There have been a number of great pieces on the history of sport star activism in the wake of NFL player protests. I recognize that this is a very charged topic and I’m not here to tell you what to think. I do, however, think historical context can always help us understand our world. These articles do just that.
Over at Religion and Politics, Paul Putz argues that we have to understand the evangelical groups many of the protesting athletes belong to in order to understand their protests. I like this article a lot–in part because it moves us toward an explanation of the protests that is rooted in personal identity.
This article is an oldie but a goodie from the US Sports History blog. It links to other articles that outline the history of protest in the NFL, but it also digs into the way in which sports is inseparable from the beliefs of the players and fans.
One more oldie, this time from the African American Intellectual History Society Blog about the NBA and protests. This one is a good reminder that the NFL is far from the only professional sports organization to face political and racial protests.
Finally, here is a more recent post from the US Sports History blog. It argues that these protests are important because of the attention they bring to inequality in America but they will not fix America’s racial issues.