The Relationship Between Sports and the Media

Sports and the Media

Sports and the media play a central role in the shaping of society. They have influenced one another from the 18th century onward and are often intertwined, especially in the development of the mass media.

Among the responsibilities of the media are to represent and report sports, and to encourage fans to watch games, purchase equipment, and support their teams. As a result, the media are in an ideal position to analyze the ways in which sports function and shape social relations.

National identity and the invention of traditions

In a wide range of nations, sports offer opportunities to strengthen and develop national identity. Through mythology, invented traditions, flags and anthems, and ceremonies, sports can help to reinforce a sense of national belonging or to challenge the status quo.

Homosexuality and the role of sports

The experience of playing a sport can inculcate important skills, such as discipline, motivation and diligence. These qualities are valuable in many facets of life, and sports can help to foster teamwork, cooperation and the ability to communicate effectively with other people.

Emotional Displays and Management

Athletes express a variety of emotions in the course of their performances, ranging from ecstasy to despair. These feelings are regulated by scripts that athletes and coaches have internalized, as well as by cues from stage setters (e.g., the commentators).

Although homosexuality was once taboo in many sporting communities, athletes such as diver Greg Louganis and tennis star Martina Navratilova have come out of the closet. This has paved the way for greater acceptance of sexuality in the public arena, but homosexuality still remains a taboo subject for many.