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).