Defense Date

12-2-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Juliette Kitchens, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mario D’Agostino, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Melissa Bianchi, Ph.D.

Abstract

Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) and critical rhetoric of race, this study identifies messages of whiteness present in the narratives produced by sports media in order to highlight the presence of racial discrimination in the English Premier League (EPL). Since sports is a field with increased social impact, the EPL is an important place to center CRT’s agenda and contest dominant narratives. Focusing specifically on Sky Sports, the EPL’s official broadcasting partner, this study examines both verbal and nonverbal racialized messages across their matchday content. The findings suggest that Sky Sports supports the racial hierarchy in the EPL by communicating racialized messages that reproduce systems of White dominance and imply Black inferiority on and off the field. Both CRT and critical rhetoric of race are transdisciplinary, therefore I hope this study can be used as a building block to uncovering mediated messages of whiteness across many disciplines, and inspiring efforts to disrupt them.

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