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Literature Review: New School Racism in the NFL

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Abstract

While minority races have achieved equality in North America, there are still underlying racial biases and a new form of racism that takes place. Race relations have not reached an established milieu and the injustices, that the black American community has been through is still present under a new form. Famous black NFL players, are theoretically trapped by the man made legal prisons. Money hungry overlords own the teams, the league, the awards, endorsements and of the most significance they run the media. This has a macro level impact on race relations, and causes more people to be susceptible to misinformation while at the same time continuing to contribute to modern racism. As a business media entities prime initiative is to make money, however their obligation is to uncover the truth and bring it to attention. When they get stories wrong and/or reporting is done in a racist manner it unveils a certain unsettling truth about the media and we are left to wonder, what else has been fabricated or misrepresented.

Definition of Terms

  • New Racism: Passive aggressive treatment and coverage of black (African American) athletes facing controversy by the media.
  • Ray Rice: Charged with domestic assault after a video of him dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator went viral.
  • Richard Sherman: Ecstatically used expletives when being interviewed live postgame by a female reporter.
  • Ferguson Five: 2014 St. Louis Ram players; Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt
  • SCT: Symbolic convergence theory is where people share common fantasies and these collections of individuals are transformed into a cohesive group.
  • Thug : “a brutal assassin or gangster” (Merriam Webster, 2015)
  • WSP: White Supremacist Patriarchy

Literature Review: New Racism Facing Black NFL Players

Introduction

Football is one of the most common sports chosen by black Americans and many young players dream of playing professional football in the NFL. Sport has been one of the key avenues for the successful segregation of blacks following the United States’ civil right movement and although institutionalized racism has generally declined in the americas, the racism from the past is rooted in the new form of racism present today. While equality is supposed to be present among freedom loving countries, the resulting themes from data analysis point to inequality in the United States. The underlying negative tone and representation towards black NFL players in the media is unjustly non-representative. What is the impact of this relatively new form of passive aggressive racism’s impact on black NFL players facing controversies? The impact of the case studies evaluated in this literature review has a rippling effect; it is up to the current generation to end racial biases in the media to ensure, the future of our children, and that they are not exposed to the same injustices that black NFL players have experienced. While the individual cannot control what the media puts out, the individual can make a conscious effort to take what is said to heart or not. The results found in all of these studies are skewed in favor of the existence of subtle racism against black male athletes and by extension, black NFL players. The media embodied notions that implemented these self serving thoughts in the public’s minds.

These biases in the media are an obstacle to the end of racism and their negative subliminal messages against black NFL players. Facing controversies are detrimental to the progression of egalitarianism.This literature review aims to critically analyze when the media covers black NFL players who are involved in controversy and reveals that the media tends to be more critical of their situation as opposed to a non black NFL player.

New Racism in the media: Coverage of Black Male Athletes (2002-2012)

Cynthia M. Frisby’s study “ Delay of Game: A Content Analysis of Coverage of black Male Athletes by Magazines and News Websites 2002-2012.” sought out to determine if white male athletes are offered both more media attention and more salient coverage than black male athletes. A content analysis was designed and conducted for the study to determine the representation and overall role of black athletes in online news magazines and websites. Data obtained in the analysis show that, currently, coverage of athletes is not equal quantitatively or qualitatively. Disproportionate coverage involving black male athletes was found in news stories that involved instances of crime, domestic/sexual violence, moral failure, and/or the athlete’s “natural” skills and abilities. Frisby’s findings show significant relation to my research question. “One would not know of the positive contributions of black professional athletes made by reading online magazine and new sources, watching networks, listening to the radio or reading the sports pages. The amount and type of coverage provided to male athletes continue to yield stereotypic profiles of black athletes.” (Frisby, C. M., 2016). This forces the public’s hand who must educate themselves through non traditional media sources to find a source free of a hidden agenda.

Most black NFL players do not want to touch the racial issues in sports because of how delicate of a situation it is. The media however returns the favour by providing a seemingly unrepresentative overlook of black NFL players continuously positive contributions to society. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated by these athletes to their hometowns and communities. Every dollar counts, without these donations many lives would remain untouched and uninspired. The scope of and magnitude of having data representative of the black male athletes for 10 years by american media serves as an established precedence of racism in the media in representation of black male athletes (including NFL players).

New Racism in the media: The Cases of Ray Rice & Richard Sherman

M. Candace Christensen, Emmett Gill, and Alfred Pérez’s case study “Ray Rice Domestic Violence Case: Constructing Black Masculinity ThroughNewspaper Reports.” used concepts associated with black masculinity to critically analyze newspaper depictions of the Ray Rice Domestic Violence Case (RRDVC) by establishing persistent pattern of public discourse that situates black male athletes accused of committing crimes within a series of controlling images depicted by the media that serve to maintain White supremacist patriarchal understandings of black masculinity. 254 individual reports related to the RRDVC were used in this study. The results of the analysis reveal how hegemonic depictions of Ray Rice serve the White supremacist patriarchy (WSP) in maintaining the containment and commodification of black men. “The WSP has benefited from the existing public discourse about the RRDVC because this discourse has situated the NFL as the true victim of the violence and has paved the way for the NFL to exact further control and containment of black men, so that the WSP can continue to use black men for financial and political gain.” (Christensen, M. et al., 2016). This case is a well documented example of the new racism that takes place in the media. The passive aggressive nature of the media’s treatment of Ray Rice during the scandal perpetuated cynical views of the media by black athletes in the NFL in this particular case

Janis Teruggi Page, Margaret Duffy, Cynthia Frisby & Gregory Perreault work “Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football.” examined traditional and social media coverage of the Sherman interview appearing from the date of the incident and the week following. Several prominent databases were used to locate stories from some of the largest and most reputable media sources in North America. The authors examined news and citizen coverage of the Sherman interview during the week following the incident through the lens of symbolic convergence theory (SCT).The findings reveal a righteous master analogue wherein judgment is passed, and Richard Sherman as a black man stepped outside the lines of “correct” behaviour. Although the news coverage has elements of the social master analogue, it also has a righteous orientation. Both master analogues (of traditional media and social media) present in this study were infused with racist and sexist elements and served to naturalize patriarchy and the subordination of women and African Americans. Young men’s aspirations to play professional sports are shaped largely by television and increasingly through shared media. Thus, it is important for sports reporters and journalists to highlight other aspects of black male athletes beyond aggression and athletic prowess. (Duffy, M. et al., 2016). The racism black NFL players are subjected to is directly correlated to the media, an entity which shapes the hopes and dreams of young black athletes hoping to play professional. Some of those same young black aspiring athletes who witnessed racism being dealt to famous black professional athletes via media will unfortunately be subjected to the same type of racism. The article educates the reader by exposing the vicious cycle of racism being faced by black professional athletes and therefore black NFL players.

New Racism in the media: The Public’s Role and Impressionability

Jimmy Sanderson, Evan Frederick & Mike Stocz’s journal “ When Athlete Activism Clashes With Group Values: Social Identity Threat Management via Social Media.” purpose is to provide a thematic analysis of 1,019 user-generated Facebook comments and 452 tweets of reactions to when the Rams players performed the hands-up gesture conducted through the lens of social identity threat management. “The day of the gesture (November 30), a group was founded on Facebook entitled Boycott the St. Louis Rams. Within a week of its creation, the group had nearly 25,000 likes, hundreds of posts, and thousands of comments, all of which stemmed from athletes engaging in advocacy about social justice.” (Sanderson, E. et al., 2016). Some group members perceived this action to constitute an attack on group values that fell along two strands: (a) that sporting events (in this case, a football game) are inappropriate venues for activism and (b) that law enforcement is an authoritarian entity that is to not to be questioned. The results suggest that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter serve as forums where group members discuss and debate challenges to group values, and promote action steps that can mitigate social identity threats. The social identity of black NFL players came into question with the backlash of the Ferguson five’s display, fortunately mitigation against inherent racism after this controversy was available through expressive measures online via forums and social media. This denotes hope for combating the racism experienced by black NFL players via previously non existent mediums of communication.

Gill’s entry ““ Hands up, don’t shoot” or shut up and play ball? Fan-generated media views of the Ferguson Five.” into the journal of human behaviour in the social environment is a case study focusing on how black professional athletes responded to police-involved deaths of black men, using when the Rams “Ferguson Five” players performed the hands-up gesture as the lead example. Gill used a grounded theory approach to examine the immediate and intermediate prospect of civic involvement of professional athletes in social issues through a qualitative content analysis of mainstream media accounts and user-generated content. “Even so, a set of issues has emerged, such as police brutality, that not only impact  black communities, but black professional athletes as well. Not only are athletes hesitant to engage in activism, but sports franchises have adopted a corporate mentality and do not want to get drawn into politicized issues. Many hot button social issues cut across athlete and fan racial lines. In the case of the NFL fan base, 92% of fans attending NFL games are White (Domowitch, 1989) and 68% of NFL football employees are black (Tapp, 2014). “(Gill Jr. E., 2016). NFL players are masters at dealing with the media, they realize what they say can be changed around or misconstrued so they carefully prepare and edit their thoughts. As this happens, the very freedom of speech that free nations have worked so hard to achieve over the course of history becomes redundant and the spirit that embodied the pioneers for black equality becomes lost. Gill’s findings showed that fan-generated media employed a new racist and color-blind technique referred to as race talk to characterize the Ferguson Five. Race talk embraces the language of class and geography as a way to signify race without explicitly saying it. In particular fan-generated media content included the frequent use of the word “thug.”. None of the Ferguson Five have been arrested for felonies such as murder or some form of organized crime, which are crimes consistent with the term thug. Gill’s findings further engage the impact that media has on shaping the perceptions of the public.

Conclusion

An issue is definitely present; there is a link between unfair racial biases and the representation of African American athletes in the media. With further investigation it would be possible to figure out to what extent the media has implanted these thoughts into the general public. However this problem can be easily overturned. There is great power in factual knowledge, and we should all aspire to become educated and be an individual.

This would lift the plague that has been cast on the African American population and the athletes who dedicate themselves to entertaining us the people, the plague will also be lifted from the ignorant, who would awaken from their closed minded slumber and humanity would make a momentous stride to perfection.

After examining the views of the authors of the works being reviewed, it is apparent there is subtle racism facing black NFL players facing controversies. The authors connected to the reviewed literature share many of the same views and shared similar statistical results and had common themes emerge about the subject at hand. The authors of the all the literature being reviewed also expressed their distaste with the media, and most implied the media as being inaccurate at times and filled with subtle racism. Finally they all examined the social aspect realizing that people get the majority of their knowledge of current subjects from the media and their judgments are sometimes based on biased sources.

Further implications for future literature include the taboo nature of racial discussions. black NFL players (also black athletes) will unfortunately be further subjected to these subtle racism presented in the media and as racial tensions in the united states continue to be tense, there should be a rise in black NFL player in game activism due to this and hopefully their efforts will translate into solidarity in their treatment by the media. The research question of how the subtle racisms in the media against black NFL players will be furthered by extensive analysis of other Black NFL players in game protests and other controversies moving forward. Hopefully with the new wave of literature pointing to racism in the media’s treatment of NFL players and black athletes the results from statistical analysis will show a decrease in racist tendencies against this group of professional athletes.


References

  1. Emmett L. Gill Jr. (2016) “Hands up, don’t shoot” or shut up and play ball? Fan-generated media views of the Ferguson Five, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26:3-4, 400-412, DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2016.1139990 http://www.tandfonline.com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/doi/pdf/10.1080/10911359.2016.1139990? needAccess=true
  2. Frisby, C. M. (2016). Delay of Game: A Content Analysis of Coverage of Black Male Athletes by Magazines and News Websites 2002-2012. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cynthia_Frisby/publication/310215831_Delay_of_ Game-_A_Content_Analysis_of_Coverage_of_Black_Male_Athletes_by_Magazines_a nd_News_Websites_2002-2012/links/582a358608ae004f74ae3eea.pdf
  3. Sanderson, Evan Frederick & Mike Stocz (2016) When Athlete Activism Clashes With Group Values: Social Identity Threat Management via Social Media, Mass Communication and Society, 19:3, 301-322, DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1128549: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2015.1128549
  4. M. Candace Christensen, Emmett Gill, & Alfred Pérez (2016) “The
    Ray Rice Domestic Violence Case: Constructing Black Masculinity Through Newspaper Reports. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol. 40(5) 363–386, DOI: 10.1177/0193723516655576 http://journals.sagepub.com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/0193723516655576
  5. Janis Teruggi Page, Margaret Duffy, Cynthia Frisby & Gregory Perreault (2016): Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football, Howard Journal of Communications, DOI: 10.1080/10646175.2016.1176969 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2016.1176969
  6. Thug. 2015. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved Dec 15, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thug

6 thoughts on “Literature Review: New School Racism in the NFL

  1. Unfortunately I feel there is an oversimplification in some areas discussed in this post as well as many fallacies or assumptions being made. “NFL players are masters at dealing with the media” seems like an incorrect assumption. Of course during media scrums players may be asked difficult questions, but history shows that NFL players are NOT masters at dealing with the media. Marshawn Lynch was an incredible running back, but was not interested in dealing with the media. Also, placing blame on either media or NFL owners doesn’t address the root cause of racism being claimed; it instead seems to have led to a hostile environment whenever the teams have to meet with the media.

    “One would not know of the positive contributions of black professional athletes made by reading online magazine and new sources, watching networks, listening to the radio or reading the sports pages. The amount and type of coverage provided to male athletes continue to yield stereotypic profiles of black athletes.” – This seems to be a major disservice to the popularity of mainstream black athletes, who have positively impacted young athletes in ways that can’t be measured.

    To summarize my thoughts on this post, I feel it essentially assumes racism, somehow tying the media and ownership into this idea that the NFL or other major sports organizations are inherently racist. While I do not disagree that racism in sport still exists, I feel that in this case it may be dangerous to imply that these organizations are completely racist, as it cultivates hostility between the players, organizations and media without a strong framework of evidence and all variables being accounted for. It would be an incredibly difficult discussion to have, but the statistics relevant to these findings need to be understood better. This way, rather than repeatedly pointing out that there’s a problem, we can finally point out “why”.

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    • Dear Anonymous,

      Firstly, I would like to take a moment to applaud your bravery for leaving your opinion up for discussion.

      If I may, I would like to use your quote “I feel there is an oversimplification in some areas discussed in this post” to point out the hypocrisy in the point you are attempting to make.
      You’ve attempted to discredit the statement that “NFL players are masters at dealing with the media” by using a questionable example of one player.

      In the future I would advise additional caution before claiming something to be an oversimplification and then making an example such as the first you provided with the intentions of using it as a means of representing hundreds of other separate people. All this takes place in the first 5 lines, all though one some level you could be right your decision to write in this matter places your legitimacy in question.

      Also the definition of a master leaves room for interpretation, consider dictionary.com’s number one definition of master “a person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something”. NFL players have the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of their dealing with the media.

      Your statement “Placing blame on either media or NFL owners doesn’t address the root cause of racism being claimed; it instead seems to have led to a hostile environment whenever the teams have to meet with the media” is an argumentum ad populum, which Is a fallacious argument. The media controls what people see in online magazine and new sources, watching networks, listening to the radio or reading the sports pages. The owners profit on league operations.

      The Cynthia M. Frisby quote from the study “Delay of Game: A Content Analysis of Coverage of black Male Athletes by Magazines and News Websites 2002-2012.” That you wrote in your response is a “disservice to the popularity of black athletes” is based on 10 years’ worth of media analysis and is attempting to create transparency to the issues presented in the study’s findings. As mentioned in Frisby’s quote there is a misrepresentation of black athletes in the media and knowing this could be beneficial to the black community as education on the fact that they are being misrepresented will lead them to take what the media says about someone of their skin color with a grain of salt.

      Finally, my last rebut to you is that my work did not “essentially assume racism” as you say. I explain what I call “New Racism”, perhaps if I named it “Bacism” there wouldn’t have been any confusion.

      I would encourage you to read Cynthia M. Frisby ‘s study “Delay of Game: A Content Analysis of Coverage of black Male Athletes by Magazines and News Websites 2002-2012.” It will lead you to a stronger grasp of the findings you claim need to be understood better.

      Best,
      Jacob

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      • The reason I am leaving my opinion up for discussion is that racism is quite a powerful claim to make, regardless of whether it is “New Racism” or anything which insinuates racism.

        Using Marshawn Lynch as an example may seem like oversimplification, sure. The reason I use that example is that it goes a long way to interpret his impact on media relations within the NFL and how he may be influencing other players in their demeanor and dialogues with NFL media. And in so doing, I certainly was looking to point out where that is a case of a player not being a “master” of their interaction with media. I do not believe that the context in which that statement was said in the blog is reflective of the dictionary definition for “master”, however if that is the context in which it was framed then it contradicts your point entirely. The reason being that it implies that the players are responsible for information given to media, during media scrums or not.

        I also read Cynthia M. Frisby’s study, which she herself admits that there is little to no research on how sport media frames their discussion on the achievements or events in the life of athletes of different ethnicity. Furthermore, her study referenced another study regarding the 2000/2002 Olympic games, in which the frames discussed (if related back to the NFL) did not actually support the claims being made in her study or this post.

        Moving beyond that, the majority of the references in her study date back to 2007 and earlier, where a decade of change in media policy and relations could completely change the public perspective on racism in the media – for better or worse. I say that, as we cannot quantify how much media coverage has changed. Why is that important? Because a decade ago social media was not a prominent component of media and is almost certain to change many of the results and conclusions drawn from this paper.

        Now finally, my biggest issue with what this post and Cynthia’s study suggest is that (I am using Table 1 from her study as an example) there is absolutely no juxtaposition between stats such as those which are cited and completely relevant statistics to what those stats are portraying. For example, Table 1 lists 155 instances of varying coverage in the media based on ethnicity; white athletes, black athletes and “other”. Relevant questions to ask regarding that table would be “per capita, how many crimes are committed (and covered by media) within the same groups listed?” The sport in question is relevant. The number of players from different ethnicities in a given league is relevant. And finally, the table also contradicted many of the claims of black athletes being covered more frequently for natural athletic abilities, as well as the claims made by the study on the 2000/2002 Olympic Games in which she referenced. “Thug” is a term being referenced as well, while the table in her study actually reported more media coverage for white athletes regarding breaking the rules/laws of the sport. Furthermore, while I do not disagree that black players may more often be framed in a context of natural skills/athletic ability, the table in her study again referenced that there was more media coverage of white players framed in the context of natural skills/athletic ability. This is in direct contradiction of her reference to “Billings & Eastman (2003), for example, found that sports reporters covering the Olympic Games ascribed the success of White athletes to their commitment and drive in their respective sports while most of the success of Black athletes was attributed to their inherent skill and athletic ability in sports.” And to address the point that coverage of White athletes pointed to their success being framed in a way that suggests they are hard workers and incredibly committed, that is also an incredibly weak argument based on the data that again, I am taking directly from her study. Training/work ethic/dedication was one of the frames in the Table, which described ONE more instance of media coverage related to this for white athletes when compared to black athletes.

        So to summarize my intention behind this comment, I am trying to show that it can be ill-advised to make powerful claims of racism given the baseless ideas behind them. I would certainly suggest finding sources to corroborate claims being made by posts such as this and articles such as the one you suggested I read, as correlation does not imply causation and the more relevant factors behind the claims were not pointed to at all.

        Finally, “Placing blame on either media or NFL owners doesn’t address the root cause of racism being claimed; it instead seems to have led to a hostile environment whenever the teams have to meet with the media” would be a fallacious argument if it was an argument at all. In fact, the point I was trying to make with that statement (which, I could have completely dropped the hostile environment part of I can admit) is that it does not address why the media, if it is conclusively using “New Racism” in its coverage of athletes of all backgrounds, would conduct that sort of coverage. And as I was making the argument earlier about relevant factors to consider when making these claims, that is exactly what I had alluded to.

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  2. “The reason I am leaving my opinion up for discussion is that racism is quite a powerful claim to make, regardless of whether it is “New Racism” or anything which insinuates racism.”

    Racism is a powerful claim, and requires evidence to back it up. It was a necessary to insinuate racism in this literature review because that is precisely what the findings of the studies point to (Frisby work aside). If we dismiss the findings of the research on the grounds that racism is a powerful claim to make than aren’t we guilty of ignorance to the issue? (The issue of racism itself stems from a place of ignorance).

    “Using Marshawn Lynch as an example may seem like oversimplification, sure.” I admire your admission of seemingly oversimplifying through your example of Marshawn Lynch. I do not see the logical correlation to you stating that “the reason I use that example is that it goes a long way to interpret his impact on media relations within the NFL”.

    Essentially you are using Marshawn Lynch as an example of NFL players being “non-masters” of media relations. You do so by stating that Lynch’s impact on media relations goes a long way within the NFL. If we go back to the meaning of the word master, it should be clear that Marshawn Lynch is a master of media relations as he is a person that has the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of his interactions with the NFL Media.

    “How he may be influencing other players in their demeanor and dialogues with NFL media.”

    This is a great example of how correlation does not always imply causation. You may say that correlation does not always imply causation in regards to the literature in this review but the each author has taken suffice measure to insure that their arguments are backed by enough data to make an intelligent case for their study (even more so than “it goes a long way to interpret his impact on media relations within the NFL”).

    “I do not believe that the context in which that statement was said in the blog is reflective of the dictionary definition for “master”, however if that is the context in which it was framed then it contradicts your point entirely. The reason being that it implies that the players are responsible for information given to media, during media scrums or not.”

    NFL players are people with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of their respective interactions with the NFL Media. They are not responsible for the information given to the NFL media, they are responsible for their own respective choices when dealing with media.

    What the media decides to do with the information provided to them is not the fault of the NFL players. There is no implication of onus for NFL players in regards to the information given to the media, there is however onus on NFL players in regards to their interactions with the media because they have the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of their respective interactions with media.

    “I also read Cynthia M. Frisby’s study, which she herself admits that there is little to no research on how sport media frames their discussion on the achievements or events in the life of athletes of different ethnicity.”

    If you had read the study throughly you would (hopefully) realize that she’s stating this as a reason to validify the reasoning behind her research and as an urge for other researchers to further investigate the issue as it evolves over time.

    “Furthermore, her study referenced another study regarding the 2000/2002 Olympic games, in which the frames discussed (if related back to the NFL) did not actually support the claims being made in her study or this post.”

    Do you think in good conscious that an author of an academic study would include research in their study that contradicts their point solely for the purpose of self sabotage? The actual reason a contradicting article is included is to try to acknowledge other arguments being made in order to provide a thorough rendition of the issues being investigated.

    “Moving beyond that, the majority of the references in her study date back to 2007 and earlier, where a decade of change in media policy and relations could completely change the public perspective on racism in the media – for better or worse. I say that, as we cannot quantify how much media coverage has changed.”

    Frisby’s article is an examination of media coverage from 2002-2012, she attempts to quantify how media has changed or exhibited a lack thereof. She does this through content analysis of media between that period. Why is it surprising that the majority of her studies include research from the midpoint of the decade analyzed and earlier.

    “Why is that important? Because a decade ago social media was not a prominent component of media and is almost certain to change many of the results and conclusions drawn from this paper.”

    “Facebook was created February 2004 by 2007 it was worth 15 billion dollars” (Microsoft Press Release). “Twitter was started in March 2006, by 2007 it had 400,000 tweets sent out per quarter” (Beaumont 2010). “LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and had 1 million users by 2004 (Byers 2014). Myspace was founded in 2002 and by 2006 was the most visited in America” (Cashmore 2006). I could go on…

    “Now finally, my biggest issue with what this post and Cynthia’s study suggest is that (I am using Table 1 from her study as an example) there is absolutely no juxtaposition between stats such as those which are cited and completely relevant statistics to what those stats are portraying.”

    Again, as with Lynch you oversimplifying the issue by choosing one example to warrant unfounded conclusions. The author used chi-analysis to frame the data as such in order to accurately depict a correct conclusion.

    “For example, Table 1 lists 155 instances of varying coverage in the media based on ethnicity; white athletes, black athletes and “other”.

    If you read the study thoroughly you would know that there was an examination of more than just white and black athletes, the data of athletes who did not fall in either the white or african american were grouped together because they held fewer results and were secondary data in context of Frisby’s Hypotheses.

    “Relevant questions to ask regarding that table would be “per capita, how many crimes are committed (and covered by media) within the same groups listed?”

    Rebutting with the crime aspect of the table after you’ve dismissed it beforehand is absurd. While we’re making outrageous claims, because you’ve insinuated that disrespecting league rules makes someone more of a thug than someone who commits domestic/sexual violence or what Frisby defines as a crime. (a harmful act not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state—an illegal, unlawful act. Examples: theft, kidnapping, drug use, assault, murder.)

    “The sport in question is relevant.”

    Right, and Frisby addresses this. Here’s a direct quote “It is possible that sport can influence the way cultures are framed and portrayed on a global level, therefore the overall purpose guiding the present study is to assess the coverage that the media provide for athletes based on race to determine if stereotypes that exist for black athletes are found not just in societal, cultural thought, but in sports journalism. Research suggests that journalists make stereotypical, biased comments focusing on race or gender on a regular basis (Oliver, 1994; Stone, Perry, & Darley, 1997; Rada, 1996). Halone & Billings (2010), for instance, found that sportscasters often frame and characterize blacks and white differently, and that racial discrimination still exists and is perpetuated by news media coverage. Thus, the data obtained in the present study will either confirm or disconfirm this hypothesis by analyzing stories of individual athletes and quantifying the number of stories published as well as the type of story by the athlete’s race/race.” (Frisby).

    “The number of players from different ethnicities in a given league is relevant.”

    She’s looking at a collective of data that is categorized as news media coverage of black athletes as a whole.

    “And finally, the table also contradicted many of the claims of black athletes being covered more frequently for natural athletic abilities.”

    The new form of racism being exhibited by the media has implications that go beyond simply supposed contradicting statements made by Frisby about what race has more frequent coverage related to their natural athletic abilities. Same goes for “claims made by the study on the 2000/2002 Olympic Games in which she referenced.” As I said, Frisby included some research that points to views opposite of her own in order to ultimately strengthen her argument in the end.

    “Thug” is a term being referenced as well, while the table in her study actually reported more media coverage for white athletes regarding breaking the rules/laws of the sport.”

    True, in table 1 of that study there are 47.1% of the type of media coverage of violating the rules/laws of the league was of white athletes vs 35.3% of black athletes. As long as we’re pulling stats from that table, I’d like to visit the stats of Domestic/sexual violence and Crime. Black athletes were covered in 70.6% of Domestic/sexual violence vs 17.6% for white athletes. Black athletes were covered in 66.7% of Crime vs 22.2% for white athletes.

    “And to address the point that coverage of White athletes pointed to their success being framed in a way that suggests they are hard workers and incredibly committed, that is also an incredibly weak argument based on the data that again, I am taking directly from her study. Training/work ethic/dedication was one of the frames in the Table, which described ONE more instance of media coverage related to this for white athletes when compared to black athletes.”

    Beforehand in trying to discredit Friby’s work, you stated “Thug” is a term being referenced as well, while then going on to explain that the table in her study (Table 1) actually reported more media coverage for white athletes regarding breaking the rules/laws of the sport.” You backed this by stating that table 1 of that study states that there are 47.1% of the type of media coverage of violating the rules/laws of the league was of white athletes vs 35.3% of black athletes. Now in regards to the training/work/ethic/dedication white athletes covered 42.9% of stories while black athletes covered 35.7%. 11.8% difference in breaking the rules law of the sport vs 7.2% difference in training/work/ethic/dedication. That 4.6% difference in results is not enough to logically warrant your statement that Frisby’s argument is weak, especially when considering the other results of the table that are more significant to Frisby’s hypotheses (Crime, Domestic/sexual violence, Being morally successful etc.)

    “Furthermore, while I do not disagree that black players may more often be framed in a context of natural skills/athletic ability, the table in her study again referenced that there was more media coverage of white players framed in the context of natural skills/athletic ability.”

    If you had read Frisby’s study thoroughly you would have understood that she’s testing two hypotheses. Hypothesis 1 is that compared to white male athletes, stories focused on black male athletes will be more negative in nature, focusing on themes related to crime, violence, and other antisocial behaviours. Hypothesis 2 is that compared to black male athletes, stories focused on white male athletes will be more positive in nature, focusing on themes related to philanthropy, skills and leadership abilities. The table results support her hypotheses.

    “This is in direct contradiction of her reference to “Billings & Eastman (2003), for example, found that sports reporters covering the Olympic Games ascribed the success of White athletes to their commitment and drive in their respective sports while most of the success of Black athletes was attributed to their inherent skill and athletic ability in sports.”

    This is not a contradictions of Hypothesis 2. Compared to black male athletes, stories focused on white male athletes will be more positive in nature, focusing on themes related to philanthropy, skills and leadership abilities. What Frisby is getting at is that there more of a positive inclination for someone is portrayed as working hard to get results in comparison to someone whose inherited athletic abilities.

    “So to summarize my intention behind this comment, I am trying to show that it can be ill-advised to make powerful claims of racism given the baseless ideas behind them.”

    The authors of the five academic studies cited in the literature would argue otherwise, besides as you have shown it can be ill-advised to promote unwarranted ignorance and dismissal the topics of the literature being reviewed as well.

    “I would certainly suggest finding sources to corroborate claims being made by posts such as this and articles such as the one you suggested I read, as correlation does not imply causation and the more relevant factors behind the claims were not pointed to at all.”

    Incase you missed it in the title, this blog post is a literature review. Apart from the only one piece of literature you have referenced to (Frisby), I reviewed four other articles as well for my review and have cited them at the bottom of my post. The insinuation that more sources are needed would hold merit if it were the only literature referenced in my post.

    “Placing blame on either media or NFL owners doesn’t address the root cause of racism being claimed; it instead seems to have led to a hostile environment whenever the teams have to meet with the media” would be a fallacious argument if it was an argument at all.”

    Parts of an argument include a claim, reason and evidence. Your claim is that placing blame on either media or NFL owners doesn’t address the root cause of racism being claimed. Your reason is that instead seems to have led to a hostile environment whenever the teams have to meet with the media. Your evidence is that because you have stated it, it must be true.

    “In fact, the point I was trying to make with that statement (which, I could have completely dropped the hostile environment part of I can admit) is that it does not address why the media, if it is conclusively using “New Racism” in its coverage of athletes of all backgrounds, would conduct that sort of coverage.”

    I urge you to follow your passions in regards to the above claim and to the argument you made earlier “about relevant factors to consider when making these claims” as most of the findings of the research presented in this literature point to a need of further investigation into this issues present (this a normal trend in regards to case studies). Contributing to the conversation using intelligent arguments based on research instead of opinions will hold more merit and give you the credibility that you are in need of. Good luck.

    REFERENCES

    Emmett L. Gill Jr. (2016) “Hands up, don’t shoot” or shut up and play ball? Fan-generated media views of the Ferguson Five, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26:3-4, 400-412, DOI: 10.1080/10911359.2016.1139990 http://www.tandfonline.com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/doi/pdf/10.1080/10911359.2016.1139990? needAccess=true

    Frisby, C. M. (2016). Delay of Game: A Content Analysis of Coverage of Black Male Athletes by Magazines and News Websites 2002-2012. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cynthia_Frisby/publication/310215831_Delay_of_ Game-_A_Content_Analysis_of_Coverage_of_Black_Male_Athletes_by_Magazines_a nd_News_Websites_2002-2012/links/582a358608ae004f74ae3eea.pdf

    Sanderson, Evan Frederick & Mike Stocz (2016) When Athlete Activism Clashes With Group Values: Social Identity Threat Management via Social Media, Mass Communication and Society, 19:3, 301-322, DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2015.1128549: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2015.1128549

    M. Candace Christensen, Emmett Gill, & Alfred Pérez (2016) “The Ray Rice Domestic Violence Case: Constructing Black Masculinity Through Newspaper Reports. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol. 40(5) 363–386, DOI: 10.1177/0193723516655576 http://journals.sagepub.com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/0193723516655576

    Janis Teruggi Page, Margaret Duffy, Cynthia Frisby & Gregory Perreault (2016): Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football, Howard Journal of Communications, DOI: 10.1080/10646175.2016.1176969 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2016.1176969

    “Facebook And Microsoft Expand Strategic Alliance”. Microsoft. N.p., 2007. Web. 25 Feb. 2017. https://news.microsoft.com/press/2007/oct07/10-24FacebookPR.mspx

    Beaumont, Claudine. “Twitter Users Send 50 Million Tweets Per Day”. Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2017. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/7297541/Twitter-users-send-50-million-tweets-per-day.html

    Byers, Ann. Reid Hoffman And Linkedin. New York: Rosen Pub., 2014. Print. https://books.google.ca/books?id=GR2EAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA2003&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    “The Structure Of Arguments”. Philosophy.lander.edu. N.p., 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2017. http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/structure.html

    Cashmore, Pete. “Myspace, America’s Number One”. Mashable. N.p., 2006. Web. 25 Feb. 2017. http://mashable.com/2006/07/11/myspace-americas-number-one/#SGLPHXb3m5qZ

    “Research Guides: The Literature Review: A Research Journey: Overview”. Guides.library.harvard.edu. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Feb. 2017. http://guides.library.harvard.edu/literaturereview

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  3. I think what I said has been stretched extremely thin and the way you interpreted it, I just don’t understand what you’re trying to get across.

    Cynthia’s article wasn’t self-sabotage, just CLEARLY poorly written. I’m calling out this post, not her article for the issues in it.

    Her sources range from 1978-2010, with an overwhelming majority of sources to be from 1995-2007 – then her group reviewed ONLINE/PRINT sources, not television media. Why is this relevant? Because again, social media has drastically changed how sport media is shared and handled, and this was NOT accounted for. Her article didn’t control for relevant statistics either, such as how many black NFL players were arrested vs. other ethnicities. As a matter of fact, 88% of arrests of NFL players (traffic stop) were black.

    Now, based on her article, if you’re going to draw your own conclusions from it, make sure it controls for variables that may address what is noted in her results section.

    I’m not arguing that historically athletes were framed a different way based on their racial background and/or gender, but if none of these studies can account for the change in media perception due to social media and other factors, then why cite it as fact? A look into MLS statistics as well explain the skew towards black players in terms of fouls committed, red cards and yellow cards etc. It was suggested that it was bias on part of the referees, when in fact, the top 5 black players accounted for a massive fraction of the fouls and were also notorious for late fouls and poor sportsmanship. Her study didn’t account for context either.

    I am saying that the claims your post made, as well as her study, are all accounted for by facts that should have been included in the research. If you’re going to draw on literature that is 10+ years old regarding online print/media sources, it’ll fall apart and distract from the fact that there are socioeconomic factors at play that effect black NFL players more than “racist media” and they need to be addressed.

    I recommend reading this article by USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/11/29/racial-profiling-nfl/3779489/ while I understand it’s not a research article, it talks about the real problem of racial profiling in sport and how it affects athletes.

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  4. This is most certainly an intense topic. The passionate discussion back and forth is to be commended. Please be examples of civil discourse via this forum.
    Thanks!

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