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Sportsmanship as Citizenship

Coast to Coast


The Rose Bowl Institute partnered with national social justice nonprofit RISE to present a bi-coastal critical conversation on the theme of “Sportsmanship as Citizenship.” The event streamed from two locations – the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium and the ESPN Seaport District Studios in New York at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

This joint RISE Critical Conversation and the Rose Bowl Institute’s Sportsmanship Dialogues featured athletes and sports leaders discussing the role of sports in advancing civic engagement, social justice, equity and inclusion, and speaks to some of the most pressing issues in sports, today.


The Rose Bowl Institute and RISE joint critical conversation revolves around the theme of “Sportsmanship as Citizenship,” focusing on the leading role of the sports community in advancing civic engagement and empowering others to explore the variety of ways they can impact their communities locally and across the country. This one-hour moderated discussion will stream on Thursday, September 2, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 pm ET.

The conversation engages six panelists: World Cup and Olympic Veteran, Soccer Hall of Famer, Cobi Jones; NFL Executive Vice President Football Operations, Troy Vincent; Dr. Jen Welter, First female football coach in the NFL; Morgan Tuck, Connecticut Sun Director of Franchise Development and a WNBA and NCAA Champion; Diahann Billings-Burford, RISE CEO; and Charlie Firestone, Rose Bowl Institute President. The discussion is moderated by LA Times, NFL Writer and Columnist , Sam Farmer.

RISE and the Rose Bowl Institute are nonprofits that both leverage the power of sports to unite people of all backgrounds and address important civic issues. Specifically, RISE educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations, while the Rose Bowl Institute champions sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship.

The values of sportsmanship (e.g., appreciation of the game, fair play, respectful competition, and teamwork) have direct analogies to citizenship (e.g., understanding the democratic process, equal justice under law, respect for opponents, and collaboration). They also support athlete activism, particularly for inclusion, racial equity and social justice. Accordingly, this joint RISE Critical Conversation and Rose Bowl Institute Sportsmanship Dialogue will explore the role of athletics in promoting civic engagement and social justice in the years ahead.