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Why is Michael Vick so fast and Peyton Manning so smart? Understanding Racial Portrayals on ESPN's Sportscenter Open Access

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Research examining racial portrayals in the sports media show that a physical-psychological racial dichotomy exists where black athletes receive praise for physical attributes and white athletes garner acclaim for cognitive attributes. But, many of these studies are limited because they focus on programming of only one sport, perceive race in binary terms, or fail to control for certain characteristics of athletes and commentators that could grant necessary insight. To add to the literature this study uses content analysis to analyze racial and gender portrayals over three months of Sportscenter programming in 2011 and 2012.Logistic regression analysis revealed that while the black-white racial dichotomy found in the literature appeared to hold at an aggregate level, however analyzing content for individual sports and level of competition presented conflicting results. In particular, the findings from the literature were only supported in professional football and in college football and professional basketball the patterns of stereotyping were actually the opposite. The virtual absence of commentary on women's athletics represented the other significant finding.

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