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State of the Black Athlete RSS

Allyson Felix, Arts, Athlete Activism, Colin Kaepernick, Commentary, John Urschel, Muhammad Ali, Politics, Social Activism, State of the Black Athlete -

Athletic success may get you through the door, but be mindful, once you get here: “Stick to sports.” There has been an unspoken expectation and, more recently, an apparent insistence that athletes’ opinions and passions are to be kept quiet. But the cultural resonance, political awakening and activation of the black athlete has pushed back […]

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Baseball, Dream Series, Jerry Manuel, MLB, State of the Black Athlete -

This is the first in a series “Where are the black ballplayers?” in which we dive deep into the current state of affairs for African-American baseball players from the United States. Ostensibly, numbers have been dwindling for the better part of two decades and Major League Baseball announced a task force to combat the issue […]

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Alabama, Birmingham, Michael Bennett, State of the Black Athlete -

The Seattle Seahawks defensive end gave a powerful plea for justice and trust for Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Alabama, Birmingham, Ibtihaj Muhammad, State of the Black Athlete -

Ibithaj Muhammad, an indispensable voice against injustice and bigotry, delivered a powerful contribution to Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Alabama, Birmingham, Maya Moore, State of the Black Athlete -

Maya Moore, WNBA superstar and committed activist was a very special part of The Undefeated’s Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Alabama, Birmingham, Chris Archer, State of the Black Athlete -

The two-time All-Star played a pivotal role in Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Alabama, Birmingham, Colin Kaepernick, Kobe Bryant, State of the Black Athlete -

The basketball phenom sat down with The Undefeated’s Jemele Hill for Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Alabama, Birmingham, Kobe Bryant, State of the Black Athlete -

The basketball phenom sat down with The Undefeated’s Jemele Hill for Dear Black Athlete, a series of conversations featuring prominent African-American athletes, and civic and community leaders.

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Anquan Boldin, Black Quarterbacks, Chiney Ogwumike, Chris Archer, Dear Black Athlete, NFL, State of the Black Athlete -

Legendary football coach Eddie Robinson had a stark message for star quarterback James “Shack” Harris when he left Grambling State University in 1969 to try his hand as a pro quarterback, then one of the whitest positions in sports: “Do not come back and say you did not make it because you are black.” No […]

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Dear Black Athlete, Maya Moore, State of the Black Athlete -

Dear Black Athlete, Don’t ever forget that you are a citizen — a part of a community. With being an athlete there comes privilege and responsibility, mainly the responsibility to never stop seeking to understand your fellow citizen and neighbor — more importantly, the ones who aren’t exactly like you. This has been my journey […]

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Alabama, Birmingham, Martin Luther King Jr., Protest, Race, Social Activism, State of the Black Athlete -

On Feb. 11, at 8 p.m., The Undefeated will present Dear Black Athlete, a one-hour special on ESPN featuring conversations with athletes and community leaders about social justice. Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the program will be taped at Birmingham’s Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, where King spoke and led […]

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Colin Kaepernick, NFL, Players Coalition, Rooney Rule, State of the Black Athlete -

History, they say, tends to repeat itself. And yet those repetitions seem to often catch us off guard. For example, how surprised would you be to learn that an NFL executive essentially predicted the Colin Kaepernick controversy, the Rooney Rule and the increasing role of black players more than half a century ago? All that […]

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Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, NFL, State of the Black Athlete -

Cam Newton is an incredibly talented human being who has a job white Americans see as a white man’s job, and apparently this is vexing to America. Cam Newton is sometimes reduced to his athleticism, as in “an athletic quarterback,” aka black, which is predictably comforting to America. Cam Newton wears a Superman T-shirt under […]

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Andre Iguodala, David West, Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant, NBA, Race, Social Activism, State of the Black Athlete, Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr -

There’s a moment during his conversation about athletes and activism at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government when Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green seems to shift his weight. Green, who was in town to face the Celtics later that November night, has altered his game day routine to be at the lunchtime event, which […]

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Dear Black Athlete, John Wall, NBA, State of the Black Athlete, Washington Wizards -

Dear Dad, We all go through life hoping and wishing for many things. Many of my wishes have mostly come true, with a successful career that has allowed me to take care of my family. But there’s one wish of mine that will never be granted. That wish would be bringing you back to life […]

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Chris Archer, Dear Black Athlete, MLB, State of the Black Athlete -

The setting is a playground in Clayton, North Carolina, in the early 1990s. We’re playing dodgeball during an outdoor recess in grade school, and I’m on a roll. I nail a kid — as well as any first- or second-grader could — to eliminate him from the game, and, as he walks defeated off the […]

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Dear Black Athlete, Ibtihaj Muhammad, State of the Black Athlete -

I want them to know the importance of allied voices in movements for freedom and justice. Their silence is deafening. Their choice to be “safe” and sit out of the conversation is as political as taking a knee. Though a white ally may never truly understand what it is like to be black in America, […]

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Chiney Ogwumike, Dear Black Athlete, State of the Black Athlete, WNBA -

I went to my first basketball practice when I was 9, living in Houston. It was my older sister Nneka’s first practice too. We both showed up wearing jean shorts, halter tops, glasses and Keds sneakers. We had no idea what we were doing. I ran to hide in the bathroom, crying while Nneka stumbled […]

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Dear Black Athlete, Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant, NBA, State of the Black Athlete -

I hail from Seat Pleasant, Maryland, a predominantly African-American town of about 5,000 people just east of Washington, D.C., that certainly has had its share of struggles. If I could talk to myself when I was a young man growing up there, I would say that having tunnel vision when you’re passionate about something is […]

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Dear Black Athlete, ESPN The Magazine, Maya Moore, State of the Black Athlete, WNBA -

Dear Black Athlete, Don’t ever forget that you are a citizen—a part of a community With being an athlete there comes privilege and responsibility—mainly the responsibility to never stop seeking to understand your fellow citizen and neighbor—more importantly, the ones who aren’t exactly like you. This has been my journey as I’ve stepped into the […]

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Commentary, Dear Black Athlete, State of the Black Athlete -

Warning: This story contains strong language. “To me, it seemed as if any athlete who signed up to protest or speak out on inequalities on one of the largest platforms in the world ended up with a target on their backs. Peaceful protests by black athletes led to them being attacked by the organizations, fans […]

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Commentary, ESPN The Magazine, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, State of the Black Athlete -

Two years ago, I interviewed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the main stage at the National Book Festival before an appreciative crowd in the nation’s capital. We were backstage waiting to go on, and Kareem, an introspective man not known for small talk, -surprised me by asking where I was from. Reflexively, thinking he meant my professional […]

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