Date of Defense
Dr. Keith Hearit
After the previously indomitable Chicago White Sox lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, speculations of foul play abounded. With each suspicious game, the notion of a possible conspiracy to throw the Series became more widespread, reaching its pinnacle when the impossible happened and the Chicago defeat became official (Asinof, 1963). Finding it necessary to address the concerns of the public, Chicago White Sox President Charles A. Comiskey promptly positioned himself as spokesperson for his club. He immediately began to manage the pending crisis through public statements made via media outlets, primarily newspapers. At this point, the allegations of a fix had not been properly investigated, much less proven. Comiskey used the media to distance himself and his organization from the alleged incident and the eight players mentioned in connection to it. He also assured the legions of baseball fans and other stakeholders in the United States that his organization would do all it could to bring the truth to light and vowed that any guilty parties would be forever removed from the game. Public relations scholars would classify Comiskey's statements and the corresponding actions to vindicate them as examples of dissociation and corrective action strategies employed by an organization as part of a crisis management campaign (Hearit, 1994, 1995; Benoit, 1994, 1995, 1997; Benoit & Brinson, 1994; Brinson & Benoit, 1996; Benoit & Czerwinski, 1997). The objective of Comiskey's campaign was to return baseball and the White Sox organization back to level of respect it enjoyed prior to the "Black Sox" scandal.
Walsh, Zachary J., "Image Restoration and the "Black Sox" Scandal of 1919: Corrective Action as an Ideal Image Restoration Model for Professional Baseball" (2005). Honors Theses. 1464.
Honors Thesis-Open Access