PASADENA, Calif. (August 11, 2020) – The Rose Bowl Institute announced today that it will air its first program –The Rose Bowl Institute Race and Sports Dialogue on August 13th.

Through the Rose Bowl Live virtual platform, the dialogue among the Vice Chair of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Sharon Robinson, civil rights historian, Taylor Branch, and two Institute Advisory Board members in USA Men’s Soccer legend Cobi Jones, and Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott addresses (1) the impact of sports on society with respect to attitudes towards race and racism and (2) how sports can improve their policies and practices of racial inclusion and equity. They then turn to ways that sports can do a better job with inclusion, diversity and equity. The Rose Bowl Institute’s Brian Brantley moderates the program.

The dialogue will be free to the public to watch through the Rose Bowl Stadium YouTube channel or Facebook account. This discussion, the first of a three-part series, will air on August 13th at 7:00 PM PDT. The other activities in the series include ‘Jackie2020’, an in-person conference planned for the winter, when people can safely gather at the Rose Bowl again, and an in-person roundtable, a Rose Table Dialogue, to be held in the spring 2021. They are all designed to honor the values and example of Pasadena native, Jackie Robinson.

“Sports have the opportunity to lead by example,” said Charlie Firestone, president of the Rose Bowl Institute. “Players’ opinions are seen and valued by their fans, especially young ones. League policies matter to the society at large as they are highly visible, involve large populations and have important symbolism.”

“For these reasons,” Firestone continued, “it is important for the Rose Bowl Institute to address how sports can lead the body politic in issues of racial equity, and also how sports institutions can improve in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The Rose Bowl Institute, an arm of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and Rose Bowl Stadium, champions sportsmanship and aims to “leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.”

Using the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium as a classroom and its digital footprint, the Institute engages civic and business leaders, athletes, students, sportscasters, journalists and other members of the public in activities to highlight sports values and their impact on the broader society.

The Rose Bowl Institute will concentrate initially on sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship activities. The RBI calendar will also include a Women’s Empowerment Symposium to be streamed September 16-18th , the ongoing Dialogue on Race and Sports, and a series of private round table gatherings the RBI calls Rose Table Dialogues.

See Promo Video here. If you are interested in more information please email or visit

Rose Bowl Institute Advisory Board

o Maurice Ashley – American Grandmaster, member of US Chess Hall of Fame,
founder of Harlem Chess Center, author and commentator. (New York, NY)

o Tim Brant – 30-year broadcast veteran; 2013 Broadcaster of the Year; former broadcast partner of Keith Jackson (Chevy Chase, MD)

o Ann Meyers Drysdale – UCLA basketball star, first female sports scholarship
recipient at UCLA, Basketball Hall of Famer, broadcaster and sports executive;
considered one of the top five female athletes of all time (Huntington Beach, CA)

o Tom Farrey – Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program;
author of Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of our Children;
former writer for ESPN (San Clemente, CA)

o Julie Foudy – former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team with a 17-year career from 1987-2004; won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles and three Olympic medals; member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame; four-time All-American at Stanford; commentator for ESPN Soccer and ESPNw (Orange County, CA)

o Dan Fouts – 15-years as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Pro Football Hall of Fame; 1979 AFL Most Valuable Player (AP); broadcast analyst (Sisters, Oregon)

o Lauren Gibbs – 2x Olympic Medalist (bobsled), public speaker, team captain and All-Ivy volleyball player at Brown University. (Denver, CO)

o Cobi Jones – 3x World Cup participant; Olympian; National Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee; first jersey retired in MLS history; all-time leader for Team USA in caps; analyst for Fox Sports and the LA Galaxy’s analyst for Spectrum Sportsnet (Los Angeles, CA)

o Billie Jean King – Sports icon and equality champion (New York, NY)

o Ronnie Lott – Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer; 4x Super Bowl Champion; 2x Rose Bowl Game Champion (Bay Area, CA)

o Jessica Mendoza – ESPN analyst, became the first woman to serve as a baseball analyst for nationally- televised MLB games; Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist; USA Softball Athlete of the Year in 2006 and member of the National Softball Hall of Fame; 4x All- American at Stanford University (New York, NY)

o Larry Paul – Managing Principal of Laurel Crown Partners; minority owner of the
Pittsburgh Steelers; Advisory Board member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Los
Angeles, CA

o John Sciarra – 1976 Rose Bowl Game MVP for UCLA; played for Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL and in the Canadian Football League; business entrepreneur (Newport
Beach, CA)

o Maria Taylor – ESPN host and reporter and NBA Countdown host; former
intercollegiate student- athlete (Atlanta, GA)

o Dick Vermeil – Super Bowl winning coach; former NFL coach of the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs; coached UCLA to the 1976 Rose Bowl Game victory in an upset of Ohio State (Doylestown, PA)

o J.C. Watts – President of Black News Channel, former U.S. Congressman (R-OK) (1995-2003); gridiron star as a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma; first African American elected to statewide office in Oklahoma (Eufaula, OK)

o Jason Whitlock – Sports journalist and media personality with Outkick the Coverage; sportswriter for the Kansas City Star from 1994-2010 before stops at ESPN and Fox Sports. (Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN)

o Marcellus Wiley – Host of ‘Speak for Yourself’, retired NFL All-Pro, Ivy League Hall of Fame (Columbia University), Author of the book ‘Never Shut Up’

o Vince Young – Two-time Rose Bowl MVP, Heisman Trophy Runner-Up, National
Champion University of Texas, Former NFL All-Pro Player and College Football Hall of Famer

About the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation

Formed in 2010, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt organization whose primary goal is to financially ensure the protection, preservation and enhancement of the future of the Stadium as a National Historic Landmark. The Foundation has established funding for key capital improvement initiatives, educational programming and heritage protection due to the generosity of supporters from around the world who are invested in its premier future.

About the Rose Bowl Stadium

The Rose Bowl Stadium is the proud home of the Tournament of Roses’ Rose Bowl Game, UCLA Bruins football, AmericaFest Fourth of July Celebration, concerts including Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Taylor Swift and U2, international and Premier League soccer matches and the World’s Largest Flea Market. A National Historic Landmark built in 1922 and known around the world, the Rose Bowl Stadium has
earned its world-class reputation by hosting five NFL Super Bowl games, the 1984 Olympic Soccer matches, the 1994 Men’s World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup, four BCS National College Football Championship Games and the College Football Playoff Semi-Final game.