Project Title

National Football League's Protests and its Effects on NFL Viewers

Presenters

Faculty Sponsor Name

Kyu-Soo Chung

Abstract (300 words maximum)

In the 2016 season of the National Football League (NFL), a few players have begun to protest the national anthem prior to their games in arguing police brutality and the inequality of people of color (see Earl, 2018). This protest had a tremendous focus on mass media not only by the controversy of patriotism but by a favorite player, Colin Kaepernick. There was both national backlash and support for these athletes. Several sport consumer studies have suggested that athletes’ scandals affect sport fans shaping negative perceptions of the sport and the athletes (Brown, 2016; Hwang & Chung, 2018; Washington, 2015). While the negative impact of athletes’ misbehaviors, such as doping, domestic violence or illegal gambling, has been revealed, we still have much to learn about how sport fans perceive athlete’s scandals that are related to social agenda or political proclaim. Thus, the primary purpose of this study is to determine how the professional sports protests, namely NFL, are impacting viewer’s attitudes towards the leagues, players, and their viewing activities. Knowing this would reveal a dimension of how sponsors and sport entities should repair their images tarnished by political scandals when necessary. One hundred sixteen participants responded to self-administered questionnaires online. Ten questions were asked regarding their view of the protest and their watching behaviors. The study concludes that NFL’s fans are highly polarized of the protest, reflecting their political belief and values into the sport context. More details on results will be presented.

Project Type

Poster

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National Football League's Protests and its Effects on NFL Viewers

In the 2016 season of the National Football League (NFL), a few players have begun to protest the national anthem prior to their games in arguing police brutality and the inequality of people of color (see Earl, 2018). This protest had a tremendous focus on mass media not only by the controversy of patriotism but by a favorite player, Colin Kaepernick. There was both national backlash and support for these athletes. Several sport consumer studies have suggested that athletes’ scandals affect sport fans shaping negative perceptions of the sport and the athletes (Brown, 2016; Hwang & Chung, 2018; Washington, 2015). While the negative impact of athletes’ misbehaviors, such as doping, domestic violence or illegal gambling, has been revealed, we still have much to learn about how sport fans perceive athlete’s scandals that are related to social agenda or political proclaim. Thus, the primary purpose of this study is to determine how the professional sports protests, namely NFL, are impacting viewer’s attitudes towards the leagues, players, and their viewing activities. Knowing this would reveal a dimension of how sponsors and sport entities should repair their images tarnished by political scandals when necessary. One hundred sixteen participants responded to self-administered questionnaires online. Ten questions were asked regarding their view of the protest and their watching behaviors. The study concludes that NFL’s fans are highly polarized of the protest, reflecting their political belief and values into the sport context. More details on results will be presented.