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A call to arms exploring the protest movements of 2020 as they reverberated through the athletic world

Starting with the refusal of George Hill of the Milwaukee Bucks to participate in an August 2020 playoff game following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Grant Farred shows how the Covid-restricted NBA “bubble” released an energy that spurred athletes into radical action. They disrupted athletic normalcy, and in their grief and rage against American racism they demonstrated the true progressivism lacking in even the most reformist-minded politicians and pundits. Farred goes on to trace the radicalism of black athletes in a number of sports, including the WNBA, women’s tennis, the NFL, and NASCAR, locating contemporary athletes in a lineage that runs through Muhammad Ali as well as Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. 

Only a Black Athlete Can Save Us Now uses sport as a point of departure to argue that the dystopic crisis of our current moment offers a singular opportunity to reimagine how we live in the world.

Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Series List, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. ix-xxvi
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  1. 1. The NBA and the WNBA Are the Most Progressive Forces in American Politics
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. 2. From "Fear the Deer" to "Follow the Deer"
  2. pp. 7-18
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  1. 3. Out of One, Many
  2. pp. 19-24
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  1. 4. Reforming the Unreformable
  2. pp. 25-34
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  1. 5. Nur ein Gott kann uns jetzt Retten
  2. pp. 35-36
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  1. 6. Strange Things Happen in the Bubble
  2. pp. 37-40
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  1. 7. "Hey, Chicago, What Do You Say?"
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. 8. The WNBA Takes Its Stance
  2. pp. 43-50
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  1. 9. Colin Kaepernick
  2. pp. 51-56
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  1. 10. Silence Reverberates
  2. pp. 57-60
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  1. 11. The Peculiar Science of Black Athletic Entropy
  2. pp. 61-70
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  1. 12. The Burden of Over-Representation, Curiously Borne by Woods and Jordan
  2. pp. 71-74
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  1. 13. Change Is Everywhere, or So It Seems
  2. pp. 75-80
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  1. 14. Change Is Everywhere, Even the NHL
  2. pp. 81-84
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  1. 15. Biting the Hand That Feeds Them
  2. pp. 85-94
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  1. 16. A Pause for a Cause
  2. pp. 95-98
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  1. 17. Ontological Exhaustion
  2. pp. 99-102
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  1. 18. Inverse Displacement
  2. pp. 103-108
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  1. 19. Love, Unrequited
  2. pp. 109-114
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  1. 20. From L.A. to Kenosha
  2. pp. 115-116
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  1. 21. Harmolodics
  2. pp. 117-118
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 119-121
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 122
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