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Journalist John Feinstein discuses how athletes 'taking a knee' became so controversial

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America has a long history of race and racism in sports. NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a firestorm in 2016 by taking a knee on the sidelines in protest during the national anthem. While his protest of racial injustice created a heated national debate, it also continued a movement of athletes refusing to just “stick to sports.”

John Feinstein, a sports columnist and journalist, wanted to understand how raising a fist or taking a knee during the national anthem to call attention to racial injustices became so controversial.

His deep dive uncovers just how deeply racial politics is ingrained in sports and how sports perpetuates inequality. He joins guest host Erik Spanberg to talk about that and more.


John Feinstein, sports columnist, journalist, and author of 45 books. His latest is "Raise a Fist, Take a Knee: Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports"

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.