RACE & SPORTS
Sports have the opportunity to lead by example. Players are heroes whose opinions are seen and valued by their fans, especially young ones. League and team policies matter to the society at large as sports are highly visible, involve large populations and have important symbolism. Fan behavior can also have impact on the larger populace.
For these reasons, 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.
“May the best team win.” Because teams have a common purpose to win, they need to strive for the best players regardless of race, ethnicity, background or sexual preference. It means inclusion of all as players, coaches, fans or owners. It means respecting the game, teammates and opponents. It means playing fairly and treating players equitably.
One of the iconic symbols of leading by example was Jackie Robinson – a former Pasadena resident, a Rose Bowl Stadium record holder, an icon in the game of baseball and a civic leader. A statue of Jackie Robinson greets visitors at the front of America’s Stadium in Pasadena as a symbol of inclusion, courage, integrity and fair play.
The Rose Bowl Institute is presenting a series of dialogues to address issues of race and sports, as the legacy of Jackie Robinson continues to inspire Americans to learn, grow and educate one another on the importance of these issues.
This first panel in the series is a one hour moderated discussion among Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, who is also an author and educator, and described her father’s contribution to civil rights during his lifetime; civil rights historian Taylor Branch; MLS Hall of Famer Cobi Jones; and NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.
Topics included (1) the impact of sports on society with respect to attitudes towards race and racism, and (2) how sports can and should right their own ships with respect to inclusion and equity for people of color in sports. This dialogue informed the agenda for the Race and Sports Dialogue: Past, Present and Future discussion.
The Rose Bowl Institute addressed issues of race and sports in a one-hour moderated discussion streamed on December 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET on Facebook and Youtube. The panel discussion was moderated by ESPN Sports Broadcaster Jessica Mendoza engaging four panelists: Manager of the LA Dodgers, Dave Roberts, NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, LA Galaxy phenomenon Julian Araujo, and Founder and President of Angel City women’s soccer club Julie Uhrman.
The one-hour panel discussion addressed ways that sports influence broader society regarding racial discrimination past, present and future. How can sports be a leader in the struggle for inclusion and equity? Panelists will address difficulties players of all races and ethnicity have undergone when playing at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. What are the barriers to players of color at these levels and how are they best addressed? Why is equity and equality still an issue? How should teams and leagues extend their diversity of management and ownership?
April 15, 2021 @ 1PM PST
When a rainbow spreads across the sky it is reminding the world that beauty comes in all colors.