Faculty Mentor

Patricia Ahmed


The NFL national anthem protests have divided America. This paper investigates how media portrayals of the protests reflect and likely exacerbate these divisions by analyzing coverage by three major news outlets: FOX, MSNBC and CNN as well as one sports outlet: ESPN. Several transcripts of commentary were sampled from each outlet. The data were coded using qualitative analysis technique employing both open and axial coding. The results show that FOX tended to portray the protests as anti-patriotic; MSNBC and CNN were more inclined to frame the protests in terms of fighting racial injustice. ESPN noted its disappointment over the fact that coverage over the protests tended to fuel political debate, rather than an open discussion about racial divisions and injustices.

Included in

Sociology Commons



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