Racism, Resistance & Black Athletes
In the wake of a rising number of racist incidents at the University of Missouri, nicknamed Mizzou, black athletes threatened to boycott football games. Wow. Did that get people’s attention. So much of the economy of state universities is tied to football, the multibillion-dollar TV contracts, the multimillion-dollar coaching salaries, and the small fortunes that pour into small towns on game day don’t happen without a group of young men willing to take the field. The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement threatens the lucrative operation of this machinery. The Southeastern Conference, where Mizzou plays, field teams that, in the words of sociologist Harry Edwards, ‘look like Ghana on the field and Sweden in the stands.’ Athletes have tremendous influence on and off campus. Speaking out and acting collectively, they can bring the powerful to their knees.
Dave Zirin is the award-winning sports editor of The Nation magazine. He is the author of many books including A People’s History of Sports in the United States and The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World. He also hosts The Edge of Sports podcast.
Kait Hatch –
Excellent commentary. I’m regularly sharing this link with people when I see remarks about athlete’s actions not being effective.
yea, Dave Zirin is quite a speaker, and I have been on his edge of sports, several times…he never fails to enlighten us all…thanks again for the show.
Janice Murota –
Great talk, real journalism. Zirin clearly knows his stuff. He puts it all together – racism on college campuses, the threats black students suffer from, the self serving administrators who work to protect their institutions or the sport of football, a real moneymaker for colleges. And now the power the black student athletes have as 69% of the foot ball team,
though on average 7.7% of total student body. Clear reporting. Bravo for putting Zirin on the air.
sanborn hodgkins –
I stumbled onto this podcast in my car and had to turn the radio on as soon as I got home. He is one of the best speakers I’ve heard in recent years. Very skilled: no “ums” or “uhs.” Compelling indeed! I wasn’t that interested in this topic, but now I’m engaged. Dave’s amazing.
John craig –
Wow. Can this guy tell a story. He speaks clearly and quickly, engaging the listener with unbelievable facts weaving a compelling historical tale connecting past and present injustices. He made it impossible for me to get out of my car. Thank you!
David White –
This talk by Dave Zarin was powerful and awe-inspiring! I have never heard about a lot of the points he made, though I am an african american in my mid 50’s. People, please get this, listen and share it!