We Want Your Questions On Activism In Sports

Oct 11, 2017
Originally published on November 7, 2017 2:27 pm

More than a year ago, Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sat, then knelt, during the national anthem before NFL games. Kaepernick took a knee to protest the treatment of African-Americans and minorities in the U.S., and his actions have generated a lot of conversation.

Players have spoken up for him, and some joined in his protest. Coaches have supported him, and some have called him out. President Trump called protests like Kaepernick's disrespectful to the flag.

But Kaepernick is not the first athlete to take a stand on social issues. Here are a just a few:

In 1967, Muhammad Ali cited religious reasons for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army. His heavyweight title was stripped and he was later convicted of draft evasion, a conviction that the Supreme Court overturned in 1971.

In the 1968 Olympics, after winning the gold and bronze medals in the men's 200 meters, U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists, each wearing a black glove, during the medal ceremony to make a statement about human rights. Later, both were suspended from the U.S. Olympic team.

In 2014, five St. Louis Rams players walked on to the field with their hands in the air, in the "Hands up, don't shoot" pose, to show solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In light of these examples, and numerous others, we want to hear from you: Do you have questions about the intersection of sports and social activism?

Here's how this works: Tell us your question by submitting it below. Our team at Morning Edition will go through responses and pick one — or potentially a few — to investigate further. Your question could be the central topic in a future sports segment on Morning Edition.

Thank you for your questions! We have picked some to answer and have answered them here.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, another sports story - we are watching the protests by football players against racial discrimination. President Trump has brought those protests a lot of attention. He has denounced the players for what he sees as disrespecting the flag. We want to bring another voice into this conversation. It's yours.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KATIE: Hi, my name is Katie (ph). I'm calling from...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: And I have two questions, reading from this.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I was just wondering...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Has anyone in government considered...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What was the very first federally...

KATIE: Thanks for hearing my story. Talk to you soon.

GREENE: We like hearing what is on your mind.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yeah, so what questions do you have? What would you like to know about the intersection of sports and social activism?

GREENE: Lot of ways to get in touch with us - you can ask us questions on Facebook. We are on Twitter - @MorningEdition. Or online, go to NPR.org/sportsquestion, and we are going to answer your questions in an upcoming segment that you'll hear. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.