from other people who are also sportspersons, then it is insufficiently disambiguous, as evidenced by the condition of "athlete" being a disambiguation page, and this move request, making it the same as sportsperson. So in all cases, where multiple sportspeople share the same name and one of those is a track-and-field-er, the disambiguation term needs to be changed. "Athletics" does not mean "track and field" to a large portion of the Wikipedia audience, where it means "sports". So, at any rate, pages that carry "(athlete)" as a disambiguator, where other sportspeople share the same name, will need to be changed. -- (talk) 04:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
    If "(athlete)" doesn't work as a disambiguator, then it doesn't work irrespective of whether the article on people who participate in sports is at Athlete or Sportsperson. bd2412 T 14:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
    If there are no other sportspeople, then "athlete" would be equivalent to a disambiguator "sportsperson", which would only work if there are no other sportspeople. Though, yes, they should all be changed, but the critical ones are the ones where other sportspeople exist, since they are then ambiguous with several other people. -- (talk) 03:13, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
    As mentioned below, they are already ambiguous with several other people for the majority of our readers. That has nothing to do with where this page is, and we should help move them or add disambiguating hatnotes regardless. — LlywelynII 02:36, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
    I'll do BD one better and say this isn't true at all. There is no call to change any existing dab due to a change in the WP:ENGVAR usage here.
    On the other hand, given the current relative populations of the United States and United Kingdom, proper disambiguation should already address the fact that—for the vast, vast majority of our readers—the disambiguator "athlete" already is equivalent to the disambiguator "sportsperson". If you can find any example where it is being used to disambiguate a track-and-field athlete from a separate sportsperson, you should change the dab tag to something more precise, such as (runner), (javelinist), &c.
    And as a side note, welcome to the party. Go get yourself an actual user name. ; ) — LlywelynII 02:16, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
    With Charles Bennett (athlete), I can't really tell because of the stubby nature of the page. If the only sport he engaged in was running, I'd say a move to Charles Bennett (runner) is in order; if he was a general athlete and the other Charles Bennetts were all specialists, I'd say leaving him where he is should be fine under WP:CONCISE. It does need a dab banner, though. [Done.]  — LlywelynII 02:27, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
    Here is an example for comparison: Lorry and Truck. The article is at Truck, and Lorry (which means the same thing in UK English) redirects to Truck. There are other possible meanings of both Lorry and Truck, which is why we have disambiguation pages at Lorry (disambiguation) and Truck (disambiguation). This is an equivalent situation. The article should be at Athlete, with Sportsperson redirecting to Athlete. To the extent that there are other meanings of either, there should be pages at Athlete (disambiguation) and Sportsperson (disambiguation). bd2412 T 18:43, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
    Not the best example. Yes, American English speakers outnumber Brits even with the Commonwealth tacked on; yes, Wikipedia is a fundamentally American project; yes, it is much, much more likely that Britons will understand Americanisms such as "fire" or "truck" than that Americans know enough Britlish to comprehend "WC", "lift", or a restrictive sense of "athlete". That said, our default policy is not to always redirect to American phrasings and spellings and sort out the rest with redirects and dabs. The history of editing and details* matter.
    *E.g., there's nearly no American who employs the spelling metre but no real harm from leaving the page there. It can be "glossed" with an or. The similar-but-not-identical sense of athlete, though, has got to be addressed at some length and (among other problems with the current page) it's more helpful to do all that discussion at athlete. A better comparison would be with billion, which is actually in even worse shape than sportsperson is.
    Charles Bennett (runner) would be accurate, but I would strongly argue against Charles Bennett (track and field athlete) or Charles Bennett (track athlete) or Charles Bennett (athletics (sport)). Bennett was not exclusively a track and field athlete as he competed in cross country. I think "athletics" and "sport" together in the disambiguation would just confuse a lot of people. Location (talk) 07:14, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
    The disambiguation (athletics (sport)) wasn't really a serious proposal: it was just a reductio. In any case, no one is going to argue for any of the longer, less helpful dabs if (runner) gets the job done. What do you think, though? Is it more helpful to move him to ~ (runner) or does the hatnote dab I already added get the job done? — LlywelynII 09:04, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


I would say that Bob (athlete) is adequate if Bob is known as a guy who does a lot of sports and there are no other Bobs who could reasonably be listed at Bob (disambiguation). But in general, if all Bob does is the javelin, he should be at Bob (javelinist) or something iff there is another Bob (who plays, say, basketball) with an article. In other words, (athlete) is no different than any other tag; it is occasionally adequate but should be avoided when it fails to clearly disambiguate the title. Red Slash 02:37, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Per "(athlete)" -- new requests for redisambiguation [1] -- (talk) 08:29, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Per my talk page, I'm now going through these to fix incoming links before repointing them to disambiguation pages. If anyone wants to assist, feel free. After that's finished, I will propose another tranche of renames, although anyone may want to do that themselves as well. (especially if the next tranche falls off the end of my worklist) -- (talk) 06:38, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
On hold pending more participation in the discussion at WT:SPORTS. -- (talk) 07:31, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
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You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

-- (talk) 09:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

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Hello, Athlete. You have new messages at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Sports#Athlete.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

-- (talk) 03:37, 3 September 2014 (UTC)