- Playing for Justice special will debut at 9 p.m. ET – a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system through the eyes of NBA players from the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings
- Also, encore presentations of The Undefeated’s Dear Black Athlete and Athletes, Responsibility and Violence conversation specials
As the nation continues to come to grips with issues of race and injustice, ESPN will present three hours of special primetime programming from The Undefeated on justice, equality and responsibility this Monday, June 8. Beginning at 8 p.m. ET, all three planned programs – including the debut of Playing for Justice, a 30-minute special that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system through the eyes of NBA players – were produced by The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture.
Playing for Justice (9 p.m. ET) chronicles recent visits by the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings to local prisons in their respective communities. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trevor Ariza, Marvin Bagley, Sterling Brown, George Hill, and NBA legend Caron Butler are among the players who discuss their experiences as they try to spread messages of hope inside the correctional facilities. Narrated by The Undefeated senior NBA writer Marc Spears, the program discusses solutions for a system that adversely affects the black community. ESPN’s Eric Woodyard provided additional reporting. Trailer. [Note: The Kings are among the finalists for the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award.]
In addition to Playing for Justice, ESPN will present encore presentations of two past specials from The Undefeated – Dear Black Athlete and An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence.
At 8 p.m., Dear Black Athlete offers a series of conversations hosted by Cari Champion with prominent African American athletes and civic and community leaders. Recorded in front of a live audience in February 2018 at the birthplace of the civil rights movement – the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., Dear Black Athlete is an ode to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and was part of ESPN’s annual Black History Month programming.
Athletes, Responsibility and Violence (9:30 p.m.) was the first conversation event hosted by The Undefeated. From August 2016 – barely six months after the platform launched, the 90-minute program hosted by Jemele Hill in Chicago discussed an array of topics, including racial profiling, athletes and activism, with a distinguished group of athletes, community leaders and activists.
The Undefeated’s “Justice, Equality and Responsibility” Programs on ESPN – Monday, June 8:
|8 p.m.||The Undefeated Presents: Dear Black Athlete
Chris Archer (MLB pitcher), Anquan Boldin (NFL retired), James Harris (First African American starting QB in the NFL), Jemele Hill (Writer/Journalist/Producer), Chiney Ogwumike (WNBA/ESPN), A.C. Roper (then Birmingham Police Chief), Jason Reid (The Undefeated Senior NFL Writer) and others join host Cari Champion for conversations on civil rights in America in the 21st century.
|9 p.m.||Playing for Justice
2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and players from the Milwaukee Bucks visit a correctional facility in Milwaukee to share a message of hope and learn more about the justice system. In California, Sacramento Kings Marvin Bagley, owner Vivek Ranadivé and the team spend time with inmates at Folsom State Prison. The Undefeated’s Marc Spears narrates.
|9:30 p.m.||An Undefeated Conversation: Athletes, Responsibility and Violence
Chicago native/NBA player Jabari Parker, Chicago White Sox executive Kenny Williams and USA Track and Field star Kristi Castlin lead a contingent of more than 15 athletes, community leaders and activists in the first public convening by The Undefeated in Chicago on the responsibility of athletes as voices against violence in urban communities across the country. Hosted by Jemele Hill, the show was taped in front of a standing room audience at the South Side YMCA of Metro Chicago in August 2016.
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.
In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to 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.