Athlete Protests: Do They Work?

Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 6:30pm

Athletes have always had a voice, yet sports spectators don't always want to hear them. Over the past three seasons, NFL players have taken a knee or held hands in solidarity in the hopes of calling attention to police brutality, to much controversy. However, there is a long history of athletes taking a stand and using the playing field as a public stage. In 1936 Jesse Owens went to the Berlin Olympics, much to the chagrin of Hitler. In 1965, 21 African American players boycotted the AFL All-Star game in New Orleans because of draconian Jim Crow laws. Muhammad Ali refused to enter the military because he was against the Vietnam War, and in 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised the Black Power Salute at the Olympics to send a clear message about a plethora of issues including black pride, solidarity with blue collar workers, and human rights issues. 

Sports historian and author Evan Weiner will talk about the rich history of sports protests, with a special concentration on the 1960s through today. 

Evan Weiner is a sports journalist/commentator known for his columns about the business and politics of sports.
Weiner has been a contributing columnist for Newsday, the New York Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, Metro Philadelphia, Metro New York and the Washington Examiner. He is a re-occurring guest on “Politics Live” with Sam Donaldson. Weiner also lectures at colleges and universities about the business and politics of sports, including the globalization of North American sports and how technology is changing sports. His book, The Business and Politics of Sports, has been critically acclaimed by academic journals and is used as part of a number of sports business management courses at schools throughout the United States.

He started his journalism career at the age of 15 by hosting a Spring Valley High School talk show on WRKL Radio, Mount Ivy, N.Y. in 1971, while also covering high school sports for the Rockland Journal News in Nyack, N.Y. By 1978, he was covering news for WGRC Radio, where he won two Associated Press Awards. In the 1980s, he started his long association with Westwood One Radio, where he had a daily radio commentary, “The Business of Sports,” that ran for eight years. Weiner has also appeared on programs on the History Channel with Al Michaels and Frank Deford, as well as the BBC Radio Documentary Sports and Sponsorship.