Master of Arts (MA)


Mass Communication

Document Type



This study focuses on how media usage can affect one’s perceptions of Black collegiate and professional male athletes. While early research focused solely on traditional media, this study focuses on social media as well. This study investigates the relationships between the amounts of time spent using traditional and social media, and the perceptions of athletes in regards to their physical capability, the likelihood of being criminals, and prevalence of committing violent crimes. To explore relationships, this study utilized a total of 145 White participants. Findings showed a positive relationship existed between social media usage and perceptions of criminal-like characteristics. It was found that as social media usage increases, an increase in the perceptions of Black collegiate and professional male athletes having criminal-like characteristics increases as well. Also, results showed that perceptions of criminal-like characteristics, physical prowess, and violent crimes are attributed more to Black athletes than to White athletes. Lastly, findings showed heavy users of traditional and social media attribute more perceptions of criminal-like characteristics than light users of traditional and social media.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sanders, Meghan