The free program will live stream on Thursday, September 2nd

PASADENA, Calif. (August 30, 2021) – The Rose Bowl Institute and national social justice
nonprofit RISE is partnering to present their first bicoastal critical conversation around the
theme of “Sportsmanship as Citizenship.” The event will air from two locations – the iconic Rose
Bowl Stadium in Pasadena and the ESPN Seaport District Studios in New York at the foot of the
Brooklyn Bridge.

The Rose Bowl Institute & RISE Coast-to-Coast Critical Conversation: Sportsmanship as
, which streams Thursday, September 2 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, features athletes
and sports leaders discussing the role of the sports community in advancing civic engagement,
social justice, equity and inclusion, and speaks to some of the most pressing issues in sports
today. The one-hour panel discussion addresses ways that sports influence broader societal
issues and can empower others to positively impact their local and national communities.

The conversation engages six panelists: Cobi Jones, World Cup and Olympic veteran and Soccer
Hall of Famer; Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President Football Operations; Dr. Jen Welter,
sports psychologist and the first female to coach in the NFL; Morgan Tuck, Connecticut Sun
Director of Franchise Development and a WNBA and NCAA Champion; Diahann Billings-
, RISE CEO; and Charlie Firestone, Rose Bowl Institute President. Sam Farmer, NFL
writer and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, will serve as moderator.

The virtual conversation is open to the public, and can be accessed by registering here.

“At RISE, we are equipping the sports community with the tools to be advocates for racial
equity, and an effective way to engage in vital conversations around civic engagement, equity
and racism is through the lens of sports and sportsmanship,” said Billings-Burford. “History has
shown how sports leaders can galvanize our country to cause true change, and this
conversation with the Rose Bowl Institute and with support from ESPN illustrates how the
sports community at every level can be an agent of change.”

RISE and the Rose Bowl Institute are nonprofit organizations that leverage the power of sports
to unite people of all backgrounds and address important civic issues. Specifically, RISE
educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion
social justice and improve race relations, while the Rose Bowl Institute champions
sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship.

The values of sportsmanship (e.g., appreciation of the game, fair play, respectful competition,
and teamwork) have direct analogies to citizenship (e.g., understanding the democratic
process, equal justice under law, respect for opponents, and collaboration). They also support
athlete activism, particularly for inclusion, racial equity and social justice. Accordingly, this joint
RISE Critical Conversation and Rose Bowl Institute Sportsmanship Dialogue will explore the role
of athletics in promoting civic engagement and social justice in the years ahead.

“Sports have the opportunity to lead by example,” said Firestone. “Players’ opinions are seen
and valued by their fans, especially young ones. League and team policies matter to the society
at large as they are highly visible, engage large populations and have important symbolism.”
“For these reasons,” Firestone continued, “it is important for the Rose Bowl Institute to
continue to address how sports institutions can lead the way in improving diversity, equity and

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

RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate
racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.

“ESPN is committed to ensuring critical conversations around sports and the role they play in
driving civic engagement, racial equity and social justice,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of
Corporate Citizenship at ESPN. “The sports community has a responsibility to inspire important
discussions, and we are proud to have partnered with RISE to host the East Coast panel to help
empower our local and national communities to make positive changes.”

To watch the event promo video, please click here. If you are interested in more information
please email or visit For
more information on RISE, please send an email to or visit