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Athlete Activism: #TakeTheKnee Protests

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Large American flag displayed at First Energy Stadium before a Cleveland Browns football game.

Last weekend, President Trump made a number of inflammatory statements concerning about professional athletes, particularly NFL players who chose to kneel during the national anthem over the last year. In response, the "#TakeTheKnee" protests expanded into a movement, putting a spotlight on the influence of athletes and their organizations in the national discourse on race, equality, and patriotism.

Today, we discuss the evolution, outcomes, and trajectory of this ongoing phenomenon.


  • Dan Lebowitz, Executive Director, The Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University
  • Jamil Smith, contributing writer at The Daily Beast
  • Nicole Kraft, co-director of Ohio State University Sports & Society Initiative and Assistant Professor of Journalism and Sports Media, The Ohio State University
  • Keith Woods, Vice President, Newsroom Training and Diversity, NPR


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