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Consider This… NFL Protests

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In 2016, when the media noticed Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem, they asked him why. His response was, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”  He later switched to kneeling as a sign of respect for the military.

Since then, other NFL athletes, and some from other sports, have joined in some type of protest, some in support of Kaepernick and some to state their support of the anthem and the country. Fans have criticized and supported the protests and team owners have sometimes shown solitary with the players or have avoided the issue. The protests have grown in scope and divisiveness as team owners, fans and politicians have expressed their thoughts and views about player’s protests.

We’ll examine different issues associated with this topic and provide different perspectives from those you have already heard.

Lloyd Kramer, Moderator

Lloyd Kramer is a professor of history and the director of “Carolina Public Humanities” at UNC. He has served two terms as chair of UNC’s history department and received two awards for distinguished undergraduate teaching. His teaching, academic research and public service focus on European history, transnational cultural exchanges, the history of nationalism and the role of the humanities in modern education.

Deborah Stroman, Panelist

Debrah Stroman is an entrepreneur and enthusiastic educator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Sport Business professor (Kenan-Flagler Business School, College of Arts & Science Entrepreneurship Minor, and liaison with the Gillings School of Global Public Health) and Sport Entrepreneurship Director at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. She especially enjoys teaching leadership, sport marketing, finance and economics of sport, and sport entrepreneurship courses. Her research interests include leadership, entrepreneurship, and social issues in sport. Additional university service responsibilities include faculty advisor to the Carolina Sport Business Club, MBA Sports & Entertainment Club, and Sigma Alpha Lambda (a national leadership and honors organization). Her SPEIA Basketball Analytics Summit held at UNC has drawn rave reviews for the insights, networking, and innovative event planning. Dr. Stroman was awarded The Class of 1996 Award for Advising Excellence (2012-13), the General Alumni Association Harvey Beech 2013 Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award, and was most recently inducted into the university’s oldest and highest honorary society, Order of the Golden Fleece. Highly motivated to share her journey and life lessons, Dr. Stroman is a national speaker on topics such as leadership, entrepreneurship, racial equity, sport business, and personal development.

Matt Andrews, Panelist

Matt Andrews is a lecturer/advisor for the department of history at UNC. He received his undergraduate degree at UCLA and his PhD in American History at UNC. His courses and research explore the connections between sports, politics and political protest in the United States. Dr. Andrews teaches courses titled, “Sport and American History,” “Baseball and American History,” The Olympic Games-A Global History” and “Race, Basketball, and the American Dream.” He is currently working on two research projects — one, a history of interracial boxing in the early-twentieth century; the other is a history of sports in the Reagan era.

Ted Shaw, Panelist

Ted Shaw is the Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Center for Civil Rights at UNC’s School of Law. He teaches civil procedure and advanced constitutional law/fourteenth amendment. Before joining the faculty of UNC’s School of Law, from 2008-14 Shaw taught at Columbia University Law School, where he was professor of professional practice. During that time he was also “of counsel” to the law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright. His practice involved civil litigation and representation of institutional clients on matters concerning diversity and civil rights. Professor Shaw was the fifth director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., for which he worked in various capacities over the span of 26 years. He has litigated education, employment, voting rights, housing, police misconduct, capital punishment and other civil rights cases in trial and appellate courts, and in the United States Supreme Court.

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