Panel: Athletes free to speak, but must act also

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:47:22 PM. Michigan AD Warde Manuel, Ford exec Jim Hackett, and ex-NFL chief Paul Tagliabue discuss sports and social policy
Ann Arbor — Athletes have every right to protest and it can have a positive result, but they also need to mount remedial actions to address their concerns, leaders in sport said Tuesday during a conversation about sport and social policy at the Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy, at Michigan. Meanwhile, sport has a mixed record when it comes to furthering social change, they said. Paul Tagliabue, retired NFL commissioner, Jim Hackett, former interim athletics director at Michigan who is now the chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Co., and Michigan athletics director Warde Manuel took the stage at Rackham Auditorium to discuss how society and sport interact, at a time of political protest in the NFL and other sports leagues, as well as in the NCAA and even in high school sport. Tagliabue talked about players like Jerome Bettis, a native of Detroit, who has mounted entrepreneurial efforts since he retired, and Warrick Dunn, a former NFL running back whose mother, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Tagliabue said Dunn has financed more than 150 homes for surviving families of police officers. More:  ​Pistons’ Van Gundy backs player protests in Time piece “That’s the kind of people we are dealing with,” Tagliabue said. “They know what’s going on in their communities. “Part of my problem with the criticism that’s been leveled at the players is because for so many years I used to hear: ‘These guys are nothing but dumb jocks. All they do is play football...Read more
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