SBD/14/Sports Media

ESPN'S RACE FORUM: ARE HISPANICS LEFT OUTSIDE THE LINES?

          ESPN will air a two-hour "SportsCenter" special, "Race
     & Sports: Running In Place?," tonight beginning at 7:30pm
     ET.  The special will begin with a 30-minute "Outside The
     Lines" segment focusing on race and sports, which will be
     followed by a 90-minute Town Meeting discussion on the
     issue, hosted by Bob Ley (ESPN).  ESPN SportsZone will offer
     its first live video Webcast for the Town Meeting tonight at
     8:00pm ET.  The two-day package will link off the SportsZone
     front page and offer related feature stories, user polls and
     an opportunity for users to send in questions to panelists
     during the broadcast (ESPN SportsZone).
          THE FULL ROSTER: President Clinton will be a member of
     the panel at the Town Meeting, to be held in Houston's
     Cullen Theater.  Clinton will be joined by Padres Owner John
     Moores, former Browns RB Jim Brown, Georgetown Univ.
     basketball coach John Thompson, Olympic gold medalist
     Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Vikings coach Dennis Green, Univ. of
     GA AD Vince Dooley, 49ers President Carmen Policy, and ESPN
     baseball analyst Joe Morgan.  In Houston, David Barron wrote
     that ESPN is distributing the tickets to the event, and is
     also "in charge of screening the 14 to 16 audience members
     who will be allowed to ask questions."  Ley, on a possible
     White House influence at the forum: "This is our show. 
     While the White House is providing the President, and we are
     grateful for that, this is an ESPN show from start to
     finish" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/9).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent
     writes that Clinton's presence "is a bit of an X factor for
     the program, because no one knows what he will bring to the
     discussion."  Kent also reports that Jets WR Keyshawn
     Johnson and NBA prospect Felipe Lopez have been added to the
     panel "as the only current athletes" (Baltimore SUN, 4/14).
          LEFT OUT? In N.Y., Kathy Kiely reports that Latino
     activists said tonight's event "slights Latin Americans"
     because Lopez is the only Hispanic on the panel.  Deputy
     White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said that ESPN "had
     sent out invitations to about two dozen Hispanic athletes,
     who declined for various reasons" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/14).

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