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FYRS -- First Year Research Seminar (Winter 2023): Levan

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Course Description: Athletes and Society

Athletes and Society: Whether we want to recognize it or not, the world of sports is a microcosm of several issues that are prevalent in society. Race, misogyny, bigotry, and inclusion are just some of the issues that are seen everyday in society and have become front and center in the sports realm. Whether it be Colin Kapernick taking a knee to bring awareness to police brutality in the African American community or transgender athletes such as Lia Thomas trying to find a place where they can be accepted, sports has become a podium for athletes to give a voice to issues they are facing everyday. However, some people wonder if athletes should use this podium to raise awareness and fight injustice. When LeBron James and Kevin Durant criticized President Trump, Laura Ingraham famously told them to, "Shut up and dribble." In this course we will look into issues that affect professional and collegiate athletes and try to raise our own awareness in how these issues affect ourselves and those around us.

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TED Talk-LSU: Pay to Play

Jul 19, 2019: In the multi-billion dollar industry of college sports, one group of people is consistently left out when it comes to earning money - the college athletes. Sociologist Lori Latrice Martin dives into the inequalities of college sports and explains how the system succeeds mostly on the backs of black men’s bodies - today and in American sports history. For LSU African and African American Studies and sociology professor and author Lori Latrice Martin sports are about more than entertainment, especially from the perspective of student-athletes. But these sometimes painful challenges for student-athletes are often hidden from fans who see only the competition on the field of play. A former collegiate athlete herself, Lori uses the lens of sports to study important issues of race, education and class, revealing the ways in which race and sports are related historically and in contemporary times. Lori has published numerous books on race, education and athletics, and is a leading voice on racial disparities in athletic programs and the ongoing debate over the compensation of student-athletes. In 2019 her book, Black Women as Leaders: Challenging and Transforming Society, was released.

Citation Information

Featured Academic Journals on Sport

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