Stereotypes of Race and Nationality: A Qualitative Analysis of Sport Magazine Coverage of MLB Players

in Journal of Sport Management

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Andrea M. EaglemanIndiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

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Racial and nationality-based stereotypes of professional baseball players have been prominent in the U.S. media since the 1800s (Voigt, 1976). To determine the manner and extent to which such stereotypes exist in the media today, a qualitative document analysis was conducted on the nation’s top two general-interest sport magazines, Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine from 2000 to 2007. Based on framing theory, the purpose of this study was to determine what differences existed between the frames used to describe athletes of differing nationalities and races. The results revealed that stereotypes based on race and nationalities were maintained throughout the study in both publications, further perpetuating such stereotypes into the minds of readers. In addition, differences existed in portrayals of athletes of the same race but different nationalities. Implications for sport managers and suggestions for future research are addressed.

Eagleman is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Physical Education, IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN.

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