Understanding Black Male Athlete Social Responsibility (BMASR): A Case Study of an NBA Franchise
Author(s)Agyemang, Kwame Jesse Asamoah
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AbstractWhile there is voluminous research on the Black male athlete, the literature does not touch on the notion of social responsibility. Thus, the purpose of this study was to garner perceptions of Black male athlete social responsibility (BMASR) from an NBA franchise, with the ultimate goal of moving toward a framework for better understanding this concept. A qualitative case study design was employed, utilizing in person interviews, telephone interviews, as well as observations and document analysis. To garner initial themes, open coding was employed after which axial coding was used to configure more defined themes.
Five central themes emanated from the analysis. The most significant theme was related to how participants defined Black male athlete social responsibility in comparison to how Archie Carroll defined corporate social responsibility (CSR). Second, the participants asserted that issues of race and racism continue to play an integral part today‘s society. For instance, participants gave examples of how racism permeates in the sport industry. Third, given many Black male athletes are in the public eye (e.g., media), participants felt Black male athletes should be role models. The role of the NBA served as the fourth theme, as participants suggested the National Basketball Association (NBA) move toward improving current efforts in assisting with social responsibility. For instance, the NBA has programs in place that position athletes to give back to their community, but the participants felt that these efforts should be extended. Lastly, the theme of Black male athletes as businesses emerged, as participants mentioned the athletes‘ salaries as one reason why these individuals are businesses in their own right.
The implications communicated the need for the NBA and other stakeholders to pay more attention to issues of race and racism as it relates to the Black athletes. Also, the NBA should revisit current initiatives related to athlete social responsibility in view of past irresponsible acts of some athletes. Moreover, the implications of this study also pointed to Black male athletes employing good managers to assist the management of their careers. Limitations and future research directions are also discussed.