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Unpacking 'The Heritage' Of Black Athlete Activism In America17:30
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In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, from left, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid kneel in protest during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)MoreCloseclosemore
In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, from left, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid kneel in protest during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

From Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, prominent African-American sports figures have been taking political stances for decades. While many have commended their actions, others have criticized them, including fans, media personalities and politicians, such as President Trump.

For black athletes, sports have always been about more than playing ball, explains Howard Bryant, senior writer at ESPN and author of the book “The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.” Bryant's book explores the complicated relationship intertwining sports, race, politics, patriotism and more, and the evolution of the "athlete-activist."

Guest

Howard Bryant, senior writer at ESPN and author of “The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism." He tweets at @hbryant42.

This segment aired on May 14, 2018.

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