The advocacy of celebrity athletes plays an important role in motivating people to engage in racial issues. However, little empirical research has explored the types of issue involvement that are motivated by athlete racial advocacy. This study investigates the relationship between exposure to athlete racial advocacy and issue involvement in the Japanese context. Data were collected from 2,700 Japanese respondents using an internet-based survey in January 2021. The results show that exposure to athlete racial advocacy is positively associated with the following types of public issue involvement: ‘awareness,’ ‘concern,’ ‘knowledge,’ and ‘information-seeking.’ However, the exposure has no significant effect on ‘talk frequency.’ The results suggest that athlete advocacy can motivate limited types of public involvement in racial issues. Our findings help athlete advocates, sport actors, and non-profit marketers to develop strategies on ways to respond to advocacy and facilitate further social change.
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