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The Long History Of Sports, Politics And Race In America10:49Download

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Extending gloved hands skyward in racial protest, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City on Oct. 16, 1968. (AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Extending gloved hands skyward in racial protest, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City on Oct. 16, 1968. (AP)

President Trump has refused to back down from his criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Since sparking the feud, he's claimed that kneeling is disgraceful and framed the issue as one of patriotism — not, as some see it, as one of freedom of speech.

Sports, politics and race have a long history together in America. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson takes a look back with historians Ed Ayers (@edward_l_ayers) and Brian Balogh (@historyfellow), co-hosts of the podcast BackStory, which is produced at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

This segment aired on September 28, 2017.

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