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Free Speech in Sport Teach-Out


Free speech is essential for a healthy, vibrant, and democratic society. Yet there is growing debate on what constitutes free speech and what is protected speech under the First Amendment, particularly within the context of sport. This Teach-Out will prompt participants to think critically about the institution of sport, and how sport is a contested terrain in contemporary society with respect to free speech. Questions this Teach-Out will explore include: (a) Is sport an appropriate venue for social and political activism? (b) How is free “speech” embodied and enacted in sport, notably by the athletes themselves? (c) What are the implications of free speech for sport stakeholders (athletes, managers, fans, sponsors, etc.)?

This Teach-Out is part of the University of Michigan 2018 Speech and Inclusion Series that aims to recognize differing views on speech and inclusion, to explore how those views play out in politics, culture, higher education, sports, and journalism, and to engage in productive conversations to promote a positive campus environment and help the community more deeply understand these complicated issues.

A Teach-Out is:

-an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time

-an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world

-a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals

-a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

The University of Michigan Teach-Out Series provides just-in-time community learning events for participants around the world to come together in conversation with the U-M campus community, including faculty experts. The U-M Teach-Out Series is part of our deep commitment to engage the public in exploring and understanding the problems, events, and phenomena most important to society.

Teach-Outs are short learning experiences, each focused on a specific current issue. Attendees will come together over a few days not only to learn about a subject or event but also to gain skills. Teach-Outs are open to the world and are designed to bring together individuals with wide-ranging perspectives in respectful and deep conversation. These events are an opportunity for diverse learners and a multitude of experts to come together to ask questions of one another and explore new solutions to the pressing concerns of our global community. Come, join the conversation!

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2 weeks



U-M Credit Eligible



  • Faculty Experts

    University of Michigan