The United States’ History of Unsportsmanlike Conduct & and the Portrayal of Colin Kaepernick: How the Culture Surrounding Football Reinforces the White Supremacist Patriarchy & Nationalism



Foltz, Katelyn E

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Colin Kaepernick spearheaded a social movement to protest police brutality and other oppression experienced by the Black community by choosing to kneel during the National Anthem before NFL games. These protests quickly became controversial and created a media firestorm. This research aims to understand how conservative media outlets framed the protests, and more specifically Colin Kaepernick, through the lenses of masculinity and whiteness, as well as attempts to understand how culture surrounding football reinforce these tropes. The analysis was based on a purposeful sampling and emergent coding of 77 opinion media pieces from Fox News Network, as well as ethnographic observations that followed a rural Virginia high school football team and interviews with 21 participants from the high school community. This study revealed how the portrayal of Colin Kaepernick is displayed through the creation of The American man, based largely in ideas of whiteness, patriotism, and subservience, challenging of The American man, and notions of crafting the American “we” through collective identity and how these portrayals are deeply rooted in the culture of American football.



Masculinity, White supremacy, Nationalism, Race, Activism