Howard Bryant on athletes and activism.

Everyone Should Take the Knee

Everyone Should Take the Knee

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Aug. 9 2018 8:58 PM

On Bended Knee

Being a sports star means your activism has a platform, but it doesn’t bode well for your career.

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Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, then of the San Francisco 49ers, kneel in protest during the national anthem on Sept. 12, 2016.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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Colin Kaepernick took a stand in 2016 by taking a knee during the national anthem at a football game, sparking a debate about racial injustice that continues to roil. But he’s just the latest in a long line of black activist athletes that have used their status to raise awareness and protest. Howard Bryant uncovers the history of these athletes in his book The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.

In the Spiel, the “unfreakingbelievable” New York Times.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Pierre Bienaimé.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.