(Inter)National Pastime: Depicting Nationality in Local and National Major League Baseball Broadcasts

in International Journal of Sport Communication
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD $63.00

1 year subscription

USD $84.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD $119.00

2 year subscription

USD $156.00

This study examined Major League Baseball (MLB) broadcasters’ descriptions of players through the lens of self-categorization theory. Two core variables were assessed: nationality (American or non-American) and broadcast type (local or national). Broadcaster language in 30 games from the 2016 MLB season was analyzed. Two forms of examination revealed that American players were more frequently described as successful due to their intelligence, whereas non-American players were more likely to be depicted as failing due to an ascribed lack of strength and were discussed more in terms of emotionality. Local broadcasters were more likely to highlight differences between American and non-American players.

The authors are with the College of Communication & Information Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Arth (zwarth@crimson.ua.edu) is corresponding author.
International Journal of Sport Communication
Article Sections
References
  • AllenJ.M. & BruceT. (2017). Constructing the other: News media representations of a predominantly ‘brown’ community in New Zealand. Pacific Journalism Review 23 225244. doi:10.24135/pjr.v23i133

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AndersonS. (2016October 29). Immigrants make it a World Series. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2016/10/29/immigrants-make-it-a-world-series/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AngeliniJ.R.BillingsA.C. & MacArthurP.J. (2012). The nationalistic revolution will be televised: The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games on NBC. International Journal of Sport Communication 5(2) 193209. doi:10.1123/ijsc.5.2.193

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ArthZ.W. & BillingsA.C. (2019). Touching racialized bases: Ethnicity in Major League Baseball broadcasts at the local and national levels. Howard Journal of Communications 30(3) 230–248. doi:10.1080/10646175.20181466746

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AttiahK. (2018July 24). In Germany and France, soccer is exposing Europe’s racist hypocrisies. Retrieved from https://wapo.st/2E5l5Ws

    • Export Citation
  • BairnerA. (1996). Sportive nationalism and nationalist politics: A comparative analysis of Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and Sweden. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 20 314334. doi:10.1177/019372396020003006

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BaleJ. (1986). Sport and national identity: A geographical perspective. British Journal of Sports History 3 1841. doi:10.1080/02649378608713587

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BielerD. (2017April 26). MLB’s first African-born player set to take the field as Pirates promote Gift Ngoepe. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/04/26/mlbs-first-african-born-player-set-to-take-the-field-as-pirates-promote-gift-ngoepe/

    • Export Citation
  • BillingsA.C. & AngeliniJ.R. (2007). Packaging the games for viewer consumption: Gender, ethnicity, and nationality in NBC’s coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics. Communication Quarterly 55 95111. doi:10.1080/01463370600998731

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BillingsA.C.AngeliniJ.R. & MacArthurP.J. (2017). Olympic television: Broadcasting the biggest show on earth. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • BillingsA.C.BrownC.L.CroutJ.H.McKennaK.E.RiceB.A.TimanusM.E. & ZieglerJ. (2008). The games through the NBC lens: Gender, ethnic, and national equity in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 52 215230. doi:10.1080/08838150801992003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BillingsA.C. & EastmanS.T. (2002). Selective representation of gender, ethnicity, and nationality in American television coverage of the 2000 Summer Olympics. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37 351370. doi:10.1177/101269020203700302

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BillingsA.C. & EastmanS.T. (2003). Framing identities: Gender, ethnic, and national parity in network announcing of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Journal of Communication 53 569586. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2003.tb02911.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BloomB.M. (2018May 10). MLB players aided through visa process but families face roadblocks. Retrieved from https://globalsportmatters.com/business/2018/05/10/mlb-visa-process-families-face-roadblocks/

    • Export Citation
  • BruceT. (2004). Marking the boundaries of the “normal” in televised sports: The play-by-play of race. Media Culture & Society 26 861879. doi:10.1177/0163443704047030

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ChungC.K. & PennebakerJ.W. (2012). Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC): Pronounced “Luke”, . . . and other useful facts. In P.M. McCarthy & C. Boonthum (Eds.) Applied natural language processing and content analysis: Identification investigation and resolution (pp. 133145). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CliftonJ. (2012November 21). Singapore ranks as least emotional country in the world. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/158882/singapore-ranks-least-emotional-country-world.aspx

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CliftonJ. (2015August 27). Latin Americans lead world in emotions. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/184631/latin-americans-lead-world-emotions.aspx

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CohenJ. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educational and Psychological Measurement 41 687699.

  • CotterillT. (2018September 24). Felix Hernandez becomes U.S. citizen. Retrieved from https://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/mlb/seattle-mariners/article218933085.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DenhamB.E.BillingsA.C. & HaloneK.K. (2002). Differential accounts of race in broadcast commentary of the 2000 NCAA men’s and women’s Final Four basketball tournaments. Sociology of Sport Journal 19(3) 315332. doi:10.1123/ssj.19.3.315Please provide in-text citation for “Denham et al. (2002).”

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EaglemanA.N. (2009). Do the best MLB athletes receive coverage regardless of race and nationality? A content analysis of sport magazines. Journal of Contemporary Athletics 4 89109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EaglemanA.N. (2011). Stereotypes of race and nationality: A qualitative analysis of sport magazine coverage of MLB players. Journal of Sport Management 25 156168. doi:10.1123/jsm.25.2.156

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EastmanS.T. & BillingsA.C. (2001). Gender stereotyping in college basketball announcing. Howard Journal of Communications 12 183201. doi:10.1080/106461701753287714

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EdwardsC. (2016April 25). Estimated TV revenues for all 30 MLB teams. Retrieved from https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/estimated-tv-revenues-for-all-30-mlb-teams/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ElkM. & MorenoK. (2018March 29). Baseball Latino America’s pastime faces new challenges in age of Trump. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/29/baseball-latino-trump-mlb

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FerrucciP.TandocE.C.PainterC.E. & WolfgangJ.D. (2016). Foul ball: Audience held stereotypes of baseball players. Howard Journal of Communications 27 6884. doi:10.1080/10646175.2015.1117029

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FisherM. (2015April 5). Baseball is struggling to hook kids—and risks losing fans to other sports. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://wapo.st/2A6YEi7

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FujiokaY. (1999). Television portrayals and African-American stereotypes: Examination of television effects when direct contact is lacking. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 76 5275. doi:10.1177/107769909907600105

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HallS. (1997). The spectacle of the ‘other.’ In S. Hall (Ed.) Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices (pp. 223290). London, UK: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HannaM. (2018June 17). Separation of children from families drives US immigration debate. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/separation-children-families-drives-immigration-debate-180617185653260.html

    • Export Citation
  • HawkinsR. & PingreeS. (1990). Divergent psychological processes in constructing social reality from mass media content. In N. Signorielli & M. Morgan (Eds.) Cultivation analysis: New directions in media effects research (pp. 3550). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JohnsonH. (2014July 14). A different measure of diversity in pro sports. Retrieved from http://harvardsportsanalysis.org/2014/07/a-different-measure-of-diversity-in-pro-sports/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KarpA. (2015October 8). MLB regular-season viewership rises on national TV, majority of RSN partners. Retrieved from https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2015/10/08/Media/MLB-reg-season.aspx

    • Export Citation
  • LapchickR. (2016April 20). The 2016 racial and gender report card: Major League Baseball. Retrieved from http://nebula.wsimg.com/811d6cc2d0b42f3ff087ac2cb690ebeb?AccessKeyId=DAC3A56D8FB782449D2A&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LapchickR. (2018April 12). The 2018 racial and gender report card: Major League Baseball. Retrieved from http://nebula.wsimg.com/2b20e1bb7ea3fad9f45263b846342d04?AccessKeyId=DAC3A56D8FB782449D2A&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LeeC. & KahleL. (2016). The linguistics of social media: Communication of emotions and values in sport. Sport Marketing Quarterly 25 201211.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NakamuraD. (2017August 3). Trump, GOP senators introduce bill to slash legal immigration levels. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/02/trump-gop-senators-to-introduce-bill-to-slash-legal-immigration-levels/

    • Export Citation
  • PalmgreenP. & ClarkeP. (1977). Agenda-setting with local and national issues. Communication Research 4 435452. doi:10.1177/009365027700400404

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PennebakerJ.W.BoydR.L.JordanK. & BlackburnK. (2015). The development and psychometric properties of LIWC2015. Austin: University of Texas at Austin.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RadaJ.A. (1996). Color blind-sided: Racial bias in network television’s coverage of professional football games. Howard Journal of Communications 7 231239. doi:10.1080/10646179609361727

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RainvilleR.E. & McCormickE. (1977). Extent of covert racial prejudice in pro football announcers’ speech. Journalism Quarterly 54 2026. doi:10.1177/107769907705400104 Please provide in-text citation for “Rainville and McCormick (1977)”.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RealM. (1986). Global ritual: Olympic media coverage and international understanding. San Diego, CA: San Diego State University.

  • RealM. (1989). Ritual analysis: The global Olympic event. In M. Real (Ed.) Super media: A cultural studies approach (pp. 222249). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RealM.R. & MechikoffR.A. (1992). Deep fan: Mythic identification, technology, and advertising in spectator sports. Sociology of Sport Journal 9 323339. doi:10.1123/ssj.9.4.323

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SaboD.JansenS.C.TateD.DuncanM.C. & LeggettS. (1996). Televising international sport: Race, ethnicity, and nationalistic bias. Journal of Sport & Social Issues 20 721. doi:10.1177/019372396020001002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SempleK. (2018October 18). What is the migrant caravan and why does Trump care? The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/world/americas/trump-migrant-caravan.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TurnerJ.C.HoggM.A.OakesP.J.ReicherS.D. & WetherellM.S. (1987). Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. New York, NY: Blackwell.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WannD.L. & BranscombeN.R. (1990). Die-hard and fair-weather fans: Effects of identification on BIRGing and CORFing tendencies. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 14 103117. doi:10.1177/019372359001400203

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WantaW. (2013). Reflections on communication and sport: On reporting and journalists. Communication & Sport 1 7687. doi:10.1177/2167479512471334 Please provide in-text citation for “Wanta (2013).”

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WitzB. (2017March 22). W.B.C. Championship will be a study in contrasts. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/sports/baseball/world-baseball-classic-usa-puerto-rico.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Article Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 94 94 37
Full Text Views 5 5 2
PDF Downloads 3 3 0
Altmetric Badge
PubMed
Google Scholar