The growth of the Black Lives Matter movement through the 2010s catalyzed a resurgence of Black activism in professional sports that had its climax in 2020 with the athletes’ boycott following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Just a few years later, this energy seems to have dissipated. What happened, and how can we comprehend these recent events in the longer arc of Black activism in sports? Sports journalist and author Howard Bryant joins Dave Zirin on ‘Edge of Sports’ for a look at the build-up to 2020 and how many athletes’ politics were co-opted in the aftermath. Later in the show, Zirin shares some ‘Choice Words’ about the social cost of smartphone sports gambling becoming the economic lifeblood of sports. And in our segment ‘Ask a Sports Scholar’, Zirin speaks with Hofstra University Professor Brenda Elsey, whose research focuses on the development of women’s soccer internationally, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament approaches.
Howard Bryant is the author of ten books, including the forthcoming ‘Kings and Pawns: Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson in America’. He has been a senior writer for ESPN since 2007 and has served as the sports correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006.
Dr. Brenda Elsey is a professor of history at Hofstra University, where she focuses on the history of popular culture and politics in twentieth century Latin America, in addition to gender, social theory, sports, and Pan-Americanism. She is the author of ‘Futbolera: Women and Sport in Latin America’.
Studio Production: David Hebden, Cameron Granadino
Post-Production: Taylor Hebden
Audio Post-Production: David Hebden
Opening Sequence: Cameron Granadino
Music by: Eze Jackson & Carlos Guillen
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