Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Twitter and PEDs: Communication Strategies for Managing Player Transgressions in Baseball
by Levin, Allison R., M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 97; 1567839
Abstract (Summary)

The steroid era of the late 1990s and 2000s was marked by ambiguity about player use of illegal performance enhancing drugs. In particular, McGwire, the exemplar this thesis uses for the era, took twelve years from the first accusation of wrongdoing to finally admitting guilt. The texts examined, key front page articles from each of the crises McGwire was involved in, showed he followed image restoration strategies; however, the timeline from the first accusation until mortification, or admission of guilt, was lengthy. On the other hand, when Twitter is added to the texts examined during the 2013 Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) crisis 19 of 20 accused players used mortification strategies within twenty-four hours. For exemplars of the PED crisis, this thesis examines Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. These two players were chosen because they popular players receiving who were noteworthy for being the only two repeat offenders in the group. The research suggests that Twitter caused accused players to accept responsibility for their actions and apologize quicker that during the steroid era. This is especially seen from the example of Ryan Braun who actually apologized to his Twitter followers twelve hours prior to his suspension being announced by the League. As mentioned, 19 of 20 accused and suspended during the PED crisis to resorted to mortification. This thesis examines the one exception Alex Rodriguez. Due to a lack of cohesive strategy he and the team took a different taken a different approach then everyone else involved; the Yankees choosing mortification and distancing themselves from Rodriguez and Rodriguez choosing to try to build his parasocial relationship with the fans. In the final section, this thesis examines the implications of Twitter on crisis communication, social media generally on future communication strategies, and the long-term effect of the choice crisis communication strategies on baseball.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schaefer, Zachary
Commitee: DeGroot Brown, Jocelyn, VanSlette, Sarah
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Speech Communications
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 54/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Web Studies
Publication Number: 1567839
ISBN: 9781321291674
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