means so much to their city to have him.” He continued, “For a city who lives, breathes, and dies over what Lebron does, it would have been nice to see him stay and win a 5
championship in Cleveland.” (Miller, NBA Network) In seeing Reggie Miller, a popular and highly talented ex-NBA player with many fans say things of that nature, it is clear to see that many NBA fans across the nation began to side with viewpoints such as Reggie’s. In another clip from ESPN’s First Take with Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith, a headline stating “Michael Jordan rips James’ decisions.” (ESPN First Take) Now, despite what Bayless and the anchors are stating throughout the episode, this headline is simple enough to provoke hatred against James. Through these two examples of the ways that the media aided in portraying Lebron in a negative light, it is clear to see how this over-analyzation of sports can be harmful to both an athlete’s image and their personality. Overall, Lebron James’ “The Decision” will forever be entrenched as one of the most highly discussed sporting events of the decade. While Lebron James is a one in a million athlete, one in which an over- analyzation can be expected to occur, there are many other sporting events with regards to athletes being both harmed and exploited due to media coverage. Arguably, the most popular time of the NFL off season is the arrival of the NFL draft. It is a time when hundreds of hopeful college athletes attempt to escalate their careers to the next level, while millions of fans anxiously await to see the arrival of several new and promising athletes. Admittedly, it is even on of my favorite times of the off-season as well. However, while the NFL draft appears to be a great time for both the college athletes, as well as the fans, Thomas Oates is quick to point out the exploitative issues surrounding the ways in which the draft is handled. In his essay, titled, “The Erotic Gaze in the NFL Draft”, Oates touches on a variety of issues in which he discusses the draftees as commodities, as inferior with regards to issues of racial dominance, and even as subjects 6
of erotic desire. He states, “This paper considers the process of the NFL draft as an erotic problem, as a cultural site where the admiration of male bodies by men can circulate with remarkable openness. This openness not only satisfies desires that are in most other arenas strictly policed by taboos, but serves to affirm inter-male dominance based on a hierarchy or race by referencing gender hierarchy.” (Oates, 75) What is clear is that these NFL players are valued at millions of dollars. Furthermore, many people can understand, that before making a multi-million dollar purchase, a buyer should have the right to know everything and anything about what their buying. However, while this thought could easily pertain to a car, a house, or even a share in a team, Oates makes certain that these analyzations of male bodies bring forth several revolting issues.
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