Is Slavery's Legacy in the Power Dynamics of Sport?

Still, player clout has limits, Mark Anthony Neal, chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University, cautioned. He cited Warriors Coach Steve Kerr’s recent criticism of players who tried to force trades while under contract. Neal also cited when Phil Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach, referred to James’s African-American friends and business partners as a “posse” in 2016.

“Phil Jackson is one of the figures in the league that we see as relatively woke,” Neal said. What does that say, he added, about team owners who have racial views that are considered less enlightened?

“At some point,” he said, “those folks are going to mobilize to push back.”

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