(Washington, D.C.)—Throughout history, athletes have captivated spectators with incredible feats of agility and performance. What happens when athletes use this moment of attention to take a stand, or send a message? On the afternoon of Thursday, May 30, The Atlantic will take center court at the Washington Mystics’ new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Southeast Washington for “Athletes + Activism,” a first-of-its-kind event, led by staff writer Jemele Hill, looking at times when social change and athletics intersect. The event is part of the opening weekend for the Washington Mystics.
“Athletes + Activism” will feature conversations with preeminent athlete-activists: Olympic medalist Dr. John Carlos, known for his Black Power salute from the podium in the 1968 games; Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud; hockey star Hilary Knight, who has been leading the charge in the league for equal support and pay; Briana Scurry, two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion who was instrumental in the explosion of women’s soccer in the U.S.; Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the 2016 Olympics; and Martellus Bennett, former NFL player, author of Dear Black Boy, and founder of The Imagination Agency. The day’s conversations will also include insight and analysis from Damion Thomas, sports curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Christine Brennan, USA Today columnist; and Hudson Taylor, founder, executive director, and board member of Athlete Ally.