When Black Prizefighters Consider Family as Much a Symbol of Masculinity as a Knockout

By Defining Themselves as Family Men Outside the Ring, They Link Patriarchal Pride With Athletic Prowess

Standing 6 feet 7 inches, with an athlete’s body, Deontay Wilder dreamed of going pro in either football or basketball. But at 19, with a newborn girl who had spina bifida and medical bills piling up, he knew he had to step up. His jobs busing tables at Red Lobster and IHOP and his shift driving a beer truck just weren’t going to cut it.

As a young man in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, without a college degree, he didn’t have much of a choice. So he did what countless black men …

When Black Texans Gathered Under “Thursday Night Lights”

Why the Lone Star State Has Forgotten Its Proud Tradition of African American High School Football

I had only been in and out of Houston since leaving our Sunnyside neighborhood on the city’s southeast side, in 1968, to begin eight years of Air Force service. …

To Black Athletes, Donald Trump Is Playing the Dozens

This Time, the Age-Old Game of Exchanging Insults Will Have No Winner

President Donald Trump did not say, “Yo’ mama!” in front of a partisan Huntsville, Alabama audience. But he might as well have because that is what athletes heard directed at …

The Shoe Salesman Whose Name Became Synonymous with Basketball

Chuck Taylor, Though a Mediocre Player, Knew How to Hustle and Perform

When Chuck Taylor, who was born in rural southern Indiana in 1901, left home at age 17 to play professional basketball, he was following an unlikely dream. The game …

In California, Pro Football Is for Losers

As Big Cities Shed the NFL, Only Smaller, Poorer Cities Are Desperate Enough to Host Teams

No one can know for sure whether any of California’s four National Football League teams—the 49ers, Raiders, Rams, and Chargers—will emerge as big winners in the new season.

But we already …

Take Me Out to the California League

The Golden State's Major League Baseball Is Slow-Paced and Pricey, but Our Minor League Beautifully Binds Us Together

Take me out to the ballgame this summer? Sure, as long as you’re taking me to San Jose or Visalia or Lake Elsinore.

Yep, I know those cities don’t have major …