The Effect of Economic Vulnerability on Protest Participation in the National Football League

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Abstract

Objectives: What distinguishes between National Football League (NFL) players who participated in protests during the National Anthem and those who did not? Does the finding of a personal vulnerability constraint in high-risk activism apply to this relatively elite population?. Methods: Protest participation during 2017 was determined for every NFL player, along with several variables pertaining to their performance, compensation, and the political atmosphere of their team. Results: Bivariate and multivariate tests both reveal that protest participation was far greater among players with large guaranteed contracts and among players who were well regarded for their performance. Conclusions: Economic vulnerability ranges widely within the NFL such that players hold contracts offering guaranteed payments of anywhere between $92 million and nothing at all. The data here suggest that the personal vulnerability constraint documented in protest participation research also applies to this unique population of high-profile people engaged in a most high-profile protest. Documenting the existence of these constraints helps offer a more systematic foundation to our understanding of political activism behavior among athletes.

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APA

Niven, D. (2019). The Effect of Economic Vulnerability on Protest Participation in the National Football League. Social Science Quarterly, 100(4), 997–1008. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12630

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