#TakeAKnee and Social Media Impact (3/10)

This piece examines social media narratives produced by the #TakeAKnee controversy, in reference to kneeling during the national anthem by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes as a form of social protest. Specifically, it investigates the “extent to which social media users’ ability to express themselves is constrained and/or encouraged by extant social beliefs and technological affordances of social media platforms”. The study produced several key findings, including the prevalence of links to relevant media coverage of the issue on Twitter versus Instagram. Alternatively, Instagram featured more image-driven content (as expected) designed to provoke a more emotional response to the issue. While less focused on actual athlete social media use, this article is notable in that it examines how athlete behavior can impact a variety of social media environments.

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