"He was framed!" Framing criminal behavior in sports news

Anita Atwell Seate, Jake Harwood, Erin Blecha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


An experiment examined the effects of newspaper articles about an athlete involved in a crime on perceptions of athletes. News articles were varied by framing the athlete's activities in an accusatory versus defensive manner, and framing the athlete as physically versus mentally skilled. An accusatory frame resulted in more criminally culpable perceptions of the athlete. Frame did not influence perceptions of the athlete's race, and perceptions of the athlete as Black did not increase perceived culpability. Additional findings show that framing does influence more general perceptions of athletes. Discussion focuses on media framing, attitudes toward athletes, and college students' socially desirable responses concerning race.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-354
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Athletes in the Media
  • Framing
  • Media Effects
  • Race
  • Stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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