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Sports - Society & Culture

Drexel Hosts a Conversation on Race and Sport

October 25, 2017

As the nation confronts racial divisions, political polarization, protests in the streets, and difficulties finding ways to peacefully resolve disagreements, so, too, does the sport industry.

On Thursday, Drexel University is hosting “From Tommie Smith and John Carlos to Colin Kaepernick: A Conversation About Race and Sport,” an opportunity to think more deeply about the winds that have been blowing around the NFL, NBA and other sports leagues in the past year. At 5 p.m. in Gerri C. LeBow Hall 031, Ellen J. Staurowsky, EdD, professor in the Center for Sport Management, will moderate  a panel discussion exploring the power of sports to step beyond the sidelines.

“Sport is a piece of the national social fabric,” said Staurowsky. “In recent weeks, athletes and sport leagues in the U.S. have been embroiled in controversy after athlete protests focusing on racial injustice were characterized as unpatriotic. These events remind us that sport as a social institution has the power to mirror the tenor of the time as well as serve as a platform to promote social change.”

Panelists include Kevin Blackistone, a professor of practice at the at the Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland, a frequent guest on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” and writer for the Washington Post; Patrick Hruby, a writer and editor who has appeared in ESPN, Sports on Earth and Vice and is a fellow in the University of Texas-Austin Sports and Media program; Ivan Soto, executive director of the Arena Football League Players Union; and Zach Spiker, Drexel’s head men’s basketball coach.

“In this program we seek to engage members of the Drexel community and beyond in a conversation about race and sport, exploring how these events are situated within a larger national dialogue, how we engage each other in thoughtful discussion, what these times require of sport leaders, and what we can learn from each other moving forward,” Staurowsky said.

The event is a collaboration of the LeBow College of Business Pressure Points Series and the Center for Sport Management.

Members of the Drexel community can sign up to attend the event.