It’s been a bad few years of violence in America, particularly between police and the black community. The ongoing tensions have moved numerous athletes and celebrities to speak out on the topic in hopes of bringing more awareness to these issues and spurring social change. Most notably, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony made a public call for peace during the ESPYs earlier this summer, and Anthony has taken particular interest in the cause as he hosted a panel in Los Angeles last month designed to start a dialogue about how to combat such a complicated problem.
Now, ESPN’s “The Undefeated” will reportedly hold a similar panel discussion in Chicago on Thursday at the South Side YMCA, titled “An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence — a panel discussion on athletes, guns, violence and law enforcement.” Via Evan F. Moore of DNAinfo.com:
“Sports are great bridge builders in our country, bringing together people who think differently and live differently,” said Kevin Merida, ESPN senior vice president and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated. “Athletes, in greater numbers, have been saying they want to use their influence to drive social change. We hope this town hall will help push that conversation forward.”
NBA legend Isiah Thomas, a Chicago native, will be one of several former or current athletes to participate, along with newly-signed Bulls guard Rajon Rondo. Other panelists will include Wade’s mother Jolinda, Michael Wilbon, White Sox vice president Kenny Williams, and many more.
They’ll discuss numerous topics, including the responsibilities — and potential repercussions — of being a politically-outspoken athlete, personal experiences with the police and racial profiling, and sports figures’ relationship to guns and the second amendment. His & Hers co-host Jemele Hill will act as moderator.