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There are many ways to exercise one’s citizenship, from voting and serving on juries to participating in local civic activities.


As youth grow into citizens, there is a growing demand for civic literacy. The Rose Bowl Institute will address this need by encouraging athletes to speak to school audiences about the importance of sportsmanship, and its parallels to good citizenship. Appreciation of the game, fair play, respect for the opponent, and teamwork all have democratic analogies. Just as every player has responsibility to the team, each citizen has responsibilities to the greater community, as well as individual liberty.

Jackie Robinson

A life is not important except the impact it has on other lives.

— Jackie Robinson

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 policies matter to the society at large as they are highly visible, involve large populations and have important symbolism. Fan behavior can also have impact on the larger populace.

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Sportsmanship in Football

Sportsmanship as Citizenship

The Rose Bowl Institute partnered with national social justice nonprofit RISE to present a bi-coastal critical conversation on the theme of “Sportsmanship as Citizenship.” The event came from two locations – the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium and the ESPN Seaport District Studios in New York at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Athletes in caps and gowns

Athletes in Schools

Through educational programs, focused dialogues, and awards, the Institute leverages the power of sports to unite people around positive sports values and to bridge civic differences through sports.

The Need for Civic Literacy. Many have cited the need in the United States for greater civic literacy at the junior and high school levels. In response to this nationwide need, the Rose Bowl Institute sends athletes into schools to encourage students to embrace sportsmanship as citizenship.

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Voices for Voting

Voices for Voting

To achieve the goal of encouraging young people to vote, the Institute is engaging athletes and leaders to voice their encouragements.The Institute’s pillars are Sportsmanship, Leadership and Citizenship. It brings sports values such as integrity, fair play, respect for the opponent and teamwork to the civic sphere, in this case by encouraging everyone of voting age, regardless of background, demographic, or political persuasion, to vote. The Institute has a particular focus on American youth.

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