Researchers suggest that gay and lesbian coaches often respond with silence regarding their sexual orientation or family dynamic (Anderson, 2005; Griffin, 1998). Scholars speculate as to why this silence exists from two antipodal approaches: self-policing and institutionalized policing (Krane & Kauer, 2013; Norman, 2011). While we know that coaches respond with silence narratives (i.e., don't tell) when it comes to same-sex family narratives (Calhoun, LaVoi, & Johnson, 2011), it is unclear what dialogues (i.e., don't ask) occur between sports information directors (SIDs) and coaches with regard to including same-sex family narratives in online coaching biographies. Using Gatekeeping Theory (Shoemaker & Vos, 2009) as a guide, I examine the routines of BCS Division I women's basketball SIDs and investigate how the construction of online coaching biographies contributes to the absence of same-sex family narratives. The results from semi-structured interviews with SIDs (n = 14) provide insight on processes and dialogues between coaches and SIDs. Major findings were trifold: (1) SIDs presented similar communication routines when creating online coaching biographies, (2) each level of Gatekeeping Theory was reflected the content in online coaching biographies, and (3) SIDs explained the absence of same-sex narratives by placing the blame elsewhere and absolving themselves. This research has the potential to affect stakeholders and constituents in the sport and LBGT communities. Future research should address how SIDs can neutralize their routines and offer opportunities for inclusion of same-sex family narratives in online coaching biographies.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. October 2014. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 185 pages, appendices A-E.
Calhoun, Austin Stair.
SPORTS information directors and the don't ask, don't tell narrative: applying gatekeeping theory to the creation and contents of Division I women's basketball online coaching biographies.
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