For details on viewing and registering for livestreams, click here.
Triumphant wins, gut-wrenching losses, last-second shots, underdogs, competition, and loyalty—it’s fun to be a fan. But when a football player takes a hit to the head after yet another study has warned of the dangers of CTE, or when a team whose mascot was born in an era of racism and bigotry takes the field, or when a relief pitcher accused of domestic violence saves the game, how is one to cheer? Sports writers Jessica Luther and Kavitha A. Davidson welcome us to the club for sports fans who care to much.
In conversation with culture critic Soraya Nadia McDonald, Luther and Davidson join us for an exploration of what it means to be a sports fan. With stories from their book Loving Sports When They Don’t Love You Back: Dilemmas of the Modern Fan, they discuss how “sticking to sports” is not an option for them—not when our taxes are paying for stadiums, and college athletes aren’t getting paid at all. They express how simply quitting a favorite team won’t change the practices in the sport, or the root causes of many of the problems which are endemic in our wider society. Don’t miss this essential conversation for modern fans as they tackle the most pressing issues in sports, why they matter, and how we can do better.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Elliott Bay Books
Jessica Luther is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Texas Monthly, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Vice Sports, among others. She is the author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape and had written extensively on the intersection of sports and violence off the field.
Kavitha A. Davidson is a sportswriter and host of The Lead, an in-depth daily sports news podcast produced by The Athletic. She is on the board of directors at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. She was a writer with ESPNW and ESPN The Magazine, and a sports columnist at Bloomberg covering the intersections of sports and society, culture, politics, race, gender, and business. Her work has also appeared in NBC Think, the Guardian, and Rolling Stone.
Soraya Nadia McDonald is the culture critic for The Undefeated. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts, and literature. She is the winner of the George Jean Nathan prize for dramatic criticism, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the runner-up for the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for outstanding reporting on Black life.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Elliott Bay Books.