Duty of Karius: media framing of concussion following the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final

Authors: White, A., Parry, K.D., Humphries, C., Phelan, S., Batten, J. and Magrath, R.


Journal: Communication and Sport

Publisher: SAGE

ISSN: 2167-4795

DOI: 10.1177/2167479520948048

Concussion is a growing issue within sport, including within soccer. Despite the developing medical understanding of concussion, there is still an array of sociocultural discourses and misconceptions around it. In the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final, Liverpool Football Club goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered a head collision in the 48th minute. Postmatch, he was subsequently diagnosed as being concussed. As a result of his concussion, Karius’ performance was arguably impeded, with suggestions that this may have resulted in him making some key errors in the game. Through an analysis of media framing in 52 news articles in the days following the incident, four dominant frames were identified: deflection away from concussion, misunderstanding concussion, education on concussion, and recommendations. Frames that focussed on the lack of awareness and preventative measures that are present in soccer served to highlight the lack of significance afforded to concussion at this particular point in time. In particular, we highlight differences in concussion discourses between those working inside and outside the soccer industry. Overall, these findings contribute to the growing body of sociological work examining concussion in sport.

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