Sacred Sports: Moral Responses to Sports Media Content

Nicky Lewis, Edward R. Hirt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examines moral responses to sports media content. Using two conditions, participants (N = 639) were randomly assigned to read a damaging sports article about their university’s basketball team, either written by an ingroup or outgroup member. Participants then reported their moral outrage to the article, moral cleansing responses, and team support intentions. Findings demonstrated that individuals demonstrated moral outrage, moral cleansing, and team support intentions when their favored team was derogated against, especially when the source of disparagement came from an outgroup member. Results are discussed in light of social identification and moral foundations theories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-597
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 AEJMC.


  • moral foundations
  • social identification
  • sports fanship
  • sports media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Sacred Sports: Moral Responses to Sports Media Content'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this