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

Raiders head to uncertain offseason before move to Las Vegas

first_imgLast Updated: 31st December, 2019 12:56 IST Raiders Head To Uncertain Offseason Before Move To Las Vegas The process has become old hat in Oakland the day after the regular season ends with Raiders players packing up their lockers, having exit meetings and then leaving for the offseason. The process has become old hat in Oakland the day after the regular season ends with Raiders players packing up their lockers, having exit meetings and then leaving for the offseason. The difference this season is by the time next season starts, the team will be playing in Las Vegas instead of Oakland with hopes of becoming a consistent winner after mostly struggles during the 25 seasons back in Oakland.”I’m not going to lie, it’s exciting,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “I think it’s time for some fresh air.” The Raiders will still spend the offseason program at the headquarters in Alameda before going back to training camp in nearby Napa and then finally moving to Las Vegas next August. Now the question is whether Carr will be part of that after leading the Raiders to just one winning record in his first six seasons.Carr showed progress this year with career highs in yards per attempt (7.9) and passer rating (100.8), but has been unable to lift the rest of the team outside of that one playoff season in 2016. “We’ll see when that time comes,” Carr said. “They’re probably sick of us talking about it, just like I am. I had some good meetings with my coaches and I’m looking forward to Las Vegas.”Coach Jon Gruden was less definitive, even though he praised Carr for improving in his second season in the system. But that wasn’t enough to prevent the Raiders (7-9) from losing five of their final six games this year to fall short of the postseason for the 16th time in the past 17 years. That only led to more questions about Carr’s status.”I’m not going to get into all the next-year scenarios,” Gruden said. “I’m just going to say that 7-9 is a step forward and we took a step forward. Statistically, I think we took a step forward. We’ve got to get a lot of guys healthy and we’ve got a lot of things to look at and evaluate before we start making any assumptions.” OAKLAND WRAPUPThe Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995, but the 25-year second tenure was mostly a failure outside of a three-year run from 2000-02 that featured two trips to the AFC title game and one Super Bowl loss. The team’s 160-240 record in that span is third-worst in the league and the four playoff berths are second-fewest to the one for Cleveland.ROOKIE CLASSThe biggest bright spot this season for the Raiders was the play of the rookie class led by first-round running back Josh Jacobs and fourth-round defensive end Maxx Crosby. Jacobs led all rookies with 1,150 yards rushing despite missing three games and being limited in others by a shoulder injury.Crosby’s 10 sacks were second among all rookies to Josh Allen’s 10 1/2 for Jacksonville.Oakland’s rookie class led the NFL in touchdowns (17), yards from scrimmage (2,289), sacks (14.5), and yards rushing (1,167).BREAKOUT STARThe other major positive this season was the emergence of tight end Darren Waller, who was signed off Baltimore’s practise squad late last season after battling substance abuse problems early in his career. Waller became the No. 1 target in Oakland’s offense, finishing with 90 catches for 1,145 yards and earned a long-term contract as part of the team’s future.CATCH ITWhile Waller thrived, the wide receivers struggled a bit after the experiment to acquire Antonio Brown ended with his release two days before the season opener. Tyrell Williams finished with 42 catches for 651 yards, but was slowed after the opening month by a foot injury that lingered all year. Rookie Hunter Renfrow had 49 catches for 609 yards, but the rest of the group was mostly a revolving door that Gruden said needs to be addressed this offseason.HOW TO GET IT RIGHTThe Raiders have a busy offseason ahead with five draft picks in the first three rounds and significant money to spend under the salary cap on free agents. There’s also the move to Las Vegas, which will add another obstacle to deal with this offseason.There could be some significant changes between now and then as the Raiders need to find a No. 1 receiver, and make upgrades on all three levels of the defense. Getting 2019 first-round safety Johnathan Abram back from a season-ending shoulder injury should help in the secondary where rookie Trayvon Mullen showed flashes late in the season. There still are needs for more quality cornerbacks, but the biggest holes might be at linebacker and with the need for at least one more pass rusher after No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell struggled to generate consistent pressure. Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US COMMENTcenter_img First Published: 31st December, 2019 12:56 IST Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVlast_img read more