Raise a Fist, Take a Knee
We tend to see America’s big-time sports as more racially progressive than society at large, and indeed they boast diversity on playing rosters and a history of individual activism running from Muhammad Ali to basketball icon LeBron James. But there’s also just one sitting Black head coach among the 32 teams in the NFL, a dearth of African Americans in top front office positions, and the specter of Colin Kaepernick cast out of football after kneeling in protest of racism during the national anthem.
Five days before the country immerses in Super Bowl LVI, renowned sports journalist John Feinstein examines that mixed legacy – looking hard at how pro sports continue to perpetuate racial inequality – in a discussion of his book Raise a Fist, Take a Knee: Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports. Almost 75 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, race remains a defining aspect of professional sports leagues in the U.S.
Feinstein is joined in the conversation by J.A. Adande, a former columnist at the Los Angeles Times and ESPN.com who now heads the sports journalism program at Northwestern University.
A longtime writer and columnist for The Washington Post, Feinstein is the author of 45 books including the No. 1 bestselling A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. He is a member of five halls of fame, among them the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a winner of its Curt Gowdy Award.
Adande has worked in sports media for more than 2½ decades, including 10 years as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and as a writer at The Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times. He has made more than 1,000 appearances on ESPN’s Around the Horn roundtable discussion show. Adande has been the director of sports journalism at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications since 2016.
Watch the presentation live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary.