Research Paper Proposal

Over the years professional athletes in the United States who are mostly black have engaged in the country’s politics. The athletes have fought for racial equality. However, decades back the athletes had fear in fighting for the human rights to avoid losing their position in the society. The increased violence against blacks in the US have motivated the athletes to strengthen their political commitment in fighting for racial equality. This has been witnessed in various protests characterized by kneeling during the national anthem. However, the protests seem to grow after the speech against them by President Trump. The research paper will answer the question; what are the themes in President Trump’s speech against protests and its effects on the professional athletes.

This topic is important because available data indicates that black people are being discriminated in the US. It is thus important to understand the view of the president on the matter. The topic is politically significant because it revolves around political engagement by the professional athletes. Sports people can use their position to influence social change. This involves participating in politics and supporting the right policies. Additionally, the controversial speech was given in a political rally. The president used the political rally to give his message against the players’ protests. It is important to evaluate the comments of the president and understand the effects of the speech on the professional athletes to be able to determine the best way to respond to the protests. This was the main issue of racism in addressed appropriately.

The research will take a qualitative approach which will involve interviews and review of articles and other documents in search of themes. Qualitative Textual Analysis will be used in conducting the research. The method will be useful in describing and interpreting the message produced by communicators in the speeches and other responses. Content analysis approach will be used to identify the meaning of the messages communicated. Through content analysis, it will be possible to measure the athletes’ opinion about racism. Any words seem to support racism such as black will be used to represent the code for racism theme. By examining the used language it will be possible to understand the communicator’s insights. News articles and government sites will be used in collecting the relevant data. The data includes the speech by the president, and the responses to the speech by the professional athletes. The articles and the speeches will help in gathering relevant information that will help in answering the research question.

Annotated Bibliography

Blum, I. (2017). Black Athlete Activism in the United States. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Master Media Studies – Media, Culture & Society, pp.1-80.

This article discusses black athlete activism in relation to racism protests. The author argues that there are two periods of activism, the golden age and the political apathy era. In the golden era, activists spoke against racism but were punished. The period was followed by the era of political apathy where athlete focuses on making money rather than addressing prevailing issues in the society. However, the author challenges the perceptionby introducing the idea of new scholar that black athletes are engaging in politics with a purpose of addressing social issues. The article focuses on Kaepernick protests to understand the re-politicisation of the black athletes. The claim is supported by data collected through quantitative and qualitative content analysis. This article is useful foe the research because it focuses on black athlete activism, political engagement, and racial inequality issues that are central to the research.

Gottlieb, J. & Maske, M. (2017). Roger Goodell responds to Trump’s call to ‘fire’ NFL players protesting during the national anthem. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 12 April 2018 from…

This article focuses on President Trump’s speech in Huntsville in a campaign to support the bid of fellow Republican. In the speech the president mentioned the protestors against racism and proposed that the players be fired for disrespecting the flag. He also urged the fans to leave the stadium upon seeing such protests to make such things stop. The authors then focus on the responses to the speech. The article uses twitter posts to support their claim making it convincing and reliable. This article addresses the president’s speech and its effects a central theme in our research. Therefore, the article will be useful in answering the research question.

Johnk, Z. (2017). National Anthem Protests by Black Athletes Have a Long History. The New York Times. Retrieved on 12 April 2018 from….

This article discusses the long history of black athlete protests against inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. The authors list various similar events that have caused controversies in the US. It starts with the salute of the black athletes as a sign of black power leading to their suspension. Then an athlete lays down on the ground during the national anthem in 1973. The article then discusses the 1996 protests that saw Mahmoud suspended by the NBA. The long history shows that the black athlete protests are here to stay and have a potential in being effective. The author uses quotes and pictures to support the claims making it convincing and reliable. This history will be useful in our research in an attempt to understand the professional athlete anger towards president Trump’s speech.

Yuen, N. (2016). Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

In this book, Yuen discusses colour-blind racism in Hollywood. The author wrote the book to give voices to color actors with stories of small triumphs and gig struggles. Even though the entertainment industry was expected to support people from all cultures and races, this was not the case prompting the author to consider supporting the actors of color. The book discusses the systematic discrimination of the actors of color in Hollywood which prevented them from attaining their celebrity. The author reveals that Hollywood production discriminates color people in the employment process preventing them from having access to the employment. The author uses a systematic approach to present the book. This work is useful for the research because it gives information on the level of discrimination in the US proving that there is a problem that needs to be addressed and that the professional athletes are justified to protest against police brutality and racism.

Wildman, S. (1996). Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America. New York, London: New York University Press.

Wildman wrote this book after his black friend told him of how he struggled to live his dream in a monolithic society characterized by while males who not only oppress him, but deny him his humanity, intellect, and his right of belonging in the society. Wildman a white man decided to speak on behalf of the black man. The book analyses invisible preference. It discusses privilege in the media, workplace, and in residential housing in America. The book discusses the diversity dream and the quest for justice.Even with the availability of the Civil Rights Act that aimed at preventing segregation in employment, the issue of privilege has been ignored leading to a denial of access to employment opportunities based on race. The book uses the rule of law to support its claim. The fact that the book discusses injustices towards the black makes it important for this research. Examples from the book will be cited in answering the research question.

Pena, V. (2017). Taking a stand by kneeling: An analysis of national anthem protest coverage. Theses from the College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 49, pp. 1-74.

Pena discusses how Colin Kaepernick decided to fight against police brutality and racial inequality by protesting the national anthem. The paper article discusses how this protests attracted more protestors especially from the football team. The issue of professional athlete protests in history has also been analysed. The author agrees that protests are sometimes effective tools in bringing change to the society especially in fighting ineffective policies. This is why the author focuses on various sports protests. The author examines media on the role it played in covering the protests and the aftermath. With the use of credible sources the author supports his claims. This article is useful for the research because it provides a literature review that gives the research paper a foundation. The history of protests of national anthem relates to the research question.

Druckman, J., Howat, a., & Rothschild, J. (2017). Political Protesting, Race, and College Athletics: Why Diversity Among Coaches Matters. Institute for Policy Research. Working Paper Series, pp. 1-30.

This article discusses the role of black coaches in supporting protests for athletes in colleges. The authors acknowledge that athletes have been using their platform to participate in political protests against racial inequality. The authors use a novel survey method in conducting their research. The article discusses how college athletes refuse to protest against national anthem in the fight against oppression based on color. The article uses scholarly articles to support the claims. Focus on athlete and protests makes this article useful in our research since the research question is connected to athlete and protests against racial oppression. The paper will be useful in laying the foundation for the study.


Professional athletes in the United States decided to protest the national anthem in the fight against police brutality and racial oppression. Such protests have a long history in the US. However, the increasing racism in the country has fuelled more of such protests. The athletes kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest. People such as Colin Kaepernick have knelt during the national anthem before the NFL games to protest against racism. This has attracted President Trump’s attention where he gave a speech against the protests. His remarks seemed to fuel the protests instead of preventing them. This trend proves that there is a problem than needs to be addressed to ensure that American people are treated equally. President’s remarks on social issues are very important because they provide direction to the society. It is thus important to analyse the speech to understand the position of America on the protests.

Other studies indicate that there is a problem of racism looking at the number of black athlete protests witnessed throughout the history. This paper looks at the themes in the president’s speech and how the speech affected the professional athletes. The paper looks at the sports protests and how they have influenced more protests in the country.Through a qualitative approach, the article collects data useful in analysing the president’s speech and how it fuelled more protests. Data from various reliable articles will be used in the analysis. It is hypothesized that the speech supported racism and the statement of firing the professional athletes who kneel for the national anthem created more anger among the blacks fuelling the protests during the national anthem with a purpose of gaining attention on race oppression.