Athletes + Activism

Filed under Social Justice

Today’s star athletes are making headlines not only for their athletic achievements, but for their dedication to fighting injustice.

At The Atlantic’s first-ever Athletes + Activism summit, top professional athletes, experts and veteran journalists met for a conversation on the intersection of sports and social justice. Sponsored by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the event explored themes including gender pay inequity, social media as a platform for player activism, and the connections between athletes and their leagues, federations, and sponsors.

Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic, in conversation with Ibtihaj Muhammad, U.S. Olympic Bronze Medalist, Fencing.

At The Atlantic’s first-ever Athletes + Activism summit, top professional athletes, experts and veteran journalists met for a conversation on the intersection of sports and social justice. Sponsored by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the event explored themes including gender pay inequity, social media as a platform for player activism, and the connections between athletes and their leagues, federations, and sponsors.

Atlantic staff writer and the summit’s moderator Jemele Hill says that while activism isn’t obligatory for athletes, players have a unique opportunity to build their own “impact lanes.”

Several of those on stage have done just that, including Olympian John Carlos, who famously raised his fist in a black power salute while on the podium to accept his bronze medal in 1968.

Mystics guard Natasha Cloud says that the WNBA in particular has supported players in speaking up for what they believe in. "The [league] has been on the forefront of most sports, men’s and women’s, when talking about issues that need to be talked about,” Cloud says, adding, "If it’s going on in our country, we’re gonna speak about it when asked."

To watch the event in its entirety click here.