Cover image: http://bit.ly/2DzF7sd
The latest issue of ESPN The Magazine, in collaboration with The Undefeated, explores the State of the Black Athlete—a glimpse into the creativity, struggles and brilliance of African-Americans in sports. On newsstands Friday, Jan. 26, the issue is anchored by an essay from The Undefeated editor-in-chief Kevin Merida, “Speaking Their Minds,” which stresses that black athletes need to be looked at in full, starting with their intellect.
The story “The Conscience of a Champion” looks at the most politically conscious team in the nation’s most politically conscious league: the Golden State Warriors. Senior writers Lonnae O’Neal and Marc J. Spears ask, “Why are the Warriors celebrated for it when generations of black athletes were attacked for doing the same? And how long can it last?”
Additional State of the Black Athlete highlights:
MVP, champion, activist: Maya Moore is as fearless and captivating off the court as she is on it. ESPN’s Jemele Hill sat down with the WNBA star to talk about why she cares so much about doing the right thing.
For his brilliance, sullenness, fragility and resilience, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton confounds both his fans and his haters. But in the eyes of award-winning essayist and poet Claudia Rankine, he is not so different from the rest of us.
A Protest Divided
The movement started by Colin Kaepernick endures, but its supporters are more fragmented than ever. From Howard Bryant, this is the inside story of how infighting splintered a group of players once unified in its pursuit of a cause bigger than themselves.
The issue features poignant letters written by athletes: Kevin Durant to his hometown; Chiney Ogwumike to her family; John Wall to his dad and Chris Archer to his parents, as well as Martellus Bennett’s illustration on the State of the Black Athlete.
Also in this issue:
Numbers: Western Kentucky is the college hoops underdog to watch as March approaches, thanks to one surprisingly powerful indicator: its inconsistency. By Peter Keating
“The Enablers of Larry Nassar”: Understanding how a Michigan State doctor gained access to sexually assault more than 100 female athletes means confronting an uncomfortable truth: He didn’t gain that access alone. By John Barr and Dan Murphy in collaboration with Outside The Lines
Super Bowl Preview
- A data-driven comparison of the Super Bowl LII teams with QB comparisons, key numbers and matchups, efficiency ranks, and more. By Anthony Olivieri
- “Fatal Distractions”: Senior writer David Fleming on the impact a long, exhausting Super Bowl game day has on players.
- “A Super Bowl Party Dish Fit for a (Vi)King” featuring the “Purple Grip,” a purple pancake filled with tater tots, sausage and bacon gravy, served at Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Super Bowl. By Dan Hajducky
Winter Olympics Preview
- “One Giant Leap”: Bonnie D. Ford on Nathan Chen, the Quad King, who has figure skating’s most daring move down cold and is looking to take the sport to new heights at the Olympics
- “The Imitation Games”: Nothing has impacted the Winter Olympics like their hipster cousin, the X Games. Pyeongchang will have 16 snowboard and freeski events, 14 of which debuted at X Games. So it’s no wonder that stars like Shaun White and Kelly Clark will make Winter X (Jan. 25-28) their last stop before South Korea. By Alyssa Roenigk