By: Chase Strickland
We discussed Kobe Bryant and his image repair strategies. Our paper is summarized below.
Abstract and Intro:
- Superstar Kobe Bryant was one of the most popular, but polarizing, players in the NBA.
- In April 2011, Bryant was called for a technical foul during a game.
- The cameras caught Bryant shouting a gay slur at an NBA official.
- Bryant was blasted by the media for the slur and fined by the NBA.
- Bryant called into ESPN radio programs to repair his image and appealed the fine.
- We used the following studies: Adrian Peterson (Winters, 2015), Michael Phelps (Walsh & McAllister-Spooner, 2011), Terrell Owens (Brazeal, 2008), Lance Armstrong (Hambrick, Frederick, & Sanderson, 2015), Tonya Harding (Benoit & Hanczor, 1994), Lebron (James Brown, Dickhaus and Long 2012), and Tiger Woods (Meng & Pan, 2013).
- . Did Bryant’s past reputation affect his image repair strategies?
- Were Bryant’s strategies more or less affective among the LGBT community?
- Did Bryant’s race impact the acceptance of his image repair?
- We analyzed the Lakers’ and Bryant’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Listened to Bryant’s public discussion of the event.
- Watched video the Lakers put out promoting gay rights.
- Analyzed articles written by prominent sites like ESPN, Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Fox Sports.
The table above shows the image repair tactics used by Bryant.
- Bryant and the Lakers were silent on social media, not responding to the incident.
Photo from Lakers’ Facebook Feed.
- Bryant did call in to ESPN radio and discussed the issue, using reducing the offensiveness of the event and mortification.
Photo from ESPN.com.
- He used provocation, differentiation and defeasibility.
- He also used mortification.
- The results were mixed.
- A year later, he used corrective action on Twitter.
- He was praised for this in newspapers of report, such as the Atlantic.
- When he retired last year, he was given royal treatment by many news sites, including ESPN.
Video from NBA’s Youtube
- Members of the LGBT community or those with close friends in the community were less quick to accept his apology.
- Many of the studies we looked at used similar tactics, such as reducing the offensiveness of the event and mortification.
- Ultimately, mortification and corrective action are the most successful.
- Past perception does not have much affect on the success of the image repair.
- Do not contradict your mortification when you seek to reduce the offensiveness of the event.
- The fact that the incident happened so many years ago makes it hard to find news from immediately after it happened.
- We could only look at so many posts from after the incident.
- Kobe Bryant did not use Twitter during the time.
- Bryant used reducing the offensiveness of the event, mortification and corrective action.
- While members of the LGBT community were slow to accept his apology, his long-term image stayed roughly the same.
- He was regarded as an all-time great when he retired.