Media interpretation of sports-related concussion in Irish rugby union: reinforcing or reshaping the sport ethic?

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Abstract

Given that ‘sports injury reaches most people indirectly as a set of images transmitted by the mass media’, this article examines the role that the Irish media performs in promoting narratives surrounding sports-related concussion (SRC). Through a thematic analysis of the media coverage of two elite Irish rugby players’ concussion experiences, the article critiques whether the media’s presentation of SRC challenges the traditional norms of competitive team sport. A central dual narrative emanated out of the media’s framing of SRC, demonstrating both growing concern over the injury and a culture of risk continuing to exist. While concerns over SRC were emphasised, the narrative that playing through pain is a core ethos of sports participation was also reinforced. As such, the Irish media can be seen to simultaneously promote notions of caution towards SRC whilst solidifying the idea that certain ‘sport ethic’ dimensions remain significant to athletes themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-923
Number of pages17
JournalSport in Society
Volume27
Issue number6
Early online date22 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Concussion
  • sport
  • Ireland
  • media
  • culture

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