Authors: Brian E Menaker, R. Dale Sheptak Jr, Amanda K Curtis
R. Dale Sheptak Jr.
Baldwin Wallace University
275 Eastland Road
Berea, Ohio 44017
Brian E. Menaker, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sport Business in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University – Kingsville in Kingsville, Texas.
R. Dale Sheptak, Jr., DSSc is an Associate Professor of Sport Management in the School of Health Sport Sciences at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea Ohio.
Amanda K. Curtis, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management in the School of Business at Lake Erie College in Painesville Ohio.
Revelry or Riot? An Exploratory Study of Internet Media Coverage of Sport Championship Celebrations
The media shapes the narrative of mass gatherings of people flooding the streets of major cities as celebration, demonstration, protest, riot, or in other ways. Sport championships can often evoke these spontaneous gatherings. This study explores internet news coverage of spontaneous celebrations of sport championships to determine whether media frames these occurrences as revelry or riot. A content analysis of articles detailing the post-championship reactions of communities involved in the game after NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, college football, and basketball was conducted. The findings showed a difference between how news and sports websites cover unruly behavior surrounding sporting championships. Only MLB articles significantly predicted the presence of riot references. The model for revelry references was not significant. Approximately a third of the articles did not mention the word revelry or riot in the text. The results confirm previous literature’s assertion of underreporting these events as riots.