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tv   John Feinstein Raise a Fist Take a Knee  CSPAN  June 20, 2022 9:00am-10:01am EDT

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including several kennedy's. the new biography by michael hill is called funny business. and in the "washington post" reviewer matthew reimer who is cocreator of the online resource at lgbt history finds that james history of gay washington offers a surface level glimpse at the prominence of homophobia in the federal government and the d.c. press corps. .. i'd like to welcome and thank you for joining us tonight. four days 23 hours and just about 30 minutes from kickoff of super bowl 56 in englewood, california. >> super bowl with the chiefs who would have thunk it. funny thing in the run-up to what's annually the biggest, most analyzed and hyped game on
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the planet, actually not so funny thing. we haven't been deluged to this point with gushing stories about joe, the bengals quarterback who beat the chiefs, or the pressure from the rams and front sevens in the nfl. the dominant headlines have been off the field and they aren't gushing. the nfl has a racial equity problem. in a class action lawsuit filed last week against the league and three of its teams. he's been fired as the miami dolphins coach and didn't get a fair shot at any of the other eight head coaching jobs filled the past few weeks. he says rules implemented,
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promises made, yet nothing has changed and he called the nfl, quote, in certain ways, racially segregated and quote, managed much like a plantation. the league's commissioner roger goodle admits there's a problem, saying the league's failure to add diversity to the head coaching ranks, indeed the numbers are stark. in a league in which 70% of the players are black and only two head coaches are black and five minorities. of course, john feinstein, one of the best sports journalists on the planet was in front of this story. his latest book, raise a fist, take a knee, race and the illusion of progress in modern sports came out in november. it decidedly mixed record of success at sports, not just the nfl, but also major league
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baseball, big-time college football and basketball and other pro sports, have had in promoting and especially achieving baseball. >> baseball, two black managers and one black executive running team baseball organizations. college football's top division, the one in which alabama and ohio state and missouri and kansas play, 130 programs in which 60% of the players were black or other minorities this past season, but well more than 80% of the head coaches were white. same for who hired those coaches, more than 81% of the athletic directors at least schools were and are white. of course, there's also the pushback against players that might dare to take a stand. we saw that six years ago when more than two dozen football players at the university of missouri threatened to sit out
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over the school's and university's system handling of racist incidents on campus. their coach supported them, many others did not. and when lebron james told to shut up and dribble. colin kaepernick is out of football. john i'm fortunately to call a friend pan former colleague is with us tonight to talk about his book and about the fact that the issues of racial discrimination and inequitity plaguing the society at large do not spare sports. they haven't in the past, they still don't now. joining john in the conversation is another old friend who directs the sports journal program at northwestern's renowned school of journalism, media, and integrated marketing communications. and when i first talked to john a little while back about
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tonight, about a program revoling around his book, this is the most important book i've written, which for john is saying something, he's written 45 books, including two of the most acclaimed and best selling sports titles of all time, the season on the brink and a good walk spoiled. john's a long time writer and columnist for "the washington post." he's contributed to many other national outlets, both print and broadcast and is a member of five, count them, fall halls of fame, including the national sports writers and sports casters hall of fame and the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame, a member of the curt gowdy award. and since 2016, an accomplished sports journalist, 10 years as columnist for the los angeles times and as a writer at "the washington post" alongside john and the chicago sun times.
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you may recognize jay from his more than thousand appearances on espn's round table discussion show, around the horn. now, if you had a question over the course of their discussion and we hope you do, you can submit it by the youtube chat box. we'll get as many answered as we can at the end of the presentation. john, jay, it's great to see you again and it's great to have you here. thanks so much for joining us and welcome to both of you. jay, i'll let you get things started. >> thank you so much, steve. it's great to see you again, it great to be reunited with the two of you and certainly appreciate you thinking of me for these topics. one of the reasons i got into sports journalism is to help tell the story beyond the field and beyond the arena, and to look at the interaction of sports and society, and john
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has certainly taken on that challenge most specifically in in book and john, of all the multitude of books that everyone starts with the same thing, and that's an idea, right? so what was the idea and the motivation behind this book at this time? >> well, jay, first of all, thanks for doing it with me and i'm grateful to you for taking the time and he think we're both grateful to steve for reaching out to us. my history with race in sports really goes back to when i was in college. i grew up in new york city, i played ball all the time in my neighborhood with white kids, black kids and hispanic kids and the only thing that mattered, and i'm sure that you experienced this as a kid, too, could you play? it didn't matter what race you were, or your ethnic background was, but when i got to duke, troises a lot different. politically and in every
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possible way, and my junior year, duke played a football game at army and duke back then as now, was lousy in football. and so the morning herald, the local paper, i was starting to do some stringing work for them as a nonstaffer and they asked me to cover the duke army football game, i was thrilled $50 to write a lead and a side bar and that was huge money. and duke rallied in the second half to win the game when they brought in a freshman quarterback named mike dunn and i wrote about mike dunn and side bar on him and how they recruited him and turned out to be a very good college player. was very happy with myself, i made deadline, flew home with the team and picked up the paper the next morning excite today see two by lines and when i got to the part where i introduced mike dunn, duke
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black freshman quarterback mike dunn, i was like what? duke had black linebackers, and black everything, and dunn was the first black quarterback at duke, this was 1975. and so i called the editor, who had edited the two stories and put in a side bar, too. i said what whether you doing, what difference does it make what color he is? >> john, he's the first black quarterback duke has had and that's part of the story. >> i was furious. the funny thing was when i was working on the book i was talking about the book and doug wrote the story and he laughed, you're naive. of course they were putting that in the story. and dealing with the fact that race is always there in one
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form or another, and in 2010 there were other incidents and i've obviously known a lot of black athletes and black coaches through the years. but in 2010, donovan mcnabb came to play quarterback in washington and in the eighth game of the season against the detroit lions he'd taken every snap and washington fell behind 30-25 at the two minute warning and they took the kickoff and rex grossman, the immortal rex grossman, you probably remember. >> the very last super bowl. >> and proves a great coach. but rex grossman came in, hadn't taken a snap all season like i said. first play, he was strip sacked by ndamukong suh, and picked up the ball, into the end zone, game over. after the game shanahan was asked what made you change quarterback. he could have said look, i had a gut feeling about rex, could
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have said donovan wasn't having a great game, he wasn't. instead he said i didn't know if donovan knew our two minute offense. >> this is a 11th year quarterback midway through the season and he didn't know the offense. na didn't sit well with the media and then asked again. i didn't know if donovan was in shape to run back-to-back plays. wow. so, this simmered for a week and washington was off the next week, it was a bye week, their bye week, and chris more tennison who you know well and who i know well, reported on espn that weekend that the shanahan's according to sources, it was anonymous, according to sources, the shanahans had to cut their play back in half for mcnabb, a guy taken the team to the super bowl, taken them, and made it
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seven times there and now in a week he's been called out of shape, not prepared, and finally, anonymously-- by his coaches, they knew where it came from, one of the shanahans, mike or kyle so the next day i went on a tv show, i think you were on through the years, washington post live and i attacked mike shanahan. this is racial coding, goes back to the '60s and '70s, when people claimed that blacks weren't smart enough to play the quarterback condition. and most fascinating, i was attacked in the washington meeting, but also the national media. i was accused of playing the race card, which is what happens afternoon often when you bring up the race as an issue. tony dungy said, people ask why
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am i bringing up race as an issue? because it is an issue. that he's 100% right and that was the anthem protest when colin kaepernick was backballed out of the league. and quoting sources, no, no, he's not blackballed, he's not good enough anymore. he was 29 years old. been quarterback for the 49ers and all of a sudden not good enough to be with the top 64 quarterbacks in the league and they reported it and during the protest after donald trump's rant whenever players were kneeling, most black, fans were booing, most white and i thought, wow, wow, we're really polarized in this country right now racially and i went to see john tomorrow thomson at the
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post, excuse me at georgetown and we had fought much of that time. >> legendary fights. >> some of them were pretty legendary, when i was stupid enough to offer to go outside with him and-- (laughter) >> figure things out that way which know the have worked out well for me. fortunately, he laughed at me and refused the offer. but had become a mentor to me in many ways because he was so damn smart and i went and i said to him i want to do a book on race in sports, but i don't know where to start and he said, you might as well try to explain the holy trinity and pointed a finger at me, which is why you have to do it. but i still didn't have a way in. the next year i found a way in, which was lamar jackson, who, as when you remember, came out
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of college, wide receiver, your still aren't right for an nfl quarterback. and four white quarterbacks were drafted in the top 10, one of them josh allen, a star. baker mayfield, okay, and josh rosen is on like his fourth team already and sam darnel failed with the jets, no surprise to me long life jets fan and with the carolina pan. and lamar jackson was taken by newton. and we know what's come to pass. lamar was unanimous mvp in his second year in the league and when he got hurt this year, the ravens fell apart completely and never won another game after he got injured. he's one of the-- at worst, excuse me, one of the five best quarterbacks in the nfl and yet, all of these experts, the scouts, the
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pundits on tv, and bill, not picking on him, but he happens to be a hall of famer on tv at the time all said he shouldn't be a quarterback. steve young was very fast. fran tarkenton was very fast. no one ever suggested they change positions. if lamar jackson was the exact same player and he was white, no one would have ever suggested he channing change positions. so that was my way into the book. >> i want to go back to that story you told about the duke-army game and see where that leads. i'm wondering what you learned about how-- or your more recent conversations with doug williams about that, how in some cases, black people want the race to be included, you know, it's not a side bar when lamar jackson is the mvp, that
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there's significance, that the racial components, when patrick mahomes wins the super bowl mvp, the racial component of that is significant. how did you become aware of that and how did you come to incorporate that into your writing? >> it's funny because i obviously candidates-- obviously, i went to talk to mike dunn and we were fellow students and i apologized to him and mike says, don't worry about it, i understand why they did it. he was a very bright guy and you make a good point that when the first time i interviewed doug williams when he was in tampa, i know this became kind of a famous story at the super bowl later, but i apologized to him because we were about a year late getting down there, we being "the washington post." he was in his second year by the time george solomon sent me down to write a story about them and by then the bucs had gotten good and went to the nfc championship game, but when i
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sat down with doug i sat down, i'm sorry to make you answer all of these questions again and he looked at me and he said, john, i've been a black quarterback all my life, fire away and don't worry about it. and when people reference white guilt, i think sometimes i probably have some of that, but it's for good reason. there's reason for us to feel guilty about the way blacks have been treated in this country for 400 plus years now, but also, in sports. and leonard hamilton, the florida state basketball coach who grew up with jim crow in charlotte, north carolina. look for any of us to say that progress hasn't been made is stupid. i grew up with white only water fountains and having to sit in the balcony at the movies and dealing with that throughout my boyhood and obviously, that's totally different now. he said, but people -- there are people, many of them, 74
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million people voted for donald trump a little more than a year ago, to want to believe that because there's no jim crow, because there are voting rights laws although some of them are basically repealed, it's okay, we don't have to worry about race anymore. well, that's just not true. as we all know, it's the fact that mentioned the forest case, it's 2022. jackie, it will be 75 years since jackie robinson made his debut in brooklyn come april and we're still dealing with some of the same stuff. ja. you live with it every day. >> and participation in major league baseball, right? it's peaked into the '70s and mid 80 as. >> it was down to 6% and now up to 8%. >> half of where it was about 40 years ago. >> yeah, almost 20% at that
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point and part of it is just the way our society has changed, kids want to play basketball, and they want to play baseball-- football, they don't want to play baseball as much. when i was a kid, we played in the schoolyard or the park every single day when the weather was warm and now you don't necessarily see that. when the weather is warm, you see a lot of kid playing basketball. but again, mlb like -- has not done a great job and everybody, and saying, well the situation with coaches and general managers and quote, is unacceptable. we had three black coaches in the nfl last year. now we have two, plus someone who is biracial and identifies as black, so the number of black coaches has actually gone down. when it was already brutally
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low. for the long time, we only had one black coach in the nfl and that's mike tomlin, kind of hard to fire him at this point. i asked both mike and tony dungy, i leaned on them heavily in reporting the book. why wouldn't roger goodell talk to me? i knew him when he first got the job and i always got along fine with him and turned down flat to interview goodell. ironically when they put out the statement, almost word for word the e-mail i got from brian mccarthy the pr guy why roger wouldn't speak to me. roger is busy promoting diversity and i said to them why wouldn't he talk to me. they both said the same thing, he's embarrassed.
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i don't think that roger goodell is a bad guy. >> he's not the problem here. >> he can't tell the owners what to do they're paying him $40 million a year. >> so, doug williams wrote the forward to the book and in it he said if this book were to be written by someone who was black, a lot of people would shrug and say it's just another guy whining. i'm wondering you took your whiteness, and do you think it could have been published if you weren't white. >> you know both of them well, and said when i talked to them early in my reporting, that it was better that this book was written by a white guy and there are going some guys out there who say-- one the publishers who turned down the idea, there were five publishers that turned it down said how can you write a book
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about race when you're white? i said well, white is a race, isn't it? i've written about being a college coach when i've never been one on on the pga tour. as doug said and he said in the book, i don't pretend i know what it's like to be black. i've never been pulled over for dwb, driving while black, and every person i've interviewed, i guess you'd be in there, ja, has been pulled over at some point driving while black and the colin jones the olympic swimmer stopped by a cop while walking his dog and the cop was convinced that he had stolen the dog. and i told him you're the first
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one wdwb. >> walking dog while black. >> and i can empathize by the people i've known and the people i've got to interview for this book and you would be amazed the number of people-- no you probably wouldn't be amazed, but many, many of the people i interviewed thanked me for wanting to do the book. for the exact same reason that will bond and others said it's better you're doing it because you're white. they liked the fact that even though i can't understand what it's like to be black that i was trying to explain what it's like to be black. >> in my case, it was rbwb, riding bicycle while black and got pulled over and a gun pulled on me while in georgetown, washington post.
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>> you can't be a black guy in georgetown. >> we talk about coaching and where do we stand now? and in particular, why aren't we seeing the advancement. i want to stop and we criticize the numbers and i feel we don't do a good enough job of praising while the right thing is done. if you look at the tampa bay buccaneers, they've had three black coaches in their history and they just won the super bowl last year with a staff that purposefully was filled out with black coordinators at the three major coordinating positions in addition to two female coaches. let's not do one, let' do two. purposely built that staff and won the super bowl with it and yet it doesn't lead to a wave of hiring. we have the same in the playoffs, and frazier and
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morris, and all of these succeeding and why hasn't this success now, why haven't the people shown you can do it increase and created some type of copy cat around the league? >> that's a great point and one that tony dungy made to me, he said that the notion that there are not qualified guys out there is just -- is so far out of line right now because clearly there are plenty of qualified black coaches out there. some of it's back to the simple fact there are 31 nfl owners, the packers are owned by the city, basically or the fans. 31 nfl owners, 30 of them are white and interestingly, the owner in jacksonville who grew up in pakistan has never hired a black coach and general manager and we see how well
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that's worked out for him in recent years, especially this past year. this is not just nfl, it's true in college sports and major league baseball. it's true in the nba, although the nba has had success, so many black coaches have had success in the nba starting back with bill russell and ahead of the curve thanks in large part to red hourback, but the white guys look at somebody sitting in the office and they're more comfortable with somebody who looks like them and a lot of these are old, white billionaires who don't want anybody-- are used to nobody telling them what to do. are used to telling them that they're right no matter what they do. and so, and they're, you know,
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i felt before the flores lawsuit and people on the phone saying to houston and to miami, there were only three jobs left open at that point, the other one was new orleans, hey, we've got to hire a black coach or two or all hell is going to break loose. i felt before that when flores was fired the day after the nfl season completed, and a lot of people, myself included, attacked ross and the nfl and there's empirical evidence that black coaches have a shorter leash, not only hired, but harder to avoid being fired. and one had 10-6. >> and the record in detroit. >> and jim caldwell had the best record in 60 years. and fired, how have they done
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since then? it's gone well for them, hasn't it? but i felt that some of the owners should have dug in and said we're not going to let anybody in the media or anybody else tell us what to do or who to hire. and the first six hires in the hiring cycle were all white and i'm not saying that any of them are unqualified and the whole bill belichick thing sums up what they are. and morris supposed to be distinguished guy and yet, there was belichick accidentally congratulating flores for getting the giants job three days before he was interviewed and when another was already hired. what kind of interview was that? >> exactly. and a question from the audience asking what you make of the frenemy situation and
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nuanced and you talked to tony dungee in the book about the situation. >> tony dungy is hardly a jump on the table and shout guy. he's low key and wants to hear both sides of the question. i was sitting at a dining room table and i said, so, eric bieniemy-- and before i could finish the question. >> he said now that was racism. >> this was two years ago, two hiring cycles ago and he said there's no reason for eric bieniemy not to have a job based on what he has accomplished. he's running the best offense in football. and he still is. the chiefs loss aside and the conference championship game and as you said, i think, before we got on--
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started, i mentioned that when i interviewed eric bieniemy for the book, he was bright, he was smart, he was funny, he was a story teller, he clearly had a great memory and recited to me a poem that the coaches or a chant, excuse me, that his coaches in new orleans when he was 10 years old made the kids recite at the end of practice every day about drugs. so, the notion that he hasn't gotten a job because he doesn't interview well is ridiculous. then there's the excuse, he couldn't call plays. >> neither did matt nagy, neither did doug peterson who won a super bowl and when he was assistant coach, neither did andy reid. there's no reason for eric bieniemy not to have a job, and bright young coaches, and eric is not that young anymore, but
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leftwitch is and it seems like they want to hire the next sean mcvay, white, 30's and has a little bit after beard. doesn't shave every day. and look, sean mcvay is a terrific coach, second super bowl on sunday, but that shouldn't be the role model for who you're hiring. the role model should be how good have you been as an assistant or how good were you as a head coach. bill belichick failed in his first job as a head coach and clearly there were circumstances that prevented him from succeeding in cleveland because he's certainly done pretty well in new england. just because you get fired once doesn't mean you shouldn't ever get another chance. although willy randolph in baseball had a winning record with the new york mets and turned them around from 71 wins to 97 wins in two years, got fired and that was 13 years ago and he's never gotten another
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job. whereas white managers get recycled every day in baseball. >> i can't think of the last time i heard willy randolph's name before you just mention it had right here. and let's go to the nba for moment. the nba has a better record, if you look at the numbers, and it's no longer seems like news when a black coach gets hired in the nba and yet, how many of the better jobs go to black coaches? i also want to -- i want to point that out. recent years black coaches, lou, doc rivers, it's infrequent when you look at black coaches who won championships in the nba despite, pretty representative numbers throughout the league right now. some of those coaches have won championships like steve kerr, gregg popovich, that you spoke to. what did you learn from them about how a white coach with
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succeed in a league that is predominantly black? what is their key to success in that record. when you mention kerr and popovich, you're talking two guys who really understand what-- as much as a white guy can, what it's like to be black. and both of them told me, steve in particular, but both of them told me that the george floyd thing changed their outlook and these are guys who had pretty good outlooks on the issue beforehand, but said, my god, i don't know enough about what's going on in this country. >> given all-- that's stunning to me, given the amount of time they've spent and i would say the interest that they take in the lives and interest and the concerns of their black players, and yet, they still after all of that time felt like they didn't know enough. they needed to know more and mike krzyzewski was the same way. he did zoom calls with every former black players, all of his former players, but many of
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them black, to try to learn more, to try to understand the frustration because he felt he didn't understand the frustrations and that's why he did the black lives matter video that he did, which if you haven't seen it, 2 minutes and 47 seconds and it's really passionate and he told me he didn't write anything, he just-- he asked nolan smith, a former player, one of his assistants to stand next to the camera and he spoke to nolan smith and said, this is how i feel. and popovich actually said he had his first experience with understanding when he was in college at the air force academy and they were playing in north carolina and he and three teammates went to a club and they were waiting in line and they got to the front of line and the bouncer looked at three white guys and one black guy and he looked at the black guy and he said you couldn't come in here and they were-- because again, they were in colorado, which is different from north carolina, and greg
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had grown up outside chicago, and what are you talking about he couldn't come in and we don't let blacks in here. all four left and popovich realized that night how white his life had been, that he'd never really-- even though he played ball with black guys he never had really known black guys and he made it a point to try to understand and he told me that he's told his players on different occasions, if i were black, i'd have gone to jail a number of times because of the way police have dealt with him. and steve, you know steve, he's just one of the bright guys out there, and he also is a popovich disciple and he said he went on a reading spree to try to understand better what it's like to be black and that one of his assistant coaches told him that he was watching the news one night after the
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arbery shooting and his eight-year-old son was there and didn't realize and he said dad, does this mean we can't run in our neighborhood? and steve realize, i've never had to deal with that with my kid and plus anybody who is a black father has to give their kids the talk about dealing with police and don't give them an excuse to give you a hard time and mike tomlin told me that he sat his two teenage sons down when they were both getting ready to get driver's licenses and explained that to them. his son said, dad, come on, this is 2018, this is a different world than in norfolk, virginia, and mike said okay, three times in the first year, his son had a driver's license he was stopped
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for dwb and the first question, where did you get this car because a black person can't possibly be driving a nice car. >> i'm wondering when the officer saw tomlin on the driver's license, did that change anything? >> apparently that-- because twice it was in their neighborhood. and i guess the cops knew where mike tomlin lived in pittsburgh, but tony dungy told me he got stopped driving home in kansas city, driving home from work and the cop followed him and followed him. and he knew the cop was behind him and he was extra careful and claimed he had made a right turn on red without stopping and tony just said, come on, you're just giving me a hard time. and he said, you know, it could have escalated and the best story about that in quotes, was doc rivers told me that when
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the clippers played in the old l.a. sports arena, they all had to drive through south central l.a. to get to the arena and one afternoon, kenny norman, who is on the team, pulled over to get gas and the next thing he knew he was across the hood of his car because cops driving down south central, black guy, driving nice car, had to be stolen. >> three comments from the audience, quickly one says thank you for mentioning willy randolph, that situation has always disturbed me. another one i finished reading your back last month one of the best additions to my sports library. >> thank you. >> third one, one of my best friends when white friends asked what can they do to combat systemic racism, we need your voice and thank you for use your voice. going back to what you had to say about popovich and kerr and need to listen, they felt they had needed to listen.
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is that a solution, willingness to listen both through your book and life experiences sm what can change, and how can they change? is it that simple and or is that request that difficult to ask? >> unfortunate-- yes, that would be a great solution. unfortunately, it's a difficult ask. and again, i go back to the 74 million people who voted for donald trump, and i'm not saying they're all racist, but donald trump is a racist. i mean, you can't argue that if you know his life. if you know his policies. if you know the words he's spoken. and yet, all of these people still chose to vote for him and, thank god joe biden was elected, but i found that very discouraging that it was as close as it was. but especially after trump had been in office for four years,
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and if you didn't know who he was before he got into office you had to know who he was after he got into office. remember, it was trump who incited the anthem protest when he gave that rant in alabama saying, you know what i want to see happen? i want to see if you neil during our national anthem, the owner says, fire that s-o-b, fire that-- >> and it died down right before that, right? the protests had died down right before that. >> the week before that rant, six players had knelt. the next week 200 players either knelt or stayed in the locker room. mike tomlin gave his players the option to stay in the locker room if they wanted to, one other team that stayed in the locker room. >> and white players? . yes, exactly. and it's funny because i was working on a book on playing quarterback in the nfl that year and alex smith was one of the guys i was working with and he was playing for the chiefs at the time and he said to me
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that he felt so bad for his black teammates, he said if they kneel, they're going to get booed. they're going to be considered unpatriotic. they're going to be considered betrayers of some kind. but if they don't kneel, aren't they betraying their race at this point? when the president has literally challenged them? when others, colin kaepernick backballed? i never balked-- i never talked to a player who didn't think that colin kaepernick wasn't blackballed. and one admitted it. and it's hard for people to understand that just because race doesn't affect your life, because if you're white in this country, there are a lot of people who are completely unaffected by race, and just because it doesn't affect your life doesn't mean it's not an
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issue. and to say, it's not an issue, as tony dungy says why do you make race an issue? well, because it is. and to say, oh, i don't think it's an issue, well, you just-- you're being either naive or ignorant or just flat-out stubborn. >> you spoke to john carlos and tommy smith and paraphrase the question from the audience here, do you think that history will look at colin kaepernick and flores in the same light and the appreciation we have for them? >> i think they do. they both believed with colin kaepernick, it will happen better-- >> and the espn documentary coming out. >> exactly right. >> and my guess, i don't know, did he talk to him? you might know. >> yeah, he's involved in that. >> okay. and i think it's actually a
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netflix production and espn bought it. so, he's being paid for it, so my guess is, it will be fairly sympathetic, but the larger point is that when people do something that-- where they know they're putting themselves in jeopardy. that's what tommy smith and john carlos did, knew they were putting themselves in jeopardy. so did peter norman on the medal podium with them who wore a button supporting the group they were a part of, that harry edwards started prior to the olympics and he was absolutely pilloried in australia for that and was an outcast. only after he died, died in 2006, carlos and smith were both pal bearers by the way. and eulogyists, apologized to
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the family for the way he had been treated. colin kaepernick knew when he sat and then knelt for the anthem it would have consequences and ended up costing him his career, as we know. i don't know, i thought maybe that roger goodell would get on the phone with somebody and say hire brian flores right now to try to head off the lawsuit, but it didn't happen. and i think chances are very good, flores will never work in the nfl again, he's only 40 years old. he should be going into the peak years of his coaching career. maybe he'll end up as a college coach somewhere, but i think there's a good chance his nfl career is over and if so, sure, he should be -- he should be viewed as a martyr, a professional martyr. >> what would be interesting, with deion sanders, and coach
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williams at grambling before. and will we see the prominent nfl names coaching at hbcu's historically black colleges in the future, i would keep an eye on that trend as well. >> and the other thing i would say is deion sanders continues to have the success he had this year at jackson state, a power five school is going to hire him because why wouldn't you hire deion sanders, if he can coach, and the early evidence is he can coach and certainly recruit, so i said, i wrote a column about deon in december and i said i wish my alma mater duke had hired him instead of another coach. >> i'm trying to think of prime time at duke. would that fit? >> look, the kids that go to the basketball game also go to football-- some of them go to football games, not that many because
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they're bad, because i think the kids would love deion sanders, especially if they won. i don't know how well you know him, but i got to know him on my book in 2004, i'm telling you, he could take over any room he's in. because he's got that personality, but also because he's so smart. >> deion sanders coaching at duke would have to be your next book, it would have to be if that happens absolutely. >> i will be there. >> the question here, can we find a path to equity in head coaching decisions without lingering of that black athletes are bigger and stronger and white athletes are successful because think-- and the perceptions is strictly a matter of that, isn't it? >> we're all guilty. it's like we're all guilty in the '90s of looking the other
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way when steroids were taking over baseball. and there is definitely that, you know, perception and there's almost, there's coding, particularly on tv when people talk about those, the white point guard who's so cerebral and the most cerebral point guard i knew was tommy amaker, who wasn't big, wasn't fast, wasn't quick, all he did was win the game for you. >> and now coaches at harvard. >> and now coaches at harvard which is appropriate. and by the way, one of my favorite stories is tommy, they played mit every year in their opening game, usually the opening game because their schools are like a mile apart and the mit students come to harvard. when the harvard students chant. and we need to get that perception, the perception is reality, the old saying,
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unfortunately, yeah, people believe perception to be reality and it's like when idiots like what's her name on fox news, i'm blocking on her name right now, say shut up and dribble, there are people listening to her. and most of the time, lebron james makes sense, he's not always right. none of us are. but the notion that because you play ball or because you're black or both, you can't have opinions on things, you know, how many times have you candidates i know it happens to me all the time. people say stick to sports. well, politics have been a part of sports forever. go back to the 1936 olympics and adolf hitler or go back to the first greek olympics when the guy was running to athens and ran, quote, a marathon to give news of a war victory, collapsed and died upon giving the news, that was the first
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olympics. >> another question, point, professionals are privately owned. most of the universities are state-funded how is it they're able to get away with these racial inequities in hiring. >> most college athletic departments are 501 c-3 as, they're tax exempt. major league baseball has, they're exempt from-- i'm blocking on the name of the law, you know what i'm talking about and the nfl not as much, anti-trust. anti-trust, yeah. >> anti-trust laws. and so you're right. how do they get away with it? and the way they get away with it, unfortunately, is that most boosters of the major schools are white. and you know, i had a friend
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who since passed away, who went to duke, loved duke, and loved all of duke's black basketball players because they were good. but was absolutely a racist, and he accepted-- he was fine with blacks playing for his school and helping his school win, but he didn't want any of them over to dinner and that's true of a lot of fans and alumni of these schools and i know i'm overgeneralizing, but a lot of people who will defend, athletes from their school, black or white, also don't want to have the black athletes to their house for dinner and probably in many cases don't want a black person coaching their teams or their players. >> i've been thinking recently about a conversation i had with peter gruber, who is a movie producer, co-owner of the
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warriors and l.a. dodgers and you know, he always talks about tribalism, that we associate with different tribes and he doesn't consider that a bad thing, you know, it's a natural instinct. you know, you can't necessarily say that when you look at the lack of diversity, it's not necessarily racism, you know, it's tribalism in that people are going to hire people that they're comfortable with and make them feel comfortable, right? they're going to gravitate toward that. the racism comes into play, why have they lived such segregated lives when they haven't been around r around black people or people of different races in order to be more comfortable, but you know, so the racism comes into play in that we're segregated and then the tribalism comes into play you're not exposed to different people and when it's time to hire, you only feel comfortable with certain people. but we can't legislate, we don't want to force hiring, they can force interviews, but
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it has to stop short of mandating you hire people based on race. so therefore, if we can't do that, how do you make people comfortable if they're coming from a society that's segregated? >> that's the catch 22 question, and i think most of those making these hires would be shocked if you said to them that they've acted-- that they're racist that they've acted in a way that's racist. i don't think that mike shanahan is a racist. but, i do think that without thinking about it, he resorted to racial coding in the donovan mcnabb situation, probably somebody pointed them out to him, oh, that's not what i meant. except that's what came out and that's the way he was thinking. and i think, now, i know people who-- well, for example, jon gruden, after his e-mails, he said there's not a racist bone in my
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body. well of course there is. but i think he honestly believes there's not. and i think that's true of many people who would say, oh, i'm not a racist. oh, i had a friend who worked on the pga golf tour for many years and we used to argue all the time about the fact that i believed he was a racist and this is somebody a friend of mine and he said i'm not a racist at all. jim thorpe, this guy that played on the tour. jim thorpe was one of my best friends when i played on the tour. okay. what would you do, i asked, if your daughter came to the front door and introduced you to her black boyfriend? and he looked at me and he said honestly, i'd go get my shotgun. he was honest. >> wow. >>, but there are certain tests and certain levels, and actually hiring somebody, rather than just interviewing them because the rules, they have to interview someone are
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two completely different levels and i give dan rooney yesterday because he had already met his rooney rule obligation by interviewing ron rivera the year he hired mike tomlin and tomlin blew him away. and rivera basically grew up in california considered is minority and robert salah is considered a minority because he's muslim and i asked brian mccarthy of the nfl, when levi and gillman were coaching were they considered minorities because they're jewish. no, they're not so i don't know how they draw the lines. the bottom line like you said, 70% of the league is black and we have two black coaches and one mixed race coach. >> my final question, i'll say my personal favorite of all of your books is good watch--
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and took me into golf and the history as well. why hasn't tiger woods led to an explosion or a greater wave of black golfers? 25 years past his masters win right now. why hasn't that happened? >> well, when tying won -- tigers won in the masters, a lot of money flooded in and we thought we were going to see not tiger woods, but very good, good pga tour level black players. the first tee has produced one player on the pga tour and he's a minority, scott langley, he's left-handed. not one black player. i guess the nfl would consider that a minority. and i think some of it has to do with tiger. it's not like tiger is out there. he has his foundation and that's great. but it's not like he's
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aggressively out there trying to say, hey, look at me, try to grow up to be like me. tiger is, you know, yachts and privacy, and that's all you need to know about who he is. and harold varner iii is completely the opposite of tiger as a personality. he's outgoing, he's friendly. just won a tournament overseas. but harold, who had as been involved with the first tee in north carolina, where he grew up, the first tee isn't about golf-- enough, it's daycare at a golf course. and what harold has suggested they need more programs in golf like the one he grew up in. he got to play at a golf municipal course in gastonia, north carolina, and his dad paid $100 for the summer, and he got to play monday through friday. we need that. not-- learn the rules, learn
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etiquette. go out and play that's the way you get good. go out and play. >> awesome. steve, do you want to-- >> you know, as somebody who has been able to share dinner and conversation in which you've helped court, i knew an hour was vastly insufficient. this has been terrific and ja, i mean, both of you guys, i can't thank you enough for, you know, being with us tonight. i do wish we had two hours to do this. but i suspect we'll be talking -- i don't suspect, i know we'll be talking about these issues, you know, well beyond tonight, well beyond sunday and probably well beyond when we're doing what we're doing. but for those of you out there, john's book again is raise a
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fist, take a knee, progress in modern sports and as always, we encourage you to buy it the a your local independent bookstore or book which supports independent book stores across the country. john, thank you again so much. ja, thank you again so much. and i want to thank all of you as well from the kansas city public library. >> thank you, john so much for your time, for your work. weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday, american history tv documents america's stories and on sunday, brings you the latest on nonfiction books and authors. funding comes from these television companies and more including charter communication. >> broadband is a force for empowerment, that's why charter has invested billions, building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big
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and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications, along with these television companies support c-span2 as a public service. >> welcome, barbara walter, a pleasure to have a chance to talk with you today. ... an astonishing national debate about where we are as a country today during a moment of. quite extraordinary polarization and division and in the book you advance this this quite controversial claim that the us is closer to civil war. then many of us would like to think or believe and what i thought it would many of us would likeo to think or believe, and what i thought it would make sense to do as we get launched is give you a chance to simply lay out what your argument is in broad terms, and thengo we can dig into bits and pieces of it as we go along.


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