Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Benjamin Burroughs

Second Committee Member

Gary Larson

Third Committee Member

David Nourse

Fourth Committee Member

James Navalta

Number of Pages



This thesis aims at unpacking the discourse of “stick to sports,” which audiences wield to police social and cultural boundaries and battles involving race, gender, and politics. The melding of sports and politics, primarily through social media platforms, riles up audiences resulting in arguments where larger social issues are deliberated and processed. The stick to sports discourse is used to dictate who can and can’t speak and what kinds of discussions are appropriate in relation to sports. The sports network ESPN is a site for understanding how corporations leverage this discourse and use it to claim political neutrality, while disciplining employees for veering too far politically. This research will rely on several sites that will analyze the "stick to sports" discourse through industry practices and articulations of the discourse, utilizing Havens et al.’s (2009) critical media industry studies approach. ESPN will be a main source, while outside sports organizations will also be highlighted. Some of the sites include Dan Le Batard's political rant, the sports debate show “First Take,” gender roles, Clay Travis and the NBA, Deadspin are all analyzed.


Stick to sports; Sports and politics; Social issues


Broadcast and Video Studies | Journalism Studies

File Format


File Size

0.646 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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