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African American Representation and Racial Bias in Sports Broadcast Journalism

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

By Rian Emmerson Garcia

This podcast looks at racial biases, stereotypes, and insensitive comments directed at African American athletes by sports broadcasters, and how these comments negatively represent the African American community. Further, this report focuses on any potential negative effects these racially motivated comments have on the performance and mental health of African American athletes. In-depth interviews were conducted with former or current sports broadcasters, former or current African American collegiate athletes, practicing sport psychologists, and scholars with published research regarding race and sport. The report shows that racially biased commentary and stereotypes have been used to represent the African American community since the era of slavery, and that African American athletes continue to be negatively affected by these statements. Further, some sports broadcasters and psychologists argue that sports are a microcosm of society, and that negative representations of African American athletes have been reinforced by racially biased or stereotypical commentaries over time. This podcast informs educators, media members, and future sports broadcasters on the power of their words, and how not to make similar mistakes as previous broadcasters who were subsequently punished for their insensitive comments or stereotypical language.

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