More than a year ago, Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sat, then knelt, during the national anthem before NFL games. Kaepernick took a knee to protest the treatment of African-Americans and minorities in the U.S., and his actions have generated a lot of conversation.
Players have spoken up for him, and some joined in his protest. Coaches have supported him, and some have called him out. President Trump called protests like Kaepernick’s disrespectful to the flag.
But Kaepernick is not the first athlete to take a stand on social issues. Here are a just a few:
In 1967, Muhammad Ali cited religious reasons for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army. His heavyweight title was stripped and he was later convicted of draft evasion, a conviction that the Supreme Court overturned in 1971.
In the 1968 Olympics, after winning the gold and bronze medals in the men’s 200 meters, U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists, each wearing a black glove, during the medal ceremony to make a statement about human rights. Later, both were suspended from the U.S. Olympic team.
In 2014, five St. Louis Rams players walked on to the field with their hands in the air, in the “Hands up, don’t shoot” pose, to show solidarity with the protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
In light of these examples, and numerous others, we want to hear from you: Do you have questions about the intersection of sports and social activism?
Here’s how this works: Tell us your question by submitting it below. Our team at Morning Edition will go through responses and pick one — or potentially a few — to investigate further. Your question could be the central topic in a future sports segment on Morning Edition.
We will contact you if your question is chosen. Check back here for updates on this segment.