Blog Post 5

Identity can be a very significant part for African American athletes. Networked publics can be a place for athletes to gain popularity from fans away from their playing field. For example, Lebron James, one of the most successful and popular athletes in today’s era, has an Instagram account where he has over 15 million followers. By posting pictures and videos for his fans, he can gain more appreciation and fans by doing so. A recent example from his Instagram account is a picture of the whole team dressed up for Halloween. With some pretty funny costumes and the whole team being together, it shows that the team is pretty loose and they get along well, something that fans of his team and LeBron in general like seeing. It can be important for African American athletes to maintain their social media presence for their popularity. Obviously, what they do in their playing field is the most important thing but social media and an online presence can help athletes gain more popularity from the fans. And more popularity can lead to more endorsement deals, bigger contracts, more fans buying your jersey, etc. Identity has changed over the years for African American athletes, because now instead interviews being the only way to communicate with fans, they now have platforms to reach out to their fans and control and say what they want.

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