Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Metts, Charles


This study addresses the media depiction of professional athletes involvement in protest and its impact for public consumption. This paper will further seek to analyze the role of social media and its framing of political protest specifically within professional sports. The purpose of this research is to study the progression in professional athletes’ participation in protest and through textual analysis aim to understand how newspapers frame an athlete’s message. The more recent study that will be used as a frame of reference is the newspaper coverage on the Kaepernick protest and the dual relationship that the local/national media and social media had in its framing and impact on sports and society. There is existing work that has focused on the up’s and down’s for African Americans in sports, but those sources only highlight small political protest in professional sports without highlighting newspaper coverage. This study will display through three top nationally circulated newspaper companies (and the top circulated newspaper in San Francisco where the Kaepernick protest started) how the media illustrates protest and the reaction to protest through the lens of social media.