The Status of the Conversation
This chapter analyzes the results of the three studies conducted in this book in the context of sports journalism’s “toy department” reputation, with attention to the substance and quality of the reporting about Jason Collins and Michael Sam’s coming out stories. Comments and insights from two prominent Sports Journalists, Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune and Cyd Zeigler of Outsports, are also included. Overall, the studies offer some evidence that Sports Journalists did attempt to address issues inherent with being a gay male professional athlete in a major team sport. However, being gay was also often presented as a distraction, especially in coverage of Sam.
KeywordsJason Collins Michael Sam Sports journalism Gay male athletes Media coverage Distraction
- Fatsis, S. (2014, February 12). How sports illustrated botched the Michael Sam story. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/02/michael_sam_sports_illustrated_the_bad_journalism_that_has_everyone_convinced.html.
- Hine, C. (2016a, March 6). NFL still in closet about anti-gay culture. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-nfl-gay-hine-0309-spt-20160308-column.html.
- Hine, C. (2016b, April 22). As LGBT rights progress, why do gay athletes remain in the closet? Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-gay-athletes-stay-in-closet-spt-0626-20160624-story.html.
- King, P. (2014, February 9). The NFL’s big test. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from http://mmqb.si.com/2014/02/09/michael-sam-monday-morning-quarterback.
- Schwartz, J., & Andsager, J. L. (2008). Sexual health and stigma in urban newspapers’ coverage of methamphetamine. American Journal of Men’s Health, 2(1), 56–67.Google Scholar
- Strauss, C. (2013, April 29). ESPN’s Chris Broussard thinks Jason Collins is a sinner. USA Today. Retrieved from http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/04/espns-chris-broussard-thinks-jason-collins-is-a-sinner.
- Thamel, P., & Evans, T. (2014, February 9). How will news that Michael Sam is gay affect his NFL draft stock? Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from http://www.si.com/football/2014/02/09/michael-sam-draft-stock.
- Yoder, M. (2014, August 29). Michael Sam hasn’t been a distraction, but the media has. AwfulAnnouncing.com. Retrieved from http://awfulannouncing.com/2014/michael-sam-hasnt-been-a-distraction-the-media-has.html.
- Zeigler, C. (2014a, December 11). Why everyone got Oprah Winfrey’s Michael Sam documentary so desperately wrong. Outsports. Retrieved from http://www.outsports.com/2014/12/11/7378279/michael-sam-oprah-winfrey-documentary.
- Zeigler, C. (2014b, December 19). Sports Illustrated gives media a B+ in handling of Michael Sam. Would you? Outsports. Retrieved from http://www.outsports.com/2014/12/19/7422585/richard-deitsch-michael-sam-sports-illustrated-media-grade.
- Zeigler, C. (2016). Fair play: how LGBT athletes are claiming their rightful place in sports. New York: Akashic Books.Google Scholar
- Zirin, D. (2014, February 24). What Michael Sam can’t do. Socialistworker.org. Retrieved from https://socialistworker.org/2014/02/25/what-michael-sam-cant-do?quicktabs_sw-recent-articles=11-8.