Adrian Peterson and the “Wussification of America”: Football and Myths of Masculinity

Justin Gus Foote, Michael L. Butterworth, Jimmy Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Twitter has become a unique site for making sense of public discussions about authority and morality in the United States. This article addresses these discussions by analyzing the elements of conservative discourse that claim the health of the nation is in decline because of a diminished emphasis on masculine leadership. There is a long tradition of conservative politicians in the United States warning against “soft” or “weak” figures of authority. Such conversations take place within a range of contexts, including the sport of football. As a means to engage hegemonic masculine authority from a critical perspective, this article investigates Twitter users’ various reactions to Adrian Peterson’s suspension due to his disciplining his child with a “switch.”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2017


  • Authority
  • Football
  • Masculinity
  • Twitter
  • Wussification


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