Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand
For over a century, African American athletes have used their platforms to fight for civil rights and social justice.
Muhammad Ali refused to submit to the draft. Wilma Rudolph retired from her track and field career to campaign for civil rights. Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence against black bodies. Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand tells their stories and the stories of other prominent African American athletes who put everything on the line to fight racial discrimination and promote social justice.
This moving and celebratory history by veteran sportswriter Bob Schron honors the essential, organic, and ongoing tradition of black protest in sports, placing legendary figures in the context of broader social movements.
“The history of black athletes using their prominence to take principled stands is long and admirable. In Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand, Bob Schron provides a thoughtful and comprehensive look at that history.”
— Bob Costas, Emmy-award-winning broadcaster
“When NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt in protest during the national anthem, he set off a firestorm of yays and nays that still burns. He also reminded us of the long and honorable tradition of athlete-activists in the African American community, captured here by veteran sports writer Schron in a crisp, impassioned narrative that moves from the quiet heroism of Jesse Owens and Joe Louis through Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Olympic black power salutes to the Williams Sisters. Not just for sports fans; this is important history.”
— Library Journal
“At a time when African Americans in sports have been leaders in the quest for a more just and equitable nation, Bob Schron has written a fluent and knowledgeable history of their political activism over nearly a century. This book is a valuable addition to the smart sports fan’s bookshelf.”
— Samuel G. Freedman, Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Author of Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights
“Taking a Knee, Taking a Stand is not just a book. It’s a history lesson documenting the courageous path athletes from yesteryear to today have traveled in the name of social justice and racial equality. For more than a century, sports and politics have intersected, helping to shape this great country of ours. From Jesse Owens to Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James, athletes have put their reputations and in some cases lives on the line to make a difference. Bob Schron does an excellent job detailing the impact of those social justice warriors, and why it’s still just as important today for athletes to take a stand, instead of ‘just shutting up and dribbling’.”
— Kyle Draper, NBC Sports
By Bob Schron, Foreword by Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots