In 2014 when professional football player Thomas Hitzlsperger announced that he is gay, media response was overwhelming. Christiana Schallhorn and Anne Hempel conducted a qualitative content analysis of three newspapers ZEIT, FAZ, and SZ to explore the main topics of coverage of Hitzlsperger’s coming-out, as well as broader discussions about homosexuality in sport and society.
They concluded that newspapers reported in a consistently positive way about Hitzlsperger, but also discussed critically whether homophobia is mainly a problem of men’s football or still a widely held attitude in society.
Article is published online by Journalism Studies. Read the article here (abstract public)
Picture: Gay Pride in Bologna by Antonella Beccaria, licence: CC BY-SA 2.0