Grant Farred: Only a Black Athlete Can Save Us Now
University of Minnesota, 2022, Softcover, 130 pages, 18 × 12.5 cm
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.