5 October 2017

Politics in Sports

A growing number of professional sports figures are taking public stands on social issues and their actions are stirring controversy. President Donald Trump recently suggested that NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality should be fired. This week, a look at the intersection of politics and sports.

Guests: Douglas Hartmann, Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Minnesota


  • Part 1 – 13:14

    Last year, Colin Kaepernick, who was then on the San Francisco 49ers, began taking a knee during the “Star Spangled Banner.” This year, despite the fact that Kaepernick is not currently on any NFL teams, President Trump’s criticism encouraged more players and teams to engage in symbols of protest.

  • Part 2 – 13:23

    Since Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem last year, many NFL fans have argued that politics should be kept separate from sports. Hartmann discuses the history of political displays among athletes—notably the raised fists of sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 Summer Olympics—and why sports have been used as a platform for political expression, especially by African American athletes.