Open Nav


The free program will stream on Thursday, September 2nd

PASADENA, Calif. (August 30, 2021) - The Rose Bowl Institute and national social justice nonprofit RISE is partnering to present their first bicoastal critical conversation around the theme of “Sportsmanship as Citizenship.” The event will air from two locations - the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena and the ESPN Seaport District Studios in New York at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The Rose Bowl Institute & RISE Coast-to-Coast Critical Conversation: Sportsmanship as Citizenship, which streams Thursday, September 2 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, features athletes and sports leaders discussing the role of the sports community in advancing civic engagement, social justice, equity and inclusion, and speaks to some of the most pressing issues in sports today. The one-hour panel discussion addresses ways that sports influence broader societal issues and can empower others to positively impact their local and national communities.

The conversation engages six panelists: Cobi Jones, World Cup and Olympic veteran and Soccer Hall of Famer; Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President Football Operations; Dr. Jen Welter, sports psychologist and the first female to 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. Sam Farmer, NFL writer and columnist for the Los Angeles Times, serves as moderator.

The virtual conversation is open to the public, and can be accessed by registering here.

“At RISE, we are equipping the sports community with the tools to be advocates for racial equity, and an effective way to engage in vital conversations around civic engagement, equity and racism is through the lens of sports and sportsmanship,” said Billings-Burford. “History has shown how sports leaders can galvanize our country to cause true change, and this conversation with the Rose Bowl Institute and with support from ESPN illustrates how the sports community at every level can be an agent of change.”

RISE and the Rose Bowl Institute are nonprofit organizations that 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.

“Sports have the opportunity to lead by example,” said Firestone. “Players' opinions are seen and valued by their fans, especially young ones. League and team policies matter to the society at large as they are highly visible, engage large populations and have important symbolism.”

“For these reasons,” Firestone continued, “it is important for the Rose Bowl Institute to continue to address how sports institutions can lead the way in improving diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The Rose Bowl Institute, an arm of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, champions sportsmanship and aims to “leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.”

RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.

“ESPN is committed to ensuring critical conversations around sports and the role they play in driving civic engagement, racial equity and social justice,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of Corporate Citizenship at ESPN. “The sports community has a responsibility to inspire important discussions, and we are proud to have partnered with RISE to host the East Coast panel to help empower our local and national communities to make positive changes.”

To watch the event promo video, please click here. If you are interested in more information please email rosebowlinstitute@rosebowlstadium.com or visit www.rosebowlinstitute.org. For more information on RISE, please send an email to media@risetowin.org or visit www.risetowin.org.

RISE News & Stories



Sign up to get the latest news and information from RISE.