Print media narratives of bullying and harassment at the Football Association: A case study of Eniola Aluko

Philippa Velija, Louie SIlvani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article we draw on critical theory to discuss how power frames the ‘narratives’ of Eniola Aluko, a Black, female footballer who accused an established (White) football coach of bullying, harassment and racial comments. We discuss data analysed from 80 print media articles from three British newspapers (with circulation figures ranging from 1.4 million to 135,000 a day), from 6th August 2017 to 19th October 2017. In our findings we discuss the four dominant themes. Through our analysis we examine how race, gender and belonging frame Aluko in ways that seek to position her as an outsider and question her legitimacy in the white male space of football. We demonstrate that these frames are shaped by, as well as reinforce, existing power relations, and influence how bullying and racial harassment are represented in media accounts. We argue this type of analysis has implications for our understanding of how narratives bullying and harassment in sport can be re-framed along dominant power lines that question the legitimacy of athlete’s accounts and experiences.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jun 2020

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