Honors course examines the connection between race and sports throughout history

Friday, January 28, 2022 - 10:45am

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s honors college wants their students to have the chance to take a course in racial reckoning. College of Journalism and Mass Communications associate professor and sports media and communication coordinator John Shrader designed “Racial Reckoning and Sports Culture” to look at how race has been intertwined with the world of sports throughout history.

Over the last few years, social justice and race issues have become one of the primary storylines across the nation. Within the sports community, athletes and fans alike are constantly discussing the various topics tying the two worlds together. 

Major topics covered in the class include the impact of various athletes and their impact both on and off the field or court. Historical figures such as Jackie Robinson, Kurt Flood and Jim Brown are discussed along with modern day athlete activists such as Colin Kaepernick. Students will also be taking a close look at the role social media plays in today’s socio-economic world compared to previous years.

Class work will consist of writing, presentations and lots of in-class discussion. Students are encouraged to bring discussion topics to class when they make connections in current events. Shrader believes researching and presenting on these topics will give students a better understanding of how these issues can be addressed in today’s society.

“The time was right, the conversation needs to be had and everyone needs to understand the place that race and history have in sport,” Shrader said. “There are few places in American society where we have these conversations outside of sports.”

John Shrader teaching course