Examining Media Contestation of Masculinity and Head Trauma in the National Football League
Abbreviated Journal Title
media; sports; violence; health; hegemonic masculinity; WOMENS SPORTS; MARCH MADNESS; COVERAGE; Sociology
American football has long been central to the construction of masculinity in the United States. Of the multiple masculine scripts promoting professional players' hegemonic masculine status, sacrificing one's body for the sake of sporting glory is a key tenet. Sport journalists have traditionally used their media platform to reify this social script, an act which simultaneously promotes their own masculine capital. However, this article investigates a crack in this hegemonic system. Through a media analysis of the reporting on Aaron Rodgers' self-withdrawal (after hitting his head) from an important National Football League (NFL) game, we argue that increasing cultural awareness as to the devastating effects of concussions, in the form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, combined with a softening of American masculinity is beginning to permit some prominent players to distance themselves from the self-sacrifice component of sporting masculinity. Concerning concussions, we conclude major sport media are beginning to support the notion of health over a masculine warrior narrative.
Men and Masculinities
"Examining Media Contestation of Masculinity and Head Trauma in the National Football League" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 2226.