LISTEN: This week’s Extra Time podcast discusses racism in sport and the role of athletes and organisations in making a stand for good.

Former Silver Fern and Black Fern Louisa Wall believes today’s sports stars must have a social conscience and stand up against discrimination and divisiveness. 

Sport and politics, once separated, are now inextricably linked, and athletes around the world are fighting against social injustice.

The death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States has sparked a wave of protest around the world, as people take a stand against racism and intolerance.

For a long time sports stars, bar exceptions like Muhammad Ali, largely kept their views out of the public arena. However a new wave, led by the likes of LeBron James, is refusing to stay quiet.

Wall, now a Labour MP, says sport now has an influential platform and many athletes who are household names must have a social conscience because of their ties to corporate sponsors. 

“The reality for sportspeople, whether they like it or not, because of the platforms created through professional sport, all have to be prepared for what that means. And that does mean at times like these, standing up and speaking out against racism,” she says.

Wall is joined on this week’s Extra Time panel by Massey University’s Dr Jeremy Hapeta and Stuff sports journalist Kevin Norquay.

* Extra Time is a podcast brought to you by RNZ, Stuff and LockerRoom.

Joe Porter is a Radio New Zealand sports reporter who specialises in rugby.

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