The purpose of this study was to research how current and former National Football League (NFL) players and a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) executive director used Twitter to defend protests started by Colin Kaepernick in response to backlash from President Donald Trump. Colin Kaepernick’s protest was kneeling during the National Anthem prior to NFL games, hoping to bring light to social injustices occurring in American society. I have used ideological criticism through the theoretical perspective of Critical Race Theory to analyze a selection of 41 tweets from 31 individuals. Throughout this study, I concluded that race is institutionalized in contemporary American society. From that, the tweeters addressed four main themes: Attacks on Trump, Racial Solidarity and Action, Rights and Freedom, and Charlottesville Mentions and Comparisons. It is my hope that current and future athletes continue to use their platform to speak out against issues outside of the sporting world.


Bostdorff, Denise


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities


racism, protest, Critical Race Theory, Twitter

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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