After Sept. 11, 2001, the unfurling of field-long American flags, military flyovers or renditions of “God Bless America” became ubiquitous at American sporting events as part of the national swell of patriotism that followed the attacks.
Sports played an important role in unifying and healing the nation in the wake of 9/11, and today’s sports landscape has been shaped by that phenomenon. Displays of patriotism were incorporated into major sporting events, creating new traditions that carry on almost two decades later.
On Wednesday, Nov. 28, two preeminent sports writers and commentators, Howard Bryant and Christine Brennan, will visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum for a discussion on the intersection of sports, politics and patriotism.
A senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, Bryant regularly appears on ESPN, including Sports Center and Outside the Lines. He had been the sports correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006. He is a two-time winner of the Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year from Spitball magazine, and is the author of five books, including a biography of Hank Aaron and a picture book for young readers about Venus and Serena Williams. His latest book is “The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.” A native of Boston, he has held previous posts at the Oakland Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Boston Herald and the Washington Post.
Christine Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for CNN, ABC News, PBS NewsHour and NPR. Named one of the country’s top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors three times, she has covered the last 18 Olympic Games, both summer and winter. Brennan was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald, the first woman to cover Washington’s NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post and the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media. She was honored by both the NCAA and the Women’s Sports Foundation during the 40th anniversary celebrations of Title IX in 2012. Christine is also the author of seven books, including the 1996 national bestseller “Inside Edge,” which was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated.
Click here to reserve tickets to this special program.
By Harmony Baker, Public Programs Coordinator, 9/11 Memorial Museum