When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument

When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
When Athletes Take Political Stands: Practice with Argument
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Common Core Standards
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  1. Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and boxing are represented in this mega bundle of sports-themed extended lessons. The ethics of sports, politics, injuries, identities, and responsibilities of premier athletes as role models are covered. Students will read, view, write about and discuss sport
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Product Description

This lesson encourages students to write an argument essay.

Students learn about Athletes taking political stances.

Students will read, listen to and view supporting video and audio clips while learning the necessary elements to establish their argument on the theme of sports and activism. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SOAPSTONE Analysis, short paragraph assessments, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP English-style rubric.

The central text is The Atlantic Monthly essay, “When Athletes Take Political Stands,” by Matt Vasilogambros. The students will complete an evaluation on a purpose graphic organizer on this essay. The TALK, What Can We Learn From College Athletes? | Kendall Spencer & “Athletes as Activists: Lessons from Black Lives Matter and Beyond from the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin,” & “Kaepernick & The Summer of 2016: How will history write him.” Also used in this resource is Howard Bryant on his new book “The Heritage and the Legacy of Activism for Black Athletes” Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of the unit. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity writing about Paul Robeson and Jackie Robinson’s activism. Students will listening to a NPR Fresh Air interview with Howard Bryant and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on The New York Times op-ed, “Famous Athletes Have Always Led the Way“ by Michael Eric Dyson. The students will complete a PAPA Square for Rhetorical Analysis for The New Yorker essay, “Recalling Muhammad Ali’s Vietnam War Resistance in the Age of Trump,” by David Remnick.

There is opportunity for an Audience Analysis using The New York Times essay “The Awakening of Colin Kaepernick,” by John Branch. The entire lessons act as an explication and a building of context an original argument on African American athletes and activism.

These eight daily lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.


There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.


New in 2018:

Reformatted & added 4 more lessons. Fixed links. Reworked writing prompt. Added more videos, audios, print sources, rhetorical situation, purpose & audience analysis. Resource is up to 30 pages.

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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