Communication & Sport

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 21674795 / 21674809
Published by: SAGE Publications
Total articles ≅ 414

Latest articles in this journal

Zhijing Chen,
Published: 29 November 2022
An increasing number of athletes are speaking out on different social issues. There is also a growing acceptance and expectations of athletes utilizing their influence to push for social change. In recent years, some athletes have started disclosing their mental illness and raising awareness of mental health. This study investigates Twitter user data on Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open due to her mental health concerns, as well as examines how different Twitter sources or handles (e.g., athlete vs. news media) further shape public responses. Both thematic analysis and sentiment analysis were conducted on Twitter data to identify emergent themes and audience sentiment towards the case. Findings reveal growing positive reception of athletes’ mental health disclosures, athletes’ behavior as a form of advocacy, and utilization of social media to amplify activism efforts. The results also extend the athlete activism literature by showing how message sources shape public reactions differently. Findings provide implications for athletes and relevant stakeholders to effectively navigate through the situation by creating and delivering messages to their target audiences.
Katie Lever
Published: 16 November 2022
It has long been held that sport functions as a site of identity and belonging. Identity is also a key element that lays the framework for elite sport and social gathering as well as fan identification with teams and athletic figureheads (athletes and coaches) associated with their favored team. Sports fans often exercise identity in the communal bonding experiences of sport, including watching and attending games and other sports programming in groups. Outside of sporting events themselves, perhaps the most prominent sport-centric community and identity-building spectacle is ESPN's "College GameDay." First aired in 1987 as a rundown of college football scores and commentary, the popular show is now known for its in-depth analysis of high-stakes football match-ups, predictions of game outcomes, celebrity guest pickers who select the team they believe will win during the morning show, and the quirky signs made by fans who strive to be televised or featured on GameDay’s social media platforms. I argue that these popular elements of the show offer fans the opportunity to enact and express identities of hegemonic masculinity in widespread and potentially problematic ways.
Published: 7 November 2022
Violence in sports has the greatest impact in the media, especially on television. In the case of refereeing, although there are studies that have specifically addressed violence, those performed on female referees have not had the same repercussions. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to analyse the media coverage of violence against female referees in Brazil and Spain. In parallel, its intention is to reflect the perceptions of female referees in this respect. The methodology employed combined case studies with critical discourse analysis, based on news items and focus groups with female referees. The results reveal that gender violence against female referees is the most widespread type of aggression. Moreover, they highlight the sensationalist nature of the TV coverage of the phenomenon through the incorporation of visual and audio resources. Lastly, the findings of this study show how the prominence that this type of violence has achieved in the media has ended up eclipsing the recognition of the work of female referees.
Colm Kearns, Gary Sinclair, Jack Black, Mark Doidge, , , Katie Liston, , Pierangelo Rosati
Published: 17 October 2022
The rise of online hate speech in sports is a growing concern, with fans, players and officials subject to racist, sexist and homophobic abuse (in addition to many other prejudices) via social media platforms. While hate speech and discrimination have always been problems in sports, the growth of social media has seen them exacerbated exponentially. As a consequence, policy makers, sport governing bodies and grassroots anti-hate organisations are largely left playing catch-up with the rapidly shifting realm of online hate. Scholars have attempted to fill this vacuum with research into this topic, but such is the evolving nature of the issue that research has been diverse and fragmentary. We offer a scoping review into the scholarship of online hate in sport in order to encourage and facilitate further research into this urgent issue. Our review will achieve this through offering a comprehensive cataloguing of previously employed methodologies, case studies and conclusions. In doing so, it will not only equip future researchers with a concise overview of existing research in the field, but also illuminate areas and approaches in need of further examination.
Monica Crawford
Published: 14 October 2022
This qualitative textual analysis considers “voice” in a new sports media platform Just Women’s Sports. Using communicative injustice and collective voice as its theoretical framework, this study considers whose voices are represented in women’s sports media and how those voices are represented. The unique position of Just Women’s Sports as a news outlet independent from mixed-gender sports media outlets and funded by venture capital investments makes it an interesting case study to consider new avenues in sports media production. The findings of this study indicate that Just Women’s Sports’s voice consists of diverse women who promote an inclusive and activist community. Furthermore, this study provides a theoretical intervention in the study of women’s sports media by introducing communicative injustice as an informative theoretical lens.
James R. Angelini,
Published: 7 October 2022
This report examines how the National Broadcasting Company’s (NBC’s) primetime telecasts of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games presented male and female athletes. Clock-time analyses (of how much time each sporting event was featured in primetime) and salience analyses (of the most mentioned athletes by NBC employees) are reported. Results show that women received the majority of clock-time and name mentions during both Olympiads, a further continuation of NBC’s most recent Olympic broadcast practices, which appears to continue to be driven by American women winning the majority of the United States’ medals during both the Summer and Winter Games.
Sushma Kumble, Pratiti Diddi, Steve Bien-Aimé
Published: 4 October 2022
On May 31, 2021, Naomi Osaka, one of the top-ranked female tennis players, and one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world, announced her withdrawal from the French Open on her social media (Twitter) account, citing mental health issues. There exists a stigma around mental health; and people suffering from mental health conditions often experience “discrimination and stigma” (World Health Organization, 2019). Such disclosures by a noted sportsperson provide an opportunity to help combat the stigma. The present study uses unsupervised machine learning and qualitative thematic analysis to analyze 11,800 English language responses to her tweet. Results indicate that Osaka’s tweet mostly garnered a lot of support and encouragement. However, there also existed some negative comments. Additionally, 40% of the negative comments were disseminated by bot-like automated accounts. Practical implications for sports communication are also discussed.
Sayvon Jl. Foster
Published: 16 September 2022
The college sport landscape is a unique arena where institutional and social norms merge with an erratic, but highly-traditioned, sporting space. While the broader scope of college sport is framed through a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) lens, the context of differing institutions is often forgotten or misunderstood. This process is primarily evident with Minority-Serving Institutions. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are educational spaces that leverage their historical foundations and missions in an effort to create safe and equitable spaces for Black students and community members. Traditionally, scholarly inquiries about HBCUs have focused primarily on exploring and understanding institutional missions and culture. The dynamic and complex relationships that exist between HBCUs and their collegiate sporting teams continues to be understudied. This study uses a Black Liberatory Fantasy lens to analyze tweets posted by HBCU students, alumni, and media members from 2013 to 2020. A thematic content analysis of tweets discovered five (5) emergent themes that highlight the unique contributions of the HBCU sporting space: (1) shifting HBCU narratives, (2) the communal culture of HBCU sport, (3) the HBCU sporting sanctuary, (4) enrichment within the HBCU sporting space, and 5) the Black Oppressive Nightmare. Implications of this study highlight institutionally and culturally-specific approaches towards marketing, fan experience, and broader social discourse.
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