'The season from hell' : the genre of corporate sports apologia

by Caitlyn Jarvis

Institution: Colorado State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Corporate; National Football League; Sports; Identification; Apologia; Rhetoric
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2073087
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10217/176605


In the fall of 2014 the National Football League (NFL) experienced a drastic rise in the publicity of player arrests for domestic violence. Not only did the case of Ray Rice, who was video taped brutally assaulting his fiancé, receive public attention, but this case was quickly followed up with arrests of Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald, and Adrian Peterson. Suddenly, domestic violence was a serious problem in discord with public values. This project examines the NFL's response to the domestic violence crisis during the 2014 to 2015 football season and its efforts to regain public legitimacy. Through combining the genre of apologia with research on organizational communication tactics, I present five theoretical ways in which sports corporations, like the NFL, can begin to rebuild their public image in the wake of a crisis. These five strategies help to inform the salience of apologia theory as well as the light it can shed on corporate communication when combined with studies on organizational discourse. Advisors/Committee Members: Burgchardt, Carl (advisor), Williams, Elizabeth (committee member), Hallahan, Kirk (committee member).