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WATCH: Arian Foster, John Carlos Headline Discussion on NFL Kneeling Controversy

The panel discussion begins at 11:30. Watch the live stream below

It’s been more than a year since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the first time during the national anthem. Since then, many other NFL players have followed suit sparking intense national debate. While some support the #TakeAKnee movement and its participants’ focus on bringing awareness to racial oppression, others denounce it as out of place or blatantly disrespectful to our flag, nation and military.

To examine how social activism intersects with sports, race and media in today’s society, the University of Houston is hosting a panel discussion featuring athletes who have incorporated activism into their personal brand and profession — including former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and 1968 Olympian John Carlos, along with influential academics.

“The messages and meanings associated with social activism symbols in sport are mixed, misinterpreted, or simply misused, causing the truth to be somewhat lost,” said David Walsh, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. “It’s important to hold conversations not only to educate people, but allow them the opportunity to reach an objective understanding on issues people care about.”

Despite the recent attention, this isn’t the first time social activism and sports have mixed leading to explosive results. Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History and African American Studies, will share his opinion with the panel.

“It is important to have this conversation because affluent athletes, many of whom are millionaires, have chosen voluntarily to protest injustice,” he said.  “This is not the norm in this nation.  It suggests that the problem may be deeper and more profound than some suspect.”

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