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Up for Debate

Athletes and scholars meet to debate activism, celebrity and the media at Bovard.

December 19, 2019

It was slated to be a discussion about athletes and activism. Judging from the men on the stage, it was clear it would be anything but a staid academic discussion.

Outspoken and renowned sociologist, Dr. Harry Edwards joined former NBA players Etan Thomas and Gilbert Arenas, former NFL player, Marcellus Wiley and USC Gould School of Law Professor Jody Armour for a spirited debate about the role of celebrity in civil disobedience, activism, and the role the media plays in all of the above. 

"We can disagree with others without being disagreeable."—Sharoni Little, Associate Dean and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer/Professor of Clinical Business Communication

The event, Athletes and Activism: Kaepernick, NBA/China and the Media, took place Friday, November 22 at Bovard Auditorium.

The debate was moderated by Sharoni Little, professor of clinical business communication and Chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the Marshall School of Business.

"Because we live in a diverse and dynamic world, we must know how to engage in civil conversations and foster critical listening, thinking, and communication skills," she told the audience. "Tonight, expect to hear passionate, fact-based debates that exhibit respect and appreciation for opposing viewpoints.  This debate will model how each of us can have different perspectives--we can disagree with others without being disagreeable."

Click here to watch a video of the event.

 

Athletes and Activism

Athletes and Activists

Renowned UC Berkeley sociologist, Dr. Harry Edwards joined former NBA players Etan Thomas and Gilbert Arenas, former NFL player, Marcellus Wiley and USC Gould School of Law Professor Jody Armour for a spirited debate about the celebrity, activism and the media. The evening was moderated by USC Marshall's Sharoni Little.

Etan Thomas

The Kids are All Right

Etan Thomas brought his son, Malcolm, 14, who started the evening off with a poem to Colin Kaepernick.

Dr. Harry Edwards

The Professor

An American sociologist and civil rights activist, Dr. Harry Edwards (Emeritus, UC Berkeley) is a leading expert in the experiences of African-American athletes.

Sharoni and friends

Up and Coming Athletes

Sharoni Little and Coach Gerald Pickens, with friends.

Coach G, has been coaching baseball in Los Angeles County  for 40 years and has sent several players to the major leagues, including former Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers star Eric Davis. Pickens founded the Compton Baseball Academy Teams (CBATs) in 1998 and has helped numerous youth get recruited to play collegiate baseball at USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and other universities.

Sharoni Little and friends

It Takes a Village

It takes a lot of friends, family and colleagues to create a successful event.

Athletes and Activism

Athletes and Activists

Renowned UC Berkeley sociologist, Dr. Harry Edwards joined former NBA players Etan Thomas and Gilbert Arenas, former NFL player, Marcellus Wiley and USC Gould School of Law Professor Jody Armour for a spirited debate about the celebrity, activism and the media. The evening was moderated by USC Marshall's Sharoni Little.

Etan Thomas

The Kids are All Right

Etan Thomas brought his son, Malcolm, 14, who started the evening off with a poem to Colin Kaepernick.

Dr. Harry Edwards

The Professor

An American sociologist and civil rights activist, Dr. Harry Edwards (Emeritus, UC Berkeley) is a leading expert in the experiences of African-American athletes.

Sharoni and friends

Up and Coming Athletes

Sharoni Little and Coach Gerald Pickens, with friends.

Coach G, has been coaching baseball in Los Angeles County  for 40 years and has sent several players to the major leagues, including former Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers star Eric Davis. Pickens founded the Compton Baseball Academy Teams (CBATs) in 1998 and has helped numerous youth get recruited to play collegiate baseball at USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and other universities.

Sharoni Little and friends

It Takes a Village

It takes a lot of friends, family and colleagues to create a successful event.