Athletes and Race in the Last Century

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Theresa Runstedtler and David J. Leonard discuss race in sports. Runstedtler is the author of Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line, about the first African American World Heavyweight Champion (1908-1915) and his battles with racism around the world. Leonard is the author of After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness, about the 2004 “Palace Brawl,” a fight between NBA players Ron Artest and Ben Wallace that dramatically altered outside perceptions of the sport.


David J. Leonard and Theresa Runstedtler

Comments [6]

Mark Wood

@Mark. Did you live in South Africa in the time period she talks about? Blacks could make a lot of money in boxing but never be thought of as equal. She uses France's supposed superiority of their treatment of their colonies as a example of how Johnson knew his politics. And what makes you think these people are white? You are just an angry person.

Jun. 27 2012 09:54 PM
The Goat from Rucker Park

Can't some people be jerks and thugs based on nothing more than that's just how they are?! Artest is punk---always has been and always will be. He proved it again just a few weeks ago with a vicious cheap shot. He is a recidivist thug. There have been many more incidents involving Artest besides the so-called Palace Brawl. The guy never learns. Couldn't the author find a better example?

Jun. 27 2012 01:28 AM

Why does NPR have race baiters on the show? Ms. Theresa Runstedtler was making things up. I lived in South Africa during apartheid and 1. I never heard the term "House Boy" 2. Boxing was one of the main avenues that black men could have a level of equality not the opposite that she states. 3. Johnson went to France "because they knew how to treat their colonies". So much race stuff made up by liberal white people it is nauseating.

Jun. 26 2012 01:23 PM
The Truth from Becky

Did he just say Michael Jordan is "pretty good"??? that's it, turning this station off, no credibility here at all!

Jun. 26 2012 12:58 PM
The Truth from Becky

...and why are we comparing Ron Artest to Jack Johnson, why not write a book on violence in a sport like... uh I don't know HOCKEY??!!

Jun. 26 2012 12:49 PM
The Truth from Becky

I'm missing something yes? This is funny why? What the heck is all the chuckling about?

Jun. 26 2012 12:41 PM

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