Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Recreation and Sport Management

Major Professor

Robin L. Hardin

Committee Members

Sylvia A. Trendafilova, Steven N. Waller


Manipulation of stories and events expose issues of false representation and stereotyping within the mainstream media. This research examined the media’s role in shaping the behaviors and experiences of African American male athletes while using Critical Race Theory as the framework in conducting research. A focus group consisting of six former African American male student athletes was conducted. A semi-structured interview schedule was used in order to allow for open discussion. The Constant Comparison Method was instrumental in thematizing the data while QDA Miner software was used to analyze the data. The findings suggested that African American male athletes feel they are portrayed negatively in relation to leadership abilities as well as being portrayed as thugs and rappers. African American male athletes do feel pressured to challenge certain stereotypes presented by the media in order to become better role models for the African American community. Future research should explore the media’s impact on younger generations of African American male athletes as well as African American female athletes to compare whether similarities exists between the groups.