Call for Papers | “Race, Sports and Protest: The Sporting Antecedents of Black Lives Matter”, Special Issue of Sport in History. Call ends December 31, 2020

The term “Black Lives Matter” resonates with many different audiences – perhaps especially within the world of sport. Ever since its origins in 2013, the movement has continued to spread and grow. Following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, protests of solidarity against endemic issues of racial prejudice erupted not just across the United States, but across the world. Many, if not most, used the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to illustrate their support. From a UK perspective, individual sportspeople such as Anthony Joshua and Lewis Hamilton, as well as teams across a range of sporting disciplines, were among the most vocal and visible of those who spoke out against continuing racism in sport and society more generally.

The movement has proved not to be a fleeting one. In protest at the shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020, US sports teams in the MLS, MLB, WNBA and NBA boycotted fixtures. Once more, athletes across the world proceeded to take a knee in solidarity with what has become a protest movement of sustained international significance. This special issue of Sport in History seeks to bring together a range of perspectives on the Black Lives Matter movement in an historical context. We are looking for articles that assess the movement in relation to its historical precursors in the sporting world – from the high-profile Black Power protests among sportspeople and teams of the 1960s and 70s through to the more recent protests at the start of the 21st century. In so doing, this special issue hopes to bring together important historical perspectives from which to view the events of more recent months, with a hope that with increased context we can provide greater understanding.

Articles must be within 6,000 and 8,000 words in length, including references. Please see the journal’s website for advice on style and referencing. Finished articles should be submitted via ScholarOne by 30 November 2021, though this date will be confirmed in due course.

If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, please email the issue editor Dr Adam Burns ( and include a short abstract of c. 200-250 words outlining your proposed topic, along with your name, institutional affiliation (if appropriate), and a short bio of approximately 150 words.

Please submit your abstracts by 31 December 2020, and final decisions on whether your abstract has been selected will be communicated by 11 January 2021.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.