Athletes Protest Hate: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billie Jean King Team Up for ADL’s New Sports Council

Published to Newsweek on September 29, 2017

Moviegoers can step into theaters and watch Hollywood recount Billie Jean King’s fight for gender equality on the tennis court and her struggle to keep her sexuality private. When they walk out of Battle of the Sexes, they’ll find a nation embroiled in a debate that began on football fields and has reached the White House. Athletes are taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of racism and police violence, and President Donald Trump is viciously attacking them for it.

Sports have always bumped up against political and social issues, from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick. Now, a new initiative aims to help professional athletes, team owners and others in the industry leverage their influence for good. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced a new Sports Leadership Council on Thursday “to promote positive social change and combat hate, bullying and discrimination in our society.”

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