What is Sport Social Work?


Friday, February 21, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

NYU Silver School of Social Work 
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003

NYSED Approved for 3 CE contact hours


Sport social work has existed since Jane Addams used athletics to acculturate immigrants into US communities, but only in the last decade has it emerged as one of the most exciting areas of practice. Professional and collegiate sports organizations are now hiring mental health professionals including social workers to serve athletes. This summer both the NFL and NBA mandated each team have a mental health professional. Sport social workers currently practice in professional sports leagues and at top intercollegiate athletics programs. Oftentimes when social workers hear about this practice area they reply “I never heard of that before!” Join us to learn about the roles and responsibilities of a sport social worker, explore the timeline for the evolution of sport social work and review the core principles of social work within the context of sports. We will also discuss the vulnerabilities that exist at the various levels of sports (athletes and organizations), further explore the vulnerabilities of college and professional athletes (and some social work practice responses) and close with how to pursue a career in sport social work.

Learning Objectives


  • Identify sport social work
  • Describe and give examples of college and professional sport social work
  • Relate generalist social work skills to skills required for sport social work
  • Apply social work lens to college and professional sports case studies


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Emmett Gill, PhD, MSW, LMSW

Emmett Gill is a former clinical professor in the School of Social Work and the Director of Student-Athlete Wellness & Personal Development in the department of Athletics, at the University of Texas at Austin. Emmett’s scholarship focuses on athlete’s mental health and sports scandals. Emmett is the co-founder and former president of the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports (ASWIS) and the former Director of the Student Athletes Human Rights Project. He is currently the Vibrant Emotional Health Pro Sports Crisis and Wellness Program Manager and ASWIS Executive Director.