It's more than a job

Discourse and the treatment of elite footballers accused of sexual violence

Deb Waterhouse-Watson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the 21st century, 'playing' football at the elite level is a profession in a multi-billion dollar business. However, the way it is imagined in media discourse and the popular imagination positions football and its athletes as transcending mere 'work', portraying them as 'larrikin' national heroes, pseudo-religious figures and role models. Taking the case of Andrew Lovett as a case study, a footballer ultimately fired after being charged with sexual assault, this article demonstrates the persistence of 'non-work' discourses in media reporting using mixed-methods discourse analysis. It shows how 'transcendent' discourses provide a logical framework that makes treating footballers differently from those in other public professions seem reasonable, enabling clubs and leagues to act in their own best interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalMedia International Australia
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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