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In "Raise a Fist..." John Feinstein probes racial inequity in pro sports

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John Feinstein is a sports commentator for NPR and other broadcast and print media, and the best-selling author of 45 books. (courtesy Little Brown and Co./John Feinstein)

Today, it's Midday on Sports, and Tom's guest is the best-selling author and multi-media sports commentator, John Feinstein.

When Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved hands at the 1968 Olympics, they did so knowing that they would pay an enormous price. 50 years later, when basketball superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant talked about politics, a conservative media personality admonished them to “shut up and dribble.” Colin Kaepernick’s quiet protest against police misconduct in 2016 cost him his career.

As John Feinstein chronicles in his new book, there are many, many more athletes, coaches and front office personnel in professional sports whose trailblazing activism happened behind the scenes. Feinstein explores the racial dynamics of sports at the highest level, and finds that when it comes to equity for people of color, sports reflects what we know to be true in other businesses: we have a long way to go.

His new book is called Raise a Fist, Take a Knee:  Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports. 

John Feinstein joins us today on Zoom from Potomac, Maryland.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.