Reference: Lewis, M., Bell, T. R., Billings, A. C., & Brown, K. A. (2020). White Sportscasters, Black Athletes: Race and ESPN’s Coverage of College Football’s National Signing Day. The Howard Journal of Communications, 31(4), 337–350. https://doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2019.1608482
Abstract: This study analyzed how depictions of White and Black recruits by ESPN network employees differs depending on athletic successes, failures, personality, and physicality. A total of 42 hr of ESPN college football National Signing Day (NSD) coverage (2015–2018) was analyzed with results indicating sportscasters who covered NSD largely did not differ in their depictions of athletes, with the majority of comments referring to recruits’ physicality or their upbringing, regardless of race. In all, 98% of the comments about NSD were spoken by White sportscasters, and 86.4% of the comments were spoken about a Black athlete. The relatively meager differences could be framed in a fairly positive light, whereas the lack of non-White commentators within coverage indicates hiring practices are still problematic. Cultivation theory logics related to stereotype-formation-through-media are then applied to determine implications for the future.
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10646175.2019.1608482