CONVERSATIONS

Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, and the NFL
Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, and the NFL
Martin Luther King spoke of direct, nonviolent action exposing a hidden tension in society. The current protests started by Colin Kaepernick are revealing such a tension in American football, one between the NFL's black athletes and the league's white, conservative fans.
Rescuing Ali from His Hagiographers
Rescuing Ali from His Hagiographers
Historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith dug into FBI files, archived manuscripts, and 50-year-old interviews to meticulously examine the lives of Cassius Clay and Malcolm X in a three-year period of the early Sixties.
Football’s Past, Football’s Future
Football’s Past, Football’s Future
What will football look like in the age of Super Bowl 100? Will the sport continue to gain popularity, or will it no longer exist? The author of a new biography of Walter Camp, the father of American football, argues that an understanding of the sport's origins offers a hopeful view of its future.
Was 2015 Really the ‘Year of Women in Sports’?
Was 2015 Really the ‘Year of Women in Sports’?
According to many year-end commentaries, 2015 was a year when women stood out in sports. Four sports scholars – from the US, Canada, and the UK – discuss the accomplishments and advances of the past year as well as the persistent barriers that remain for women in sport.
Question for the Panel: Rival Athletes
Question for the Panel: Rival Athletes
As NFL quarterbacks Payton Manning and Tom Brady play what will likely be the last game in their storied rivalry, some of our writers offer their selections for the greatest rivalry between individual athletes.
Question for the Panel: Sports Figure of the Year
Question for the Panel: Sports Figure of the Year
'Tis the season for best-of-the-year lists. After a year of researching, writing, teaching, watching, and cheering, some of our writers give their picks for the most significant sports figure of 2015.
Question for the Panel: Sports Story of the Year
Question for the Panel: Sports Story of the Year
What was the most important sports story of 2015? We asked some of our writers for their picks.
A Branded Empire: Examining the Worldwide Leader
A Branded Empire: Examining the Worldwide Leader
In recent days ESPN dismissed some 300 employees and closed down its well-regarded site Grantland. Media scholar Travis Vogan addresses these events in the light of his new book on ESPN's rise to media dominance.
Question for the Panel: The Greatest Sports Rivalry?
Question for the Panel: The Greatest Sports Rivalry?
As the All Blacks and Wallabies play the 155th match of their rugby rivalry in this year's World Cup final, we asked scholars of sport from around the world to name the greatest rivalry.
To Pay or Not to Pay
To Pay or Not to Pay
Should college football and basketball players be paid for entertaining us – and for generating hundreds of millions in TV revenue? Seems only fair. But Duke University's Michael Gillespie suggests that we think through what would happen to college sports.
SPORTOLOGICALLY SPEAKING
"Our sports are so refined and designed – so rule bound and internally complete, with lore and custom as well as their own rules or law – that they can have the character of cults, those closed-off, self-contained cultures that demand one's total being, one's total assent." –A. Bartlett Giamatti
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