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The History And Future Of Sports Activism47:19
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The words 'Black Lives Matter' are displayed on the digital screen after the postponement of the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on August 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
The words 'Black Lives Matter' are displayed on the digital screen after the postponement of the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on August 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Sports teams and athletes around the country held strikes last week to stand up against racial injustice. We talk about this moment in sports activism, and its history and future.  

Guests

Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN. Sports correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. Author of "Full Dissidence." (@hbryant42)

Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history and African American studies at Penn State University. Co-host of the “Burn It All Down” podcast. (@mirarose88)

Etan Thomas, former NBA player. Activist, writer and contributor to The Guardian. Author of "We Matter: Athletes and Activism." (@etanthomas36)

From The Reading List

ESPN: "The reality of Black pain is breaking American sports' status quo" — "For the past six years, the NBA has bathed in the congratulatory spirit of compromise, the model for commissioner-player communication."

The Guardian: "Like Elgin Baylor before them, the NBA's Black players have had enough" — "This week Letetra Wildman, the sister of Jacob Blake, delivered a gripping message: 'I don’t want your pity, I want change.'"

Slate: "The WNBA Made the NBA Strike Possible" — "An abridged history of WNBA player activism could be told in T-shirts. Wednesday night, before joining the Milwaukee Bucks in strike of their scheduled games, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics arrived on the court wearing shirts that together spelled the name of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin."

The 19th: "Renee Montgomery on the WNBA’s history of protest" — "The national reckoning on race sparked by the police killing of George Floyd exploded into American sports this week."

The Undefeated: "Athletes and activism: The long, defiant history of sports protests" — "The history of sports protests goes deep."

This program aired on September 3, 2020.

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