“I am Happy to Start the Conversation”: Examining Sport Media Framing of Jason Collins Coming out and Playing in the NBA

Eric Anderson, E Kian , D Shipka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A textual analysis examined U.S. media framing of NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out as the first ‘active’ gay athlete in one of the four most popular U.S. professional men’s team sport leagues. We analyzed all articles on Collins published over a four-day period in the five most circulated U.S. newspapers and five most trafficked U.S.-based sport Websites. Four primary themes emerged from the data. Journalists framed Collins’ self-outing as a landmark for U.S. sport, noting that both sport and the U.S. are now far more accepting of sexual minorities. The few media members and athletes who criticized Collins or homosexuality were framed as antiquated outliers. Whereas Collins was praised as a hero, sport journalists noted that his impact could be mitigated if he never played again; however he ended up signing with and playing for the Brooklyn Nets . Overall, media framed sport as an inclusive, accepting institution for gays, countering most previous research on homosexuality in sport media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-640
JournalSexualities
Volume18
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • Homosexuality
  • Sport media
  • NBA
  • Media framing
  • Inclusive masculinity

Cite this

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title = "“I am Happy to Start the Conversation”: Examining Sport Media Framing of Jason Collins Coming out and Playing in the NBA",
abstract = "A textual analysis examined U.S. media framing of NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out as the first ‘active’ gay athlete in one of the four most popular U.S. professional men’s team sport leagues. We analyzed all articles on Collins published over a four-day period in the five most circulated U.S. newspapers and five most trafficked U.S.-based sport Websites. Four primary themes emerged from the data. Journalists framed Collins’ self-outing as a landmark for U.S. sport, noting that both sport and the U.S. are now far more accepting of sexual minorities. The few media members and athletes who criticized Collins or homosexuality were framed as antiquated outliers. Whereas Collins was praised as a hero, sport journalists noted that his impact could be mitigated if he never played again; however he ended up signing with and playing for the Brooklyn Nets . Overall, media framed sport as an inclusive, accepting institution for gays, countering most previous research on homosexuality in sport media.",
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“I am Happy to Start the Conversation” : Examining Sport Media Framing of Jason Collins Coming out and Playing in the NBA. / Anderson, Eric; Kian , E; Shipka, D.

Vol. 18, No. 5-6, 27.02.2015, p. 618-640.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - A textual analysis examined U.S. media framing of NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out as the first ‘active’ gay athlete in one of the four most popular U.S. professional men’s team sport leagues. We analyzed all articles on Collins published over a four-day period in the five most circulated U.S. newspapers and five most trafficked U.S.-based sport Websites. Four primary themes emerged from the data. Journalists framed Collins’ self-outing as a landmark for U.S. sport, noting that both sport and the U.S. are now far more accepting of sexual minorities. The few media members and athletes who criticized Collins or homosexuality were framed as antiquated outliers. Whereas Collins was praised as a hero, sport journalists noted that his impact could be mitigated if he never played again; however he ended up signing with and playing for the Brooklyn Nets . Overall, media framed sport as an inclusive, accepting institution for gays, countering most previous research on homosexuality in sport media.

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