The media has completely taken over and is now a basic part of everyone’s life. Everywhere you look there’s someone somewhere that’s looking at their phone, ipad, etc… and they’re either reading or sending something. There’s been many studies done that looks into the medias affects on social behavior where people have been tested on how being exposed to violent content triggers them to therefore conduct violent acts. According in D.G. Myers’ Exploring Social Psychology,
Many people now spend more screen time in front of their computers than in front of the television. In many ways, the Internet allows an even greater variety of options for viewing violence than television does, including violent videos, violent pictures, and hate-group websites (Donnerstein, 2011). It also allows people to create and distribute violent media themselves, and to bully others through e-mail, instant messaging, or on social networking websites (Donnerstein, 2011). Among U.S. youth, those who frequently visited violent websites were 5 times more likely to report engaging in violent behavior (Ybarra & others, 2008).
There was a major controversy presented throughout sports media where the fans took advantage of the power they had through media to voice their opinions and express how they felt about the player’s decision to protest the national anthem. The issue initially presented itself last season with Colin Kaepernick taking a kneel during the national anthem as it was his silent protest fighting against racial injustice in this country. Kaepernick had then told the Media in an exclusive interview after the game “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he continued explaining “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” (Arthur, Kenneth, Rolling Stone, 2017). After the President decided to voice a couple of his thoughts on to twitter such as “Sports Fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL change Policy!,” for example along with calling Kaepernick “a son of a B” for his actions encouraged a huge social uproar.
The NFL being one of the most popular sports to be watched by people in this country was dealing with a big social conflict between two extreme sides who have completely opposite outlooks on what should be done. One side views the protest to be very disrespectful to the veterans and people who risk their lives to serve our country; as a response these patriotic people took to the media by video tapping themselves burning team merchandise, no longer supporting any corporations associated with the NFL, and taking a stance against viewing the sport itself. Since the organization was being viewed as doing nothing to fix this issue, fans begun to get somewhat more hostile by harassing the league to make a fix immediately. In other words, people are demanding the NFL to basically shut down the player’s first amendment, the right to freedom of speech, in order to bring their viewers back and calm the angered fans down. The aggressive push from the fans and with the help of certain corporations such as Papa John’s who blamed the football organization for their decline in sales due to them being the main sponsors of the league and took to the media to say that the NFL should’ve “nipped things in the butt” when they had a chance. Leading to the NFL commissioner and the players compromising on an agreement where the league would give “nearly $100 million” to various charities that focus on social justice and causes important to African-American communities, ESPN reported. This initiative would surpass all of the NFL’s current charitable campaigns, including its support for the military and breast cancer awareness. The NFL also hopes this would put an end to the players’ protests during the national anthem (Masisak, Corey, NYpost, 2017).
Researchers have explored how viewing violent media triggers violent behavior and considered three possibilities thus providing evidence that social media has a great influence on social behavior. People are (a)aroused based on their personal stance on the protest and conform with the others that act and speak up the way they do. Then the media (b)disinhibits people – inhibiting violent thoughts where in these cases people consider displaying themselves disrespecting player’s jerseys as well as harassing the league. Lastly it also evokes (c)imitation which is somewhat like (b) but the violent thoughts become actual actions people are taking to make their point; conforming with the rest of the upset fans doing what the majority does. Another example of imitation, is that there’s a video online of the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett who was harassed but Las Vegas police even after calmly letting the officer know who he was and complying with everything asked validates imitation as evidenced by the officer’s actions whom after provided with proper identification and any other information asked for still proceeded to act with hostile force towards the player possibly because Bennett is known to be a player who protest the national anthem and the officer presumably being a patriotic person took advantage of the power he had being protected under the badge.
Arthur, Kenneth. “Why Fan Reaction to NFL Protests Is About Racism, Not Patriotism.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 26 Sept. 2017, www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/fan-reaction-to-nfl-national-anthem-protests-about-racism-w505387.
Masisak, Corey. “NFL’s $100M Plan to End Anthem Protests Is Dividing Players.” New York Post, New York Post, 29 Nov. 2017, nypost.com/2017/11/29/nfls-100m-plan-to-end-anthem-protests-is-dividing-players/.
Myers, David G. Exploring Social Psychology 7th Edition . McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Rapaport, Daniel. “Watch: Police Release Videos of Michael Bennett Incident.” SI.com, 29 Sept. 2017, www.si.com/nfl/2017/09/29/police-video-michael-bennett-las-vegas.