The Experience of Media and Race in the National Football League – An Existential Phenomenological Study

Submitted by David D. Biber 1*, Jocelyn A. Fisher2*, Daniel R. Czech3*, Rebecca Zakrajsek4*, Noah Gentner5*, Trey Burdette6*, Jonathan Metzler7*, Kimberly Coleman8*, Willie Burden9*, & Terrence A. Jordan II10*

1* David D. Biber, Georgia State University, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Atlanta, GA 30303


With over 67% of the current NFL population of African American descent (Lapchick, Costa, Sherrod, & Anjorin, 2012), there is a disparity between sport reporters, with 79% of the radio and television announcers being White and 7% being Black (Lapchick, &, Sherrod, 2011). This study examined the interactions between African American NFL players and veteran NFL reporters from a phenomenological perspective. While using one open-ended question for each population, the data were transcribed and analyzed, and main themes were identified. The players revealed themes of: (1) the players’ view of how media coverage affects the NFL players, (2) the players’ perceptions of media personnel, and (3) the athletes’ perception of black quarterbacks. The analysis of the veteran sport reporters’ interviews exposed three major themes: (1) perceptions of how the media covers the NFL, (2) interrelationships with NFL players, and (3) playing quarterback in the NFL.

Keywords: NFL, Media, Race, radio, television announcers. NFL reporters (more…)