Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


This paper examines the effect Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks, has had on bias towards immigrants and Black people in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin as a whole. This work is based on the breakthrough 2021 study from Alrababa’h et al., which found that Liverpool FC’s signing of star Muslim footballer Mohamed Salah dramatically reduced public instances of islamophobia in Liverpool. Using Synthetic Control (SC) and Synthetic Difference in Difference (SDID) frameworks, I implement two methods of analysis to examine Giannis’s influence: an examination of Anti-Black and Anti-Immigrant hate crimes in the US, and analysis of Anti-Immigrant google searches in Wisconsin and surrounding states. The results indicate substantial reductions in hate crimes and Anti-Immigrant Google searches in Wisconsin since Giannis was drafted in 2013, though data quality issues make it difficult to draw firm conclusions. This study demonstrates the power of positive Parasocial Contact in changing attitudes and reducing biases.



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