Skill in black and white : a content analysis of the 2001-2002 NFL season
Buffington, Daniel Taylor
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Ideas of racial distinction arose as part of a massive anthropological program to order the “races” from superior to inferior. While some of these myths have been debunked, many remain salient today, often times in unobtrusive manifestations. One arena in which these myths have taken on notable prominence is sport. Despite being described as one of “America’s most integrated work place” for players (Racial and Gender Report Card, 1998) media portrayals of sport remain immersed in collective impressions of race (Davis and Harris, 1998). Using a mixed method content analysis, I examined the language used by sportscasters to describe professional football players with special attention to how black and white quarterbacks are differentiated. In brief, my results show that the familiar “black-brawn/white-brains” (D. Z. Jackson, 1989) distinction still exists, albeit in a diminished, more nuanced form. Furthermore, this examination indicates that similar analyses must take into account stacking and demography.