Title

Color Blind‐sided: Racial Bias in Network Television's Coverage of Professional Football Games

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-1996

Abstract

Research into the portrayal of African Americans in the media shows that nearly 30 years after the Kerner Commission Report, the media still portray African Americans inaccurately and stereotypically. A cursory examination of television coverage of professional sports would lead one to believe that equality and objectivity have been achieved in this arena. African American announcers and reporters cover the games, and praise seems to be awarded on the basis of performance. However, numbers on the field and in the booth may not mean equal representation in the way players are portrayed. This research seeks to determine if there is racial bias in television's coverage of America's most popular sport—football. A Biased Coverage Index (BCD was developed to test for announcer bias in television coverage of professional football during the 1992 season. The study found that announcers emphasized the athleticism of African American players and the cognitive abilities of White players. This results in the portrayal of African American players as merely athletic, while more positive intellectual and character traits were attributed to White players.

Publication Name

Howard Journal of Communications

Volume Number

7

First Page

231

Last Page

239

Issue Number

3

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Group

DOI

10.1080/10646179609361727