Football fans have a lot of opinions about Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who takes the field this weekend in the Super Bowl. Not all of those opinions are good.
James Rada, an associate professor of journalism in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, was quoted in a recent piece by USA Today columnist Nancy Armour in which she makes the case that much of the negative criticism leveled at Newton has ugly roots in racism.
"It’s almost impossible to prove because you’re never going to get someone to admit it. It’s very difficult to get someone to say, 'I don’t like him because he’s black,'” Rada told Armour. The columnist spoke with Rada and other experts in the communications and public policy fields.
Rada has studied how African-Americans are portrayed in mass media, including sports. Last year, he led a team of six student journalists to Alabama during the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery.