LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Business Journal highlighted the 2018 LA84 Foundation Summit and its theme of Athlete Activism + Social Justice: Taking Action for Our Youth in its latest edition.
Jerry Sullivan, editor and writer with the LABJ, noticed the ads for the LA84 Summit hanging above the heavily populated LA Live area in downtown.
Here is an excerpt from Sullivan’s piece:
“Imagery in ads for the LA84 Foundation Summit at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. LIVE on Oct. 18 hearkened back to the raised-fist, Black Power salutes by sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
That was purposeful, marking the 50th anniversary of the incident, according to Renata Simril, chief executive of LA84. The ads aren’t all about Black Power, though, and neither is the summit, according to Simril.
The same ads also billed the summit as a place to take up “Athlete Activism” and “Social Justice,” notions that abound these days, thanks to some pro football players who have protested against what they perceive to be social injustice.”
Sullivan points out that even with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t been able to secure a job since protesting against police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, at the forefront of heated debates across the county. The summit isn’t all about him, but about the rich history of athlete activism.
“We note here the LA84 summit isn’t about Kaepernick or “The Star-Spangled Banner” or Nike or Papa John’s, according to Simril, who’s a veteran of the U.S. Army as well as various executive roles. Expect, instead, the talk of athlete activism and social justice to turn toward PE – play equity, in this case.
Play equity means that the dreams of our youth must not be determined by their zip code, according to LA84’s website.
Play equity certainly fits into the mission of LA84, created out of the reinvention of the Olympic movement in Los Angeles in 1984, led by an entrepreneur and business executive named Peter Ueberroth. His strong and personal ties to minority and ethnic communities preceded his Olympic experience. The ties grew afterward, too, when the late Tom Bradley, mayor during the 1992 riots, called on Ueberroth to lead Rebuild LA in the wake of that devastation.
Now LA84 has play equity in focus as it prepares for this week’s summit under the leadership of Simril.
We’ll look upon the effort with interest to see if a foundation that grew out of sports and business can help reshape a contentious conversation about the business of sports.”
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