ARCHIVAL (FOX NEWS, 10-20-17): TUCKER CARLSON: The debate over the N.F.L. anthem protests has been persistently framed in racial terms. Most protesting players have been African American. They say theyre kneeling to protest the treatment of Black Americans by the police.
ARCHIVAL (FOX NEWS, 9-24-17): NEWT GINGRICH: I dont tune into a football game or a baseball game to worry about politics. I tune into it to watch sports and to be entertained, and I frankly find it very offensive.
ARCHIVAL (1936):NEWS REEL: 1936, Adolf Hitler attempts to turn the summer Olympics into a propaganda platform for the Nazi doctrine of Aryan supremacy.
JELANI COBB (THE NEW YORKER): Theres a kind of curious dynamic when it comes to African American athletes and politics. There are instances in which African American athletes are politicized deliberately by the society and rewarded for it.
ARCHIVAL (1936):NEWS REEL: The Black American athlete smashes the theory of a Teutonic super race. His name is Jesse Owens. He becomes an Olympic immortal.
JELANI COBB: Jesse Owens, for instance, in the 1936 Olympics, wins four gold medals and its seen as a symbolic victory over the rising tide of fascism in Germany.
ARCHIVAL (1936):NEWS REEL: Hitler is not amused.
HARRY EDWARDS (PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY): In point of fact, they created political myths around Jesse Owens that never happened. Hitler never refused to shake Jesse Owens’s hand. If anybody refused to shake Jesses hand, it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because there was a presidential election coming up, and he didnt want any pictures of him shaking the hand of a Black man in the White House.
America didnt believe that Blacks were equal. It was the defeat of Aryan ideology.
JELANI COBB: It’s notable that, in the American context, these men would’ve been thought of as Negros, but in the international context, they were being celebrated as Americans.
HARRY EDWARDS: Black athletes became useful in 1936, as long as they didnt bring it home. As long as they didnt try to extend that political action and activity into the American context.