It's no game when athletes take political, social stands

Officers walk out over Lynx shirts
Minnesota Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson (32) is greeted by Minnesota Lynx forward Natasha Howard (3) while starting lineups are announced at the Target Center on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
Timothy Nwachukwu | Star Tribune via AP

Athletes throughout history have used their public profiles to advocate for social change. Recently, though, that activism is getting mixed reviews.

NBA players in 2014 were largely supported for wearing shirts that memorialized Eric Garner and others.

Last month, however, WNBA players were fined for wearing similar shirts commemorating police shooting victims Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota as well as the police officers killed by a gunman in Dallas Those fines were later withdrawn.

MPR News guest host Marianne Combs along with Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, and Akilah Carter Francique, assistant professor of health and kinesiology at Texas A&M University, discussed the role of athletics in activism and how race, gender and social media play into the conversation.

To listen to the discussion, use the audio player above.

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