The social death of Sunday: A scene-act pentadic analysis of the St. Louis Rams' "Hands up, don’t shoot" protest



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Football is a large part of American culture, but little rhetorical scholarship has been dedicated to the sport. Specifically, there is a lack of Burkean analysis regarding motivating factors of football players and the individuals with which athletes interact. This thesis is a rhetorical analysis of the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association response to the five St. Louis Rams’ players who performed the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture on November 30th, 2014. Using Kenneth Burke’s scene-act pentadic ratio through critical race and Afro-pessimist lenses, this analysis concludes the motives of the police’s response comes from a desire to sustain Civil Society and control Black bodies.



SLPOA, National Football League (NFL), Football, St. Louis Rams, Anti-blackness, Afro-pessimism, Pentad