Loughborough University
read-burch-2023-the-framing-of-playing-through-the-pain-in-the-media-an-investigation-of-rafael-nadal-during-the-2022.pdf (572.16 kB)

The framing of ‘playing through the pain’ in the media: an investigation of Rafael Nadal during the 2022 French Open

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-03, 10:59 authored by Daniel ReadDaniel Read, Lauren BurchLauren Burch
Analgesic medication (i.e., painkillers) provides a legal method for athletes to compete through pain. Masking injury presents the risk of injury exacerbation as well as potential organ damage, long-term musculoskeletal conditions, and dependence. The framing of elite athletes using medication to compete through injury could influence the attitudes and behaviors of other sportspersons including junior and recreational participants. This research explored the framing of tennis player Rafael Nadal’s anesthetic injections at the 2022 French Open via content analysis of 103 news articles. The results revealed global news lacked critical coverage, normalized competing through injury under moral frames, and valorized such behavior as heroic and courageous. Further, news coverage can be classified into four types: individual experience, medical, physical status, and policy. Identification of frames related to competing through injury can inform messaging to promote safer practices concerning painkiller use.



  • Loughborough University London

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Communication & Sport


SAGE Publications


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

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Dr Daniel Read. Deposit date: 2 November 2023