ESPN Gives President Obama an Hour of Air Time Tuesday Night


ESPN airs a campus forum featuring President Barack Obama addressing sports and social activism, among other topics, on Tuesday night.

The president tapes “A Conversation with the President: Sports, Race, and Achievement” on Tuesday afternoon for air Tuesday night. The broadcast, which begins at 10 p.m. Eastern, lasts an hour.

ESPN’s “The Undefeated” website hosts the event, which takes place at North Carolina A&T State University, the historically-black college in Greensboro, a city that misses out on two rounds of the basketball tournament this year because the NCAA pulled its games over the state’s law that restricts multiple-occupancy public bathrooms in state buildings to the sex indicated on the door. That topic, athletes kneeling during the national anthem, and other issues where sports and politics intersect figure to come up during the discussion.

“President Obama will discuss lessons in leadership; the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative, which aims to address opportunity gaps faced by all youth including boys and young men of color; the current role and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities; athletes and social activism; the Obama Administration’s actions to provide opportunity for students  and more,” the ESPN release notes. “The President will also take questions from the audience.”

ESPN and Obama enjoy an especially cozy relationship. The network aired a presidential town hall on race relations in June, annually airs a special devoted to Obama’s tournament bracket, and addressed ESPN’s audience during a televised Major League Baseball game in Cuba to promote his policies relating to the island-prison. He has golfed with on-air personalities Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser and hosted stridently left-wing talking head Jemele Hill at the White House.

“We are honored to host this townhall featuring President Obama at one of the leading historically black universities in the country,” Kevin Merida, ESPN senior vice president and editor “The Undefeated,” explained in the network’s press release. “We expect a vibrant conversation about the present and the future, and about the challenges facing black students.”


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