Our American Discourse, Ep. 15: Sports and Racial Justice in America

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 USC, 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.

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


“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey and Ryan Hedden.