On the block race, gender, and power in the NFL draft /
This dissertation takes a feminist approach to gender and race construction in the
National Football League (NFL) draft (an annual meeting where teams select contract
rights to the best amateur players), which has recently spawned a proliferation of media
coverage. The analysis considers the political/economic conditions and the journalistic
practices that have helped shape the mediated NFL draft, together with a critical analysis
of the draft texts produced by, and related to, ESPN between 2000 and 2002. The texts
considered include ESPN’s televised coverage of the draft, the content contained on
ESPN.com’s special NFL draft section and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr.’s annual
subscription draft guide.
I read the draft as an attempt to position discursively the (mostly black) draft
prospects as commodities. The draft represents an emerging strategy that positions
audiences as “virtual owners” of athletes. This formulation has emerged alongside
widespread beliefs about Black athletic dominance and anxieties over the
“disappearance” of white athletes.
In this dissertation, I analyze several dimensions of this discourse, including the
commodification of prospects, the creation of docile bodies, and its erotic undercurrents.
Abstract Approved: ______________________________
Title and Department
School:University of Iowa
School Location:USA - Iowa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:national football league discrimination in sports sex united states
Date of Publication: