Across the board, Black ownership in sports is rare. In the four major men’s American sports leagues, the only Black majority owner is Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA.
While any sort of representation at the highest levels of sport is a positive, J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair for Sport Leadership and Administration Joseph Cooper Joseph Cooper, who researches gender and race in sport, cautions that just having a Black owner doesn’t necessarily equate with change — even if he happens to be one of the richest athletes on the planet who has amassed a fortune in a career that has lasted much longer than the average NBA lifespan.
In a series of interviews on Black History Month, Black leaders in Boston reflected on their efforts to impact the communities they live and work in. J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair for Sport Leadership and Administration Joseph Cooper shares why Black History Month should also include contributions up to the present day.
Spanish studio Planeta Junior is expanding into original content for the first time with a show that aims to help kids ages four to seven learn about being brave by exposing them to scary things, rather than avoiding them. Professor of Counseling and School Psychology Sharon Lamb says, "this unique approach to teaching kids how to handle fear could be a smart play."
As the nation's 46th president, Joe Biden's sentimental view of athletics and his promise to steer the nation away from political division should put him in a position to repair the strained relationship between the White House and much of the sports world.
"There have always been times where individual athletes and coaches have declined to go to the White House, but I think overall as long as Biden doesn't use his presidency to communicate divisiveness, that tradition will be restored," said associate professor Joseph N. Cooper, the J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair of Sport Leadership and Administration and author of a soon-to-be-released book tracing the long history of Black sports activism.
Anne Douglass, founding executive director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, and Christa Kelleher, research and policy director at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the McCormack Graduate School, authored this op-ed on how the state’s system of early education and care for very young children is on the brink of crisis with far-reaching consequences. They say Congresswoman Clark’s $50 billion bailout is desperately needed, along with a commitment to ensuring that early educators themselves have a say in early education policy reform moving forward.
Globe columnist Adrian Walker writes about how Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco has appointed J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair of Sport Leadership and Administration Joseph Cooper as the Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Black Life. This newly created position is intended to bring greater focus across the campus community to issues of inequality, racism, and social justice.
Suárez-Orozco said he viewed the appointment as a powerful way to speak to the challenges of the moment. He said his goal is to make the campus a national leader in building what he called an antiracist culture. “I think it’s courageous leadership by the chancellor to say, looking at the data, and understanding our society, we recognize that Black people have experienced distinct challenges that require concerted approaches,” Cooper said.
The traditional college model is likely to change significantly post-coronavirus, with online classes playing a much larger role, higher education experts said. “I feel like this is a brave new world,” said Associate Professor of Education Denise Patmon. UMass Boston's decision in late June to move its classes mostly online helped her reimagine her education courses. “That helped to liberate me,” she said. “It provided me with a clear lens for the fall.”
“This is the first time in the NBA's history that an entire team has decided to boycott because of racial injustice," said Joseph Cooper, UMass Boston's J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair of Sport Leadership and Administration. Some players, including Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, have taken on a leading role in the fight for racial justice, according to Cooper, who specializes in the intersection of sports and race. "Today in society, we need people who are anti-racist. People who say, 'Not only do I not condone racism, but I’m actively doing something to address racism,'" Cooper said. "And I think the athletes of today, particularly in the NBA as well as in the other leagues, are taking that to heart.”
Joseph N. Cooper, the J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair for Sport Leadership and Administration at UMass Boston, comments on an article about how NBA and WNBA players have been socially progressive and outspoken compared to other leagues in North America: "It really challenges the stereotype that Black athletes are one dimensional and that they're multi-faceted, that they have multiple interests and they have the ability to enact change in a multitude of ways."