Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Should athletes shut up and dribble? Most academic scholars and pundits assume that contemporary African American professional athletes who engage in political activism do so to raise awareness about social issues and influence individuals’ opinions. However, there has been no meaningful effort to quantify the persuasive impact of this activism, examine the nature and scope of such an impact, or compare it to the impacts of other actors on the national scene. Using a focused and quantitative approach backed by Twitter data from the accounts of every starting American professional basketball player in the NBA in 2017 and a nationally fielded survey experiment utilizing a preference-incorporating choice and assignment design, I examine the effect of African American professional athletes’ political statements on individuals’ opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice.
Lasker, Carl, "Examining Professional Athletes’ Role as Political Opinion Leaders" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1514.
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