Portrayals of sports riots, current protests sharply differ

first_imgTurner said that since the current protests are, by nature, in opposition to the police, the authority of police departments to properly handle crowd control is under question — which may only add to the tension. But these sports riots extend from coast to coast, even in recent history. After the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2014, fans smashed the windows of police cars and buses as part of a larger scene of vandalism and bonfires. By the end of the night, two people had been shot and one had been stabbed.   As predicted, the slippery substance proved necessary. After the underdog Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33, the city of Philadelphia flared up as fans flooded the streets in joy. However, byproducts of their enjoyment were destructive acts such as flipping cars, starting fires and vandalizing buildings.  “Basically, it was portrayed as a celebration that went awry as opposed to a riot, but in actuality, in the definition of a riot, it was a riot,” Turner said of the 2018 Philadelphia celebrations. “Property was destroyed, there was vandalism, there was looting.”  A New York Times piece shared a similar sentiment, using “rowdy” as well as “unruly” to describe the celebrations. News outlet Quartz described the fans’ actions as “all-destructive joy.” “Even when it’s just a peaceful situation, the police are on guard,” Turner said of the current protests. “They’ve got their hands on their hips, their hands on their revolvers, because they’re expecting something to pop up.” “It’s partly a matter of broadening the attitudes of everybody who’s out there working, doing news,” Messner said. “But I think it’s also important to recognize that we do need to continue to move toward more diversity in the newsroom.” Daniel Durbin, a communication professor at USC, echoed that sentiment, adding that there’s not a “larger social picture” behind sports fans’ violent actions. At the time, media outlets downplayed this destruction. On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” former NFL player and GMA co-host Michael Strahan simply called the fans “rowdy,” softening the extent of the damage they caused to the city. He, alongside the other hosts, were smiling throughout the broadcast, implying that the fans’ actions were acceptable.  In the past 20 years, Boston has seen riots whenever the Red Sox won the World Series, resulting in fires, flipped cars and fights with police. In 1984 after the Tigers brought home the World Series championship, Detroit faced similar riots as fans looted and burned police vehicles. After the Lakers won the NBA Finals in 2000, fans started fires and damaged police cars.  “Basically, they did a wide shot of the crowd just so you could see how many people were there and then close-ups on people who were just celebrating,” Turner said of the 2018 Philadelphia riots. “[Destruction was] not something that they focused on, and what you saw in Philadelphia is that you saw more context.” During the 2020 protests against police brutality after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, much media coverage has focused on the destruction that ensues. For instance, an NBC News broadcast stated that the “nation erupted into scenes of chaos, violence and widespread destruction,” focusing on the dangers these protests pose to cities across the nation.  But the violence and chaos that ensued in Philadelphia that night is similar to what is predominantly portrayed of current Black Lives Matter protests in mainstream media. According to USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism assistant professor of professional practice Miki Turner, media outlets have a habit of downplaying the result of chaotic championship celebrations.center_img Ali Pearl, a postdoctoral fellow at USC whose research deals with race and culture, discussed the importance of acknowledging the different reasons for violence with sports fans and Black Lives Matter protesters. This context, she said, is key in understanding why sports rioting and protesting against police brutality are two completely different stories despite occasional similar acts of violence. Looting, arson and property destruction all unfolded in the Bay Area shortly after the San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series. (Photo via Eazydee | Twitter) Turner, an award-winning photojournalist, also illustrated how the images depicted by the media in these riots differ.  The article suggested newsroom diversity could help facilitate unbiased language when covering protests. Sociology and gender studies professor Michael Messner said it comes down to not only increasing newsroom diversity but being receptive as reporters to learning about and covering different communities. The country has witnessed other similar violent and destructive acts occur in some of its major sports cities. But these riots don’t occur in support of diversity in sports, equal pay among male and female athletes or other social issues — instead, fans tear up their town to celebrate a win or mourn a loss. “I actually understand the impulse toward property destruction when you are protesting police brutality, when you’re protesting injustice, because you’re targeting the material products of a system that maintained inequality,” Pearl said. “When you are just celebrating or lamenting a sports win or loss, I don’t actually understand the impulse toward property destruction in that moment. There’s not a target to that impulse, it’s more of a release of energy.” Turner also noted how the circumstances of these riots could cause law enforcement to react differently to different crowds. The San Francisco Police Department reported only a “handful” of arrests after the city’s 2014 celebration. After the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series and chaos ensued, 14 arrests were made in Wrigleyville. “Even if you don’t choose to take it up, there’s a moral call to protest or to support [Black Lives Matter] protesters that goes across social and political lines,” Durbin said. “There’s no social or moral imperative to your team winning the Super Bowl or the NBA championship.” In an academic journal titled Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, researchers analyzed the rhetoric used by mainstream news outlets when covering the 2014 Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Mo. The journal predominantly found language referring to the lawless nature of the protests, as well as inflammatory quotes from police and an emphasis on the violence that ensued. On the morning of Super Bowl LII, the city of Philadelphia took to the streets in anticipation of celebrating who would become the 2018 NFL champion Eagles. It wasn’t the typical procedure of putting up barricades or cleaning the streets for fans — city employees coated light poles with hydraulic fluid to prevent celebrators from climbing them.  For comparison, 20 people were arrested in San Francisco last Tuesday for violating curfew, and in the last nine days, Chicago has seen more than 2,500 arrests related to civil unrest. last_img read more

Ibrahimovic Wins Community Shield for Man Utd

first_imgJose Mourinho began his reign as Manchester United manager yesterday with a trophy as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.Jesse Lingard, who scored the final goal of the Louis van Gaal era with the winner in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, put United ahead before half-time when he ran 40 yards and beat four men to slot home.League champions Leicester replied when Marouane Fellaini’s dreadful back-pass let Jamie Vardy in to round David de Gea and score.But summer signing Ibrahimovic, 34, typically had the final word with seven minutes to go, rising to meet Antonio Valencia’s cross and beat Kasper Schmeichel via the post.The outspoken Swede had stated beforehand that the shield would be the first trophy he would be bringing home as a United player, and so it proved for the veteran striker.Leicester had brought Mourinho’s second stint in charge of Chelsea to an end with a 2-1 defeat at King Power Stadium in December on their way to the title but this was a much happier occasion for the Portuguese.Mourinho has even more reason to be cheerful ahead of the start of the new Premier League season next week as United announced before the game that Paul Pogba is set to have a medical before a potential return to Old Trafford for what would be a world-record fee.Rather than start with any of his six summer signings, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri brought in long-serving Andy King to replace N’golo Kante who left for Chelsea in the heart of his midfield, and his side continued to sit back, absorb the opposition’s possession and threaten on the break through Vardy’s pace.Like last season, they also threatened from set-pieces, with Shinji Okazaki heading against the bar from an early corner.It was only at the break, with his side trailing, that Ranieri tried something different, bringing on summer signing Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray.Nigeria international Musa, who cost a club-record £16m from CSKA Moscow, had already made a splash in pre-season with his performance against Barcelona and he made an instant impact with his part in Leicester’s equaliser.It was Fellaini who played the final ball but Musa had burst forward to put United on the back foot in the first place, and he almost grabbed a late leveller from Robert Huth’s header as well.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more