SBD/January 12, 2011/Media

ESPN MLK Day Initiative Focuses On African Americans In Sports

ESPN Friday "will air a live town hall discussion about the current image of the black athlete" as part of "Content of Character," a "weeklong-multiplatform initiative tied to the 25th anniversary" of Martin Luther King Day, according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. The discussion will be hosted by ESPN's Bob Ley and ABC's Robin Roberts and will take place live from New Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The net indicated that panelists will include ESPN's Michael Wilbon, Univ. of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari, WNBA Shock G and former U.S. sprinter Marion Jones, former Univ. of Miami football coach Randy Shannon and director Spike Lee, "who will also serve as executive producer." The "Content of Character" initiative began last night "and will run through the official national holiday" next Monday. As part of the initiative, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" will discuss the role of African Americans in sports beginning Friday (MULTICHANNEL.com, 1/10). 

NOT LEAKING ITS GAMEPLAN: CABLEFAX DAILY noted writers Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour "got few clues about exactly what" ESPN's "Year of the Quarterback" initiative will be. However, ESPN Content Development VP & Exec Producer Joan Lynch-Owen said that the series will be a "12-month examination of quarterbacks on all of ESPN's platforms." She noted it will include documentaries, original content and "some series," and added ESPN talent and viewers "will be getting smarter about" the position by the end of the year (CABLEFAX DAILY, 1/11).  

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