A number of prominent athletes, activists and sports journalists met at the YMCA of Metro Chicago last night (August 25) for a conversation on athletic responsibility in a city and country confronting police and gun violence.
Chicago natives Isiah Thomas (formerly of the Detroit Pistons) and Jabari Parker (Milwaukee Bucks) joined community figures including pastor Jolinda Wade (mother of Chicago Bulls player Dwayne Wade) and Rev. Michael Pfleger for "An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence." The town hall, aired on some of ESPN’s TV and radio properties and hosted by ESPN’s Jemele Hill, featured four distinct panels: "Racial Profiling, Athletes & Police," on athletes’ interactions with law enforcement; "Sports & Activism," on the structural supports and barriers (sponsorships, league protocol) that impact athletes’ ability to speak out; "Guns & Violence," addressing Chicago’s gun violence issues and how athletes handle gun ownership; and "A Call to Action," examining the past and present of athletic activism.
ESPN2 continued the conversation today (August 26) on "First Take" with guests Thomas and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.
Although ESPN did not publish full video from the conversation, town hall host The Undefeated did cover multiple aspects of the panels. Here’s a rundown of some of the site’s coverage so far:
- "Hard stories of violence and loss"
- "Losing the sacred space of the front porch"
- "Chicago and the struggle for hope"
- "Athletes getting back in the protest game"
- "Athletes and notable guests in attendance at ESPN’s town hall"
- "Marcellus Wiley ‘Live by the gun, die by the gun"
- "Talk is great, but change is better: Town hall attendees react"
- "Photos: An Undefeated Conversation"
Do you think this conversation went far enough? Let us know in the comments.