LIMA — As part of Black History Month, Ohio State Lima’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Diversity Committee will host “Athletes and Patriotism” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Science Building, Room 165.
The event is free and open to the public.
African American athletes have historically used their social platforms in professional sports to advocate for justice and equality. Jackie Robinson was the courageous champion on the diamond against segregation in Major League Baseball. Muhammad Ali was the conscientious objector to poverty and racism in America. John Carlos and Tommie Smith were activists in the Games of the XIX Olympiad. During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem and a new movement was birthed. “Athletes and Patriotism” will provide an insightful analysis of what this new movement means in the ongoing national conversation on race.
Dr. Jessica A. Johnson will begin the conversation with a historical overview of activism by athletes, beginning with the 1946 Four, four African-American men who re-integrated professional football a year before Jackie Robinson made his Major League Baseball debut. Following the overview, Dr. Bill Angel will moderate a discussion with Johnson, before wrapping up with audience discussion and questions.
Johnson is a lecturer in English at Ohio State Lima, a correspondent for the Columbus Dispatch and an opinion columnist for the Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia. Angel is an associate professor emeritus in political science at Ohio State Lima.