2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Lauren C. Anderson

Lasell University
Assistant Professor of Communication
Media Narratives of Domestic Violence in Sport: Progress or Regression?

In 2014, the Ray Rice assault videos took something that typically happens behind closed doors and put it out in the open to be talked about. Although the public outcry over the assault videos generated a national conversation around intimate partner violence unlike anything seen before (Blow, 2014), mainstream media outlets continued to conform to previous patriarchal narratives that have consistently blamed the victim, excused the perpetrator, and ignored the societal problem of domestic violence (Anderson, 2018). Since Rice’s assault, there have been a handful of domestic violence cases in sport that have garnered national media attention, and this paper seeks to explore whether these media narratives have changed. Using Kareem Hunt as a case study, this paper analyzes mainstream media narratives of domestic violence to answer two main questions: 1) Do journalists now give voice to domestic violence victims, or do they continue to silence the voices of victims and support the hegemonic structure of oppression? 2) Do journalists now discuss the larger cultural problem of domestic violence, or do they continue to treat domestic violence as an individual issue?