Ahmaud Arbery's case has sparked outrage in the sport community. An athlete himself, Ahmaud was out jogging during the day on February 23rd when two armed men, claiming he resembled a burglar, fatally shot him.
Among those in the sports world to condemn the killing was LeBron James who took to social media stating, "We're literally hunted everyday..." Athletes from around the country have now added their names to a letter demanding that the US Attorney General investigate the death and police handling of Arbery's case, which took over two months to see Gregory and Travis McMichael, the two main suspects, arrested.
Is this a new moment in athlete activism?
On May 8th, with what would have been Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday, runners and non-runners alike clocked in 2.23 miles in his honor. Athletes, communities, and the world are watching closely as the case progresses - but what can be done beyond hashtags?
On this episode, we're talking with experts about the intersection of race, sport and privilege delving into areas of freedom of movement, athlete activism and the reset moment in sport.
Joining the conversation:
Dr. Rashawn Ray | Sociologist at University of Maryland & Brookings Institute. Dr. Rashawn Ray is with the Brookings Institute and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland. As co-editor of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public, Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. Ray has published over 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and nearly 20 op-eds, including the his recent edition of Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy.
Mirna Valerio | Marathon runner, Inclusion activist, and Author, “A Beautiful Work in Progress." Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator, cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, and author of the bestselling memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. After a health scare in 2008, she recommited herself to the sport and started her blog Fatgirlrunning—about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes— while training for her first marathon. Mirna's athletic story has been featured in the WSJ, Runner’s World, on NBC Nightly News, CNN, Women’s Running Magazine, Self Magazine Online, Outside Online, and Runner's World Magazine as well as the viral REI-produced documentary short, The Mirnavator. In 2018 she was chosen as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and most recently appeared the Kelly Clarkson Show.
Dr. Lois Brown | Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University. Dr. Lois Brown is director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and Foundation Professor of English at Arizona State University. She is a public historian and a scholar of African American literature and culture whose groundbreaking research reshapes our understanding of race, class, gender, education, faith, and place in America. Her published works include Black Daughter of the Revolution: A Literary Biography of Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, the first modern edition of Memoir of James Jackson, The Attentive and Obedient Scholar which is the earliest known biography of a free child of color in the North, and Encyclopedia of the Literary Harlem Renaissance. She was featured on the acclaimed PBS documentary The Abolitionists and has curated and collaborated on exhibitions for major American museums and libraries. Brown is an award-winning teacher whose courses focus on early African American literary history, African American and American women writers, enslavement and the literary imagination, environmental humanities and film.
Dr. Louis Moore | Associate Professor of History (African American, Sport & Gender) at Grand Valley State University. Louis Moore is an Associate Professor of History at Grand Valley State University. He teaches African American History, Civil Rights, Sports History, and US History. His research and writing examines the interconnections between race and sports. He is the author of two recently published books, I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915 and We Will Win the Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality. He has also written for a number of online outlets including The Shadow League, Vox, and African American Intellectual Historical Society, and has appeared on news outlets including NPR, MSNBC, and BBC Sports talking sports and race.
Dr. Scott Brooks | Sociologist and Director of Research at Global Sport Institute. As a scholar, Brooks is primarily interested in: youth and sport; inequality in sport, coaching and leadership; and community based sports interventions. He has published in academic journals, edited volumes, and textbooks; been quoted and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Der Speigel, and SLAM magazine; and invited to speak on the topic of sport internationally. His book, Black Men Can’t Shoot (University of Chicago, 2009), tells the importance of exposure, networks, and opportunities towards earning an athletic scholarship. Additionally, Dr. Brooks has consulted the NFL, MLB, college and high school coaches and athletes; and is a senior fellow at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and Yale Urban Ethnography Project.
Event starts: 12PM Pacific US; 3PM Eastern US
Global Sport Matters Live is a conversation series presented by Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University and Global Sport Matters. Diverse thought leaders and experts will come together virtually to give their perspective on the most relevant issues impacting sport. From their corner of the globe, a rotation of guests will discuss what they’re facing locally, take questions and ideas from a virtual audience, and share solutions that improve the world of sport.