Many recognize racism in their lives through conversation or behavior but senior Michael Tyner decided to see if it occurred in a more obscure field he called “New Racism” with a focus on professional athletes.
As a wrestler, sports interested him and he decided to incorporate them into his senior project. His presentation, “Race in the Media: A Frame- analysis of NFL and NBA Athletes,” was fairly self- explanatory.
He chose Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Favre and Gilbert Arenas as his four athletes.
All four were accused of a crime. Tyner read 60 articles—15 from each type of source—for each athlete and recorded how the media covered their situation.
Tyner wanted to see if
there was any difference in how the white athletes, Favre and Roethlisberger, were covered by the media in comparison to Bryant and Arenas, who are black.
“I wasn’t trying to prove a point.” Tyner said. “I was trying to discover if there is a difference in media coverage.”
Tyner categorized whether the overall coverage was positive, negative or neutral.
In the end there was no significant differences in how the athletes were covered.
Tyner was “shocked that more negative coverage, more negative frames, didn’t appear in the Ben Roethlisberger case because he’s been accused of sexual assault multiple times.”
He admits, however, that the study would need further research to lead to more concise, solid results.
“I could definitely see myself pushing the project but as of right now, I don’t know. It could go either way.”