Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 12-12-2014

Major Department or Program

Rhetoric Studies


Heather Hayes


This paper reveals a racialized narrative existing within the media coverage surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft. The TV analysts for the NBA Combine and NBA Draft, along with player interviews, expose this narrative through the discussion of players’ potential and projection of how they will play in the NBA. The analysts are covering these players for the first time on a professional level, before the players have even competed in an NBA game, meaning this event serves as the operative factor in the reputation and discourse surrounding of these athletes going forward. I reveal how white players are assumed to be high character and hard working players, while black players are assumed to be elite athletes and raw talents. My exposition of this racialized narrative reaffirms the culturally implicative conclusions drawn in existing studies by scholars within rhetoric’s subfield of race and sports, in regard to identity construction, racial stereotyping, and societal constructs. Furthermore, evidence to the lasting effects of this racialized narrative is shown by telling statistics of each race’s chances of receiving a job in the NBA after their playing careers are over.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Racism in sports -- United States, Black Athletes, White Athletes, Mass media and sports -- typecasting, Stereotypes (Social psychology) in mass media, Professional athletes -- Press coverage, Narratives -- Media, National Basketball Association, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2015 -- Rhetoric Studies

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Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

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