Level Playing Field examines how multi-billion-dollar industries in and out of sports have historically underpaid their most valuable assets, politicized community-based initiatives, and stifled the voices of athletes of color. Featuring stories and insights from sports and policy changemakers including the WNBA’s Elizabeth Williams, U.S. senators Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock, Rep. Joaquin Castro, and sports journalist Jemele Hill among others, the dynamic four-part series looks at the far-reaching twin impacts of legislation and activism as they intersect with sports.
Season 1, Episode 1 –
Episode 1 investigates the intersection of sports, race, and social policy through a look at “Midnight Basketball” – the innovative program started in Glenarden, Maryland in 1986 to provide a haven for at-risk youths and help curb rising crime rates in the area. The successful endeavor was embraced by both President George H. W. Bush in his “1,000 Points of Light” initiative and President Bill Clinton in the 1994 Crime bill, yet still became the focus of partisan debate riddled with racial stereotypes – stereotypes that still linger to this day.