We Matter: Athletes and Activism

We Matter: Athletes and Activism

by Etan Thomas

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Overview

"Before Kaepernick, there was Etan Thomas."
--New York Times

"In We Matter, Thomas strives to show the influence professional athletes can have when they join the conversation on race, politics, and civil rights. Thomas conducted 50 interviews, which included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Laila Ali, Michael Bennett, and Eric Reid, among many other athletes, as well as journalists, television personalities, and family members of unarmed black men who were shot and killed. Thomas also explored his ties with the Wizards and spoke with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and current majority team owner Ted Leonsis."
--Washington Post

"The honest conversations, published in transcript form and often accompanied by black-and-white photos, serve as a primer on recent police violence cases, a history lesson on the first athletes who stood up for racial injustice, an examination of the experience of being young and black in the United States, and an insightful look at how it feels to lose a loved one to tragedy, from contributors such as Jemele Hill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Carmelo Anthony...An important read, executed uniquely."
--School Library Journal, STARRED review

"In his new book, We Matter: Athletes and Activism, Thomas tirelessly interviews a range of people from NBA icons to the families of crime victims to illustrate the importance of athletes using their voice for more than just sports."
--Athletes Quarterly

"Thomas interviews athletes, coaches, and sports personalities as he covers topics related to activism from the sporting realm and how it is perceived in America. A necessary read."
--Library Journal, A Best Book of 2018

"A former NBA player and current activist and MSNBC commentator returns with a collection of dozens of interviews on the subject of race in America--all supporting the efforts of athletes to speak out and up...Voices of pain, anger, and hope resound through these pages--and through the reader's heart."
--Kirkus Reviews

Featuring interviews by former NBA player Etan Thomas with over fifty athletes, executives, media figures, and more--and interwoven with essays and critiques by Thomas--We Matter shares the personal tales and opinions of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Steve Kerr, Oscar Robertson, Mark Cuban, Michael Bennett, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Swin Cash, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Webber, Jemele Hill, Anquan Boldin, Jamal Crawford, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, Shannon Sharpe, James Blake, John Carlos, Laila Ali, Michael Eric Dyson, Joakim Noah, Eric Reid, Adam Silver, Soledad O'Brien, John Wall, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Bradley Beal, Tamika Catchings, Curtis Conway, Harry Edwards, Chris Hayes, Chamique Holdsclaw, Scoop Jackson, Bomani Johnes, Shaun King, Jimmy King, Ted Leonsis, Thabo Sefolosha, Ilyasah Shabazz, Torrey Smith, Kenny Smith, Michael Smith, David West, Michael Wilbon, Jahvaris Fulton (brother of Trayvon Martin), Emerald Snipes (daughter of Eric Garner), Allysza Castile (sister of Philando Castile), Valerie Castile (mother of Philando Castile), and Dr. Tiffany Crutcher (sister of Terence Crutcher).

This volume will be an inspiration for many different people: sports junkies; young readers who need words of encouragement from their favorite athletes; parents seeking positive messages for their children; activists who want to hear athletes using their voices to address social justice; and schools that need motivational material for their students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617756122
Publisher: Akashic Books
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 1,097,607
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

Etan Thomas a former eleven-year NBA player, was born in Harlem and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has published three books: a collection of poems titled More Than an Athlete, the motivational book Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, and Voices of the Future, a collection of poems and essays by young writers from around the country on topics such as racism, Trayvon Martin, President Obama, gun violence, and AIDS. Thomas was honored for social justice advocacy as the recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award, as well as the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Legacy Award. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, CNN, and ESPN. He can be frequently seen on MSNBC as a special correspondent and he cohosts a weekly local radio show, The Collision, on WPFW in Washington, DC, about the place where sports and politics collide.
Etan Thomas a former eleven-year NBA player, was born in Harlem and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has published three books: a collection of poems titled More Than an Athlete, the motivational book Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, and Voices of the Future, a collection of poems and essays by young writers from around the country on topics such as racism, Trayvon Martin, President Obama, gun violence, and AIDS. Thomas was honored for social justice advocacy as the recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award, as well as the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Legacy Award. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, CNN, and ESPN. He can be frequently seen on MSNBC as a special correspondent and he cohosts a weekly local radio show, The Collision, on WPFW in Washington, DC, about the place where sports and politics collide.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Chapter 1 The Children of the Movement 12

Jahvaris Fulton (Brother of Trayvon Martin) 16

Emerald Snipes (Daughter of Eric Garner) 20

Tiffany Crutcher (Sister of Terence Crutcher) 28

Alysza Catile (Sister of Philando Catile) 33

Chapter 2 Athlete Activism Matters 40

Michael Eric Dyson 44

Dwyane Wade 51

Carmelo Anthony 55

Bill Russell 60

Chapter 3 The Kaepernick Movement Matters 67

Eric Reid 71

Torrey Smith 76

David West 80

Shannon Sharpe 86

Chapter 4 Standing Up to Police Brutality Matters 90

Russel Westbrook 93

Anquan Boldin 96

James Blake 101

Thabo Sefolosha 111

Chapter 5 Coaches and Management Using their Voices Matters 118

Ted Leonsis 121

Mark Cuban 122

Steve Kerr 129

Kenny Smith 133

Adam Silver 138

Chapter 6 Standing Up for Black Lives Matter Matters 141

Bomani Jones 143

Bradley Beal 148

Swin Cash 153

Tamika Catchings 159

Chapter 7 Ignoring Critics and Haters Matters 164

Jamal Crawford 165

John Carlos 168

Juwan Howard 174

Craig Hodges 176

Chapter 8 Speaking Out in the Age of Trump Matters 183

Michael Wilbon 184

Chris Hayes 186

Alonzo Mourning 200

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 204

Chapter 9 Connecting with Activists Matters 210

Harry Edwards 212

Ilyasah Shabazz 216

Shaun King 220

Chapter 10 Having "The Talk" with Young Male Athletes Matters 225

Valerie Castile (Mother of Philando Castile) 229

Chris Webber 232

Joakim Noah & Derrick Rose 239

Chapter 11 Having "The Talk" with Young Female Athletes Matters 246

Chamique Hodlsclaw 249

Soledad O'Brien 254

Jemele Hill & Michael Smith 259

Laila Ali & Curtis Conway 265

Chapter 12 Fighting for Your Rights Matters 268

Oscar Robertson 271

Jimmy King & Ray Jackson 275

John Wall 279

Chapter 13 Education Matters 283

Scoop Jackson 287

Michael Bennett 293

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf 301

"Kaepernick," a poem Malcolm Thomas 307

"You Matter," a poem Etan Thomas 311

Afterword Dave Zirin 316

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