- One-hour Special Examines Interactions Between African Americans and Law Enforcement Through Athletes’ Voices
- Ryan Smith Hosts with Contributions from LaChina Robinson and Marc Spears
ESPN’s The Undefeated will present The Stop: Living, Driving and Dying While Black on Sunday, October 11 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN. The one-hour television special will examine the experiences Black Americans have with law enforcement and the long-lasting impact these interactions have on African American communities.
The Stop is the latest example of The Undefeated’s ongoing commitment to covering the national awakening for social justice following the killings of Black Americans Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks. In June, The Undefeated produced four hours of special primetime programming dedicated to justice, equality and responsibility, including Time for Change: We Won’t be Defeated which examined racial injustice in America.
“The Undefeated’s commitment to producing specials on the most urgent topics in Black communities is unwavering and unending,” said Kevin Merida, Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, The Undefeated. “When the subject of racial justice fades from America’s gaze, we’ll still be here.”
Through the voices of athletes, experts and police, The Stop will explore how interactions between law enforcement and Black Americans produce tense relationships and distrust. The show will also examine how ‘The Talk’ – conversations between Black parents and their children on what to do when stopped by the police – often leaves children fearful of law enforcement. Interviews include:
- Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents 29 year-old Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisc., police officer; the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other victims of police brutality;
- Michele Roberts, executive director, National Basketball Players Association, and a respected trial attorney;
- Judy Smith, founder and CEO of Smith & Company, a crisis management and communications firm, whose career inspired the ABC television drama Scandal;
- Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw;
- Jacob Blake Sr. and Letetra Widman, the father and sister of 29 year-old Jacob Blake, who was shot and seriously injured by a police officer in August
- Quentin Williams, an ex-sports executive, former FBI agent and federal prosecutor who now leads athletes and law enforcement in community change;
- NBA guard and NBPA president Chris Paul;
- Kimberly Jones, co-author of the young adult book “I’m Not Dying with You Tonight,” a novel about two teen girls – one Black, one White – confronting their perspectives on race;
- Former NBA Player Matt Barnes; and retired NFL player and ESPN analyst Ryan Clark;
- Roundtable discussions with NBA and WNBA players; and more.
The television special is inspired by “The Stop: Racial profiling of drivers leaves legacy of anger and fear,” a project reported by senior writer Michael Fletcher as part of The Undefeated’s partnership with National Geographic for its “Race Issue” in April 2018.
The Stop is the 10th television special by The Undefeated since its launch in May 2016. By combining town halls on topical community conversations with in-depth examinations of key trends and issues, The Undefeated has produced timely and impactful programming on ESPN’s television networks. Highlights: a discourse on Athletes, Responsibility and Violence in Chicago (August 2016); A Conversation with The President: Sports, Race and Achievement with President Barack Obama (October 2016); Dear Black Athlete town hall at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. (February 2018); a look at the emerging prominence of African-American quarterbacks in the National Football League; and more.
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.