the interaction of sports activities and culture in oakland became the topic of communication at our most latest way of life makers occasion on sept. 22 at the new expressway theater. we had the right institution of oaklanders to help us explore the theme: former wnba player and contemporary oakland tech athletic director alexis gray-lawson, sports activities columnist marcus thompson, and oakland roots co-founder edreece arghandiwal.
not enormously, the communication that ensued become filled with insightful, heartfelt, and inspiring takes on why sports rely inside the city. as always, we had way too many superb questions from the audience than we had time to reply—some posed to the entire panel and others directed at one man or woman. our guests had been gracious enough to answer all of them inside the days considering that, and we’re presenting their answers below.
questions for all 3 panelists:
the nba has an extended and proud records of activism and preventing for racial justice—beginning with the fantastic invoice russell—how will we spark the equal activism within the nfl?
marcus: a number of the same activism is occurring inside the nfl. the ones gamers just aren’t as famous. one of the troubles with the nfl is their players aren’t as seen. additionally, the biggest stars of the sport, quarterbacks, are by and large white. they normally aren’t as pressed into activism as their non-white opposite numbers. also, their activism appears one-of-a-kind—whether fighting cancer, honoring troops, or championing guide for autistic youngsters.
one big hurdle for nfl players is the period of their career, that is notably shorter than their nba and mlb opposite numbers. injuries and the grueling nature of the sport make for shorter careers and the shortage of guaranteed contracts makes them less difficult to do away with. each integrate to present most football gamers less time in the public eye and much less possibility to construct the structures in their basketball and baseball opposite numbers.
alexis: i might trust marcus. i think that most of the great gamers inside the league are not people of color. those athletes must speak up so that you can change and spark the conversation round race and tradition. the wnba has been the main activist with regards to politics, race, transphobia, and many others. i assume representation matters.
edreece: lead with humanity. it’s now not simply with the nfl, but in any sport and in life. i suppose all of us gotta begin searching at the simplicity of the whole lot—just do the right things. moreover, we need groups to be receptive of the ideas too. we together as businesses, athletes, and enthusiasts want to demand and appreciate the identical things. if there may be a disconnect, there might be a disconnect. get the right people inside the right places to make the proper selections.
what position do sports activities play (or can sports activities play) in fighting the effect of gentrification?
alexis: i think we’ve got constantly notion approximately gentrification as a negative element and quite honestly it has been in oakland. the way of life we once knew as youngsters is not the thread that maintains matters together. i would say the results of gentrification have harm a number of possibilities for our scholar athletes of color. i can say even though, we have grown a lot via athletics in high school because of gentrification as properly. sports that weren’t part of our way of life, like ladies’ lacrosse, water polo, hockey, and so on., have now given our scholar athletes an opportunity to try something completely exceptional.
marcus: the function [professional sports activities] have played, traditionally, is underwhelming. the roles they offer don’t pay enough to hold human beings in areas being gentrified. their business version fees humans out the experience, giving humans one less reason to live of their neighborhoods. and they can entice gentrifiers.
what they can do? i’m not quite sure. one manner is, within the occasion of a new stadium, which is sort of trendy to include a brand new development nowadays, they may be serious about less costly housing of their development. some other way, and i’m simply winging it here, is paying workers a livable salary or, even simpler, make sure some of the roles paying livable wages go to individuals who live within the neighborhood.
edreece: sports activities businesses must maintain and make bigger way of life, not change it or strive to inform people what they have to be enthusiasts of. human beings and community dictate the identification of the sports teams. no longer the opposite manner around. sports companies are tied to the cities they function in, and the call this is of their crests/trademarks. oakland roots ain’t oakland with out oakland. so i suppose it starts with making decisions that definitely impact the places agencies constitute and perform in. moreover, it’s approximately retaining the testimonies and lifestyle that make the region unique. accessibility, equity, responsibility. understanding where you come back from enables you get to recognise in which you are going.