Reference: Bunch, N. & Cianfrone, B. A. (2022). “Posting More than Just a Black Square”: National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athletes’ Perceptions of the Athletic Department’s Role in Social Media, Racial Justice, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Communication and Sport, 10(6), 1023–1052. https://doi.org/10.1177/21674795221091814
Abstract: There is a rise in athletes and sports organizations utilizing social media activism to discuss social injustices. Social media staff are tasked with communicating such messages, often with little insight into how it impacts their athletes. Empirical research is necessary to understand the perspectives of athletes to inform best practices for the staff. The purpose of this study was to assess college student-athletes’ perceptions of their athletic departments’ involvement in promoting racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. We surveyed 273 student-athletes from 40 universities for their perspectives. Quantitatively, we explored four factors: affective responses to the posts, perceived conflict, the role of the athletic department in using social media to discuss the topic, and the perceived qualifications of the athletic department to post about the topic. MANOVA revealed Black student-athletes were significantly more likely to believe that it was the athletic department’s role to address racial justice than their non-Black counterparts, with no significant differences in the other three factors. Qualitatively, student-athletes’ reactions were classified into three themes: social activism communication strategy, strategies to develop race conscious culture, and challenges to social media activism. Athletic department staff can utilize the findings to implement a strategy.
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/21674795221091814