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Sports and Racial Justice in America

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

by Anthony Orlando

To some, it represents the highest ideals of our society. To others, it is a symbol of unfulfilled potential at best, outright oppression at worst. Are we referring to the American flag? Or to American sports? This debate is about more than one athlete or one gesture. It is about an institution, a system of competition, dominance, and deeply ingrained beliefs. In this episode, we examine this balance of power—and the protestors who are trying to change it.

In front of a live audience at the USC Gould School of Law, Prof. Jody David Armour interviews ESPN writer Jason Reid about Colin Kaepernick, political activism, and being black in America.

Prof. Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture. He is the author of the book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America. Prior to joining USC, he was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, Kirkpatrick and Lockhart. He holds a JD with honors from Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in sociology from Harvard University.

Mr. Reid is the senior NFL writer at The Undefeated, ESPN’s platform exploring the intersections of sports, race, and culture. He has served as co-host of the ESPN radio show “The Man Cave with Chris Paul and Jason Reid.” Prior to joining ESPN, he was a sports columnist for the Washington Post and a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Journalism.

Special thanks to the USC Gould School of Law for sponsoring this event and allowing us to record as part of this ongoing podcast series of conversations bringing you the smartest minds, from the University of Southern California and beyond, wrestling with the defining challenges of our time.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.


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@BedrosianCenter, @AnthonyWOrlando, @NiggaTheory, and @JReidESPN


Related Reading

“Michael Bennett and the Coming Year of Unprecedented Activism in NFL” by Jason Reid

“Aaron Rodgers Takes a Sledgehammer to Kaepernick Myth” by Jason Reid

“How Colin Kaepernick Became a Cause for Activists, Civil Rights Groups and Others” by Jason Reid

“Colin Kaepernick Is Paying the NFL’s Black Tax” by Jody David Armour

“Nigga Theory: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity in the Substantive Criminal Law” by Jody Armour

“Meta-Analysis of Field Experiments Shows No Change in Racial Discrimination in Hiring Over Time” by Lincoln Quillian, Devah Pager, Ole Hexel, & Arnfinn H. Midtbøen

“An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force” by Roland G. Fryer, Jr.

“Letters to a Trump Supporter #6: Black Homicides” by Anthony W. Orlando


This podcast was produced by Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz, recorded and mixed by Corey Hedden.

@AubreyHi @jonHLYP @coreyhedden

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