A trio of high-profile athletes – Chicago native and Milwaukee Bucks player Jabari Parker, Chicago Sky guard Cappie Pondexter and USA Track and Field star Kristi Castlin, a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics in the 100m hurdles — will participate in ESPN’s 90-minute An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility, and Violence – a discourse on athletes, guns, violence and law enforcement – on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 9:30 p.m. Hosted by Jemele Hill, the discussion will be taped earlier that day during a town hall at the South Side YMCA of Metro Chicago (2 – 4 p.m. CT). ESPN Radio will also carry the program from 9:30 – 11 p.m.
Parker, Pondexter and Catlin join distinguished roster of participants that will include current and retired athletes, executives, coaches, sports commentators, community activists, a minister, a historian, and more. Altogether, there will be four featured panels at the forum. The panelists:
- Andy Borman – Coach and mentor with New Renaissance Basketball Association, a New York City organization that helps young athletes develop skills on-and-off the court
- Stephanie Brown – A Chicago mother who lost her son to gun violence
- Castlin – USA Track and Field athlete and 100m hurdles bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics
- Doug Glanville – Former Major League Baseball player and current ESPN analyst. Glanville wrote about a personal experience being profiled in his own driveway (The Atlantic, April 2014) and how he used the encounter as an opportunity for dialogue with law enforcement
- Andre Hamlin – Former gang member and current head of security for New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose
- Lonnae O’Neal – Chicago native and award-winning senior writer at The Undefeated
- Parker – NBA player who penned a first-person account (The Players’ Tribune, August 15) about growing up in Chicago and his commitment to making a difference in the community
- Pondexter – WNBA Chicago Sky guard
- Rajon Rondo – Chicago Bulls guard
- Isiah Thomas – Chicago native and Basketball Hall-of-Famer
- Elizabeth Todd-Breland – University of Illinois at Chicago history professor
- Pastor Jolinda Wade – Chicago-based Baptist pastor and mother of NBA star Dwyane Wade
- Michael Wilbon – Chicago native and ESPN commentator/co-host of Pardon The Interruption
- Marcellus Wiley – Retired NFL player and co-host of ESPN’s SportsNation, who is active in gun violence prevention efforts
- Kenny Williams – Chicago White Sox executive vice president
- Clinton Yates – Senior writer at The Undefeated
An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility, and Violence is the first in a recurring series of conversations, forums and debates that will be convened by ESPN’s The Undefeated to address topical issues at the confluence of sports and race. The four panels will discuss the following topics: “Racial Profiling, Athletes & Police”; “Sports & Activism”; “Guns & Violence”; and end with “A Call to Action.”
Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade, who joined his hometown Chicago Bulls this offseason, will pre-tape an interview with Hill for the town hall. Wade and fellow NBA stars – LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul – delivered a stirring call to action to fellow professional athletes at the 2016 ESPYS Awards to commit to social action in their communities.
ESPN Radio will also provide coverage, beginning with a Town Hall Special hosted by The Undefeated’s Yates and Dominque Foxworth at 9 p.m. ESPN Radio will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of the forum from 9:30 – 11 p.m. Immediately following the simulcast, ESPN Radio will broadcast a one-hour recap hosted by Yates and Foxworth. On Friday, Aug. 26, ESPN Radio daytime shows – Mike & Mike, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, Russillo & Kanell and The Right Time with Bomani Jones – will feature guests who will add to topics explored during the Town Hall.
First Take Special Edition Live from Chicago on Friday
ESPN2’s morning show First Take will air live from the South Side YMCA in Chicago on Friday, Aug. 26, with a special edition focusing on the city’s ongoing struggle with violence. The show continues the conversation from An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility, and Violence – ESPN’s discourse on athletes, guns, violence and law enforcement airing the night before from the same location. Featured commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman will be at the desk with moderator Molly Qerim. The show will air live in its usual time slot from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (9 – 11 a.m. CT). Guests include NBA Hall-of-Famer and Chicago native Isiah Thomas, Milwaukee Bucks player and Chicago native Jabari Parker and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown.
About The Undefeated:
The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
TheUndefeated.com showcases four main verticals – Sports, Culture, The Uplift and HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Its mantra: Not conventional, never boring.
In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated will be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.
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