Raise a Fist, Take a Knee — John Feinstein’s Great Book on Racism and Men’s Sports

George Marx
13 min readFeb 9, 2022

RAISE A FIST , TAKE A KNEE: Race and the Illusion of Progress in Modern Sports — by: John Feinstein — is a Must Read — for anyone interested in men and sports. It is also an excellent read for others!

If anyone has any doubts — about this book — watch a video about it — one — interview by Judy Woodruff from the PBS News Hour (9:11) — one example -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT-Ldoag-YU .


Jones ended up making two Olympic teams — the 2008 team and the 2012 team that went to London. He had become the first African American to hold a world record in 2007 (note: men’s swimming) … (p.302)

The night after George Floyd’s murder, Jones took his dog out for an evening walk. He was staying at his brother’s house in Charlotte, North Carolina, because he and his wife were building their own house nearby.

“I’d gone about a block when a police car went past me,” he said. “All of a sudden, the car screeched to a stop. The cop made a U-turn and came back to where I was walking. He said, ‘Where’d you get the dog?’ I told him it was my dog. He said, ‘Really? What kind of dog is it? I told him it was a French bulldog and it was seven years old. He lingered a little while longer and then finally said, ‘Well, just wanted to make sure everything’s okay,’ and drove away.

Olympic and World Record Holding Champion Swimmer Cullen Jones

“I was really angry. Do you think if I’m white there’s any way he screeches to a halt and turns around to come back and question me that way? No way. He saw a six five Black dude walking in a nice neighborhood and he decided something was up. Did he think I was stealing someone’s dog?”

Jones had become a victim of a new phenomenon: WDWB — Walking Dog While Black. (p. 304–5)

In October of my junior year, I was looking forward to Duke’s game at West Point against Army… (p.8)

But when I got to the third paragraph in the lead, I froze. “The game turned around when Coach Mike McGee brought black freshman quarterback Mike Dunn into the game.”

A “black freshman quarterback”? I was stunned.