There is no doubt that race and politics play a major role in what we see on the domestic and international courts, fields, and arena. The Doug Williams Center for the Study of Race & Politics in Sports is the ideal space for audiences to examine the history of American sports, build holistic perspectives on the impact of race in sports, and develop viable solutions to ongoing issues.
RACE AND POLITICS IN SPORTS
ABOUT THE DOUG WILLIAMS CENTER
PROVIDING THE TOOLS
TO BE LEADERS
Founded in August 2020, The Doug Williams Center for the Study of Race and Politics in Sports will equip student-athletes, coaches and sports administrators with the tools to be leaders in addressing matters of racial bias, athlete activism, diversity and inclusion, and political engagement. Additionally, The Center will:
- Examine the historical role of sports and politics in dismantling racial inequality and disadvantage in the domestic and global contexts.
- Promote critical, interdisciplinary, innovative research and approaches to understanding racism and discrimination in sports.
- Serve as a think tank to generate insights, identify trends and create solutions necessary to achieve positive and sustainable change on racial issues in sports and beyond.
- Collaborate with the NCAA and professional sports leagues to address issues of racial barriers, promoting diversity, and access for all in athletics.
- Produce tangible products (lecture series, an annual conference, digital journal, position statements, digital content related to sports, race, and politics, etc.) promoting and addressing the challenging issues of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
- The Center will utilize the expertise of an advisory board that will include academic leaders, professional and collegiate athletes, politicians, and social activists.
GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY
Grambling State University (GSU) participates in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – Western Division.
Grambling State has attracted and trained top talent in athletics, launching some of the most memorable football, basketball, and baseball careers in history.
The GSU Tiger G-MEN was built as a small school powerhouse sending more than 200 players to the National Football League (NFL), more than any other Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in history.
WHY STUDY RACE AND POLITICS IN SPORTS?
CREATING A SPACE FOR TOPICS TO BE EXPLORED
The persistence of racial disparities in collegiate and professional sports has been a topic of discussion in many circles and from many perspectives.
Where do these disparities come from? What creates the ongoing climate around the politics of sports?
Should athletes and sports journalists on either side of the political aisle keep silent on social and cultural issues and just stay within the sports arena, or should they be free to participate in the discussion, regardless of how uncomfortable or controversial those comments may be to some?
Should those in positions of power, such as corporate media entities – afraid of alienating a portion of their viewers – all the way up to the Oval Office be able to influence and effectively advocate for the silencing of athletes and/or sports journalists over any and all dialogue revolving around race?
The Doug Williams Center for the Study of Race and Politics in Sports creates a space where these topics can be explored at length and students, sports leaders, and political influencers will come together to find understand the subject matter, create common ground, and develop real solutions.
How we finally answer those questions will go along way toward navigating through the difficult and potent mix of politics, race, and sports.
Virtual events are forthcoming.