First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Mia SansanelliFollow

Mentor/s

Suzanna Marmo-Roman LaTina Steele

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

Athlete activism has been a long-standing tradition of standing up for injustices taking place within the United States. American sociologist Dr. Harry Edwards documented four waves of athlete activism starting in the 1930s through the 2010s and predicted a fifth one, which we are now watching come to fruition in the present day. This ongoing tradition stems from an unspoken responsibility for athletes of color to step up and speak up on behalf of those who came before them who were silenced, also referred to as The Heritage. This paper highlights Colin Kaepernick as the catalyst for the fourth wave of athlete activists and recognizes LeBron James as a leading figure that inspired the fifth wave of athlete activists. The increasing prominence and power of social media has enabled the newer waves of athletes to influence and inspire more people than ever before. By analyzing the social justice work of these men and the reactions from professional athletes and sports leagues, the research proves that athlete activism is effective in facilitating social change. Despite the public opinion and controversy surrounding the purposeful intersection of politics and sport, the social justice efforts of professional athletes will not fade anytime soon.

College and Major available

College of Arts and Sciences

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Honors Capstone HN-300-E Marmo-Roman and Steele

Location

Session G: West Campus West Building W223J

Start Day/Time

4-29-2022 12:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-29-2022 1:00 PM

Students' Information

Mia Sansanelli- Sports Communication and Media, Honors, 2023

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Apr 29th, 12:00 PM Apr 29th, 1:00 PM

Professional Athletes Using Their Social Media and Public Image to Effectively Facilitate Social Change

Session G: West Campus West Building W223J

Athlete activism has been a long-standing tradition of standing up for injustices taking place within the United States. American sociologist Dr. Harry Edwards documented four waves of athlete activism starting in the 1930s through the 2010s and predicted a fifth one, which we are now watching come to fruition in the present day. This ongoing tradition stems from an unspoken responsibility for athletes of color to step up and speak up on behalf of those who came before them who were silenced, also referred to as The Heritage. This paper highlights Colin Kaepernick as the catalyst for the fourth wave of athlete activists and recognizes LeBron James as a leading figure that inspired the fifth wave of athlete activists. The increasing prominence and power of social media has enabled the newer waves of athletes to influence and inspire more people than ever before. By analyzing the social justice work of these men and the reactions from professional athletes and sports leagues, the research proves that athlete activism is effective in facilitating social change. Despite the public opinion and controversy surrounding the purposeful intersection of politics and sport, the social justice efforts of professional athletes will not fade anytime soon.

 

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