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SXSW Interactive 2016

Athlete Activism: The Next Frontier

Athletes today are standing up and speaking out against discrimination, particularly LGBT inequality. Their influence has led to advances on the Olympic level, more inclusive spaces for LGBT fans, and more awareness of how LGBT inequality impacts communities beyond the field of play. This has provided the LGBT rights movement with a unique opportunity to expand this discussion in more communities, particularly in the south, where the sports community wields tremendous influence.

This panel will explore the implications of how the sports community is reshaping the culture of athlete activism and discuss new ways to engage LGBT communities as social change agents.

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  1. How has athlete activism evolved over the last few decades and how is it currently being reshaped and revived by the sports community?
  2. What role has the sports community played in LGBT rights in society and how can leagues, teams, and athletes continue to be agents of change?
  3. What is the role of sports in social justice? Should sports and its participants be apolitical?



Ashland Johnson, Policy Dir, Athlete Ally

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