17 April 2012
Mass Media: Negative Effect on Sports
In today’s culture technology is greater than it has ever been. Instead of a news story being told to a few people, we have the ability to stream it anywhere we please so that millions can receive the message all at the same time. This is called mass media. There are many different forms of mass media such as television, the internet, radio programs, newspaper, just to name a few. It has shaped the way we communicate with each other. While mass media might have its’ advantages, it can also damage peoples’ reputation, be taken out of context and cause mass hysteria. The wild world of sports and the athletes involved are great examples of how mass media can have negatives effects on their lives.
No one loves better than to sit down with a bunch of rowdy friends, scrumptious snacks, and a huge TV to watch your favorite sports team play. For some reason sports entertainment draws people to be social with one another. While this is great for the people watching, the athletes are constantly on guard and thinking what their next move will be off the field of play. The media shows us the dark side of professional athletics because it is hyper focused on the personal lives of athletes. When the media discovers that an athlete has done something wrong, they will poke at it till the athlete has no more interest or they loss their viewers. They love discovering that the greatest of athletes can have the same problems of any regular human, the bigger the name the more sensational the story. Jose Canseco, a former MLB outfielder, admitted to steroid use but claimed he wasn’t the only one using the performance enhancing drug. This was gold for the media. This caused controversy and drama between him and his former team mates. The media was so caught up in uncovering the other players that were using the drug that they had Canseco made out to be somewhat of a hero for giving them the dirt on other players usage. The reason steroid use is illegal in sports is because you have great players from the early and mid 1900’s who didn’t have the drug. All of their accomplishments were legit and not accomplished by a performance enhancing drug. Canseco admitted that his actions in using the drugs were wrong and realized that some of the greatest player’s records would be broken because to them. (Varzock). The fame and fortune of being an athlete comes with the hefty price of losing your privacy. Since you hear their names all over the place, people automatically put them on a higher pedestal than the average person. Michael Jordan, notably one of the greatest basketball players of all time, once lost 2 million dollars gambling at a casino. The media was all over it saying he had a gambling problem. To the average human, 2 million dollars is more money than can be accumulated in a lifetime but to Michael Jordan, 2 million dollars was a small fraction of the billions he has earned and still earns due to multiple championships, advertisement deals, and many other investments he has acquired. Whether or not he truly has a gambling problem is something that is personal and the whole world doesn’t need to know (Zimmerbucher). Tiger Woods also had his privacy invaded when he was found cheating on his wife. The media had an update every hour telling the story when it was first announced. His reputation was destroyed, and Tiger hasn’t played a great game of golf since the story became a media sensation. The saying goes, “Look good, feel good, play good”. This is very much true. Lane and Terry, two professors, studied athletes and their moods to try to find out if the athlete’s emotions affected their performance. It was discovered that if the athlete was feeling depressed or suffering from low self esteem, it carried over to the field and affected their overall performance. Athletes that were confident and had a positive attitude played to the...