Race and narrative in media presentations of athlete autonomy in the National Basketball Association, 2010-2016

King, James (2023) Race and narrative in media presentations of athlete autonomy in the National Basketball Association, 2010-2016. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Between 2010 and 2016, two seemingly similar events in the NBA – the free agencies of LeBron James and Kevin Durant – received markedly different reactions from ESPN, the largest sports network in the US. This thesis interrogates the reasons for ESPN’s changing presentations of black athletes over this period, which resulted in a less overtly racialised treatment of Durant in 2016. Using elements of narrative theory to provide a framework for analysis of both print and social media content, I argue that the joint forces of social media and public discourse on police brutality and race were the primary catalysts for this change in presentation. I argue that there is evidence, revealed by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s useful theory of racial contestation, for the endurance of the racialised sentiments present in 2010, and uncover an intricate relationship between ESPN and social media which allowed for the perpetuation of racialised sentiments in 2016 and beyond.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Goffey, Andrew
Hutchison, Anthony
Keywords: nba, National Basketball Association, media presentation, racialised, racialized, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, ESPN
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 73513
Depositing User: King, James
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 04:40
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/73513

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