- Does racism exist in the media towards black sportspeople?...
Does racism exist in the media towards black sportspeople? If so how are stereotypes being used?
The mass media have come to be an integral, all encompassing
aspect of life. Whether it is watching television, reading a
newspaper or surfing the net, the media have become an inherent
part of the fabric of contemporary society. Many have argued then,
(Biggs and Cobley, 1998) that it is the media who are responsible
for shaping our views and opinions of the world in which we live.
Moreover, some writers have even come to suggest that the impact
and influence that the media now have can create social problems or
moral panics (Cohen, 2002). It is indeed the media who are largely
responsible for creating representations of particular groups
within society and very often this can create skewed perceptions of
Apparently in the 21st century we now live in a racist free,
multicultural society… a utopian paradise where the colour of a
person's skin is no longer an issue? However, although we have
moved away from worst days of racial discrimination witnessed in
the previous two centuries, this archaic and colonial system of
classification, more commonly known as racism, is still present on
some level or another and continues to linger today as the world's
secret shame. (Coakley, 2001)
Indeed, sport is often perceived as one of the few platforms
which is free for all and everyone is welcome. Upon closer
inspection however, it must be understood that 21st century sport
is not bereft of some level of racism.
Despite some rather rare protests, racism still continues to
exist in an 'intermittent fashion' in contemporary sport.
Reinforced and perpetuated by the mass media through television,
the internet and the press, the problem is only becoming worse
since dominant stereotypes of the black athlete remain alive in the
collective consciousness of society.