SAN JOSE (KRON) — Sports legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown helped San Jose State University announce the opening of a new Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change this week.
SJSU held a star-studded town hall meeting to celebrate the launch, featuring panel discussions by athletes and management from the NBA, NFL, NHL and the Olympics at the Hammer Theatre Center on campus.
SJSU alumnus and record-setting discus thrower Harry Edwards co-founded the Olympic Project for Human Rights in 1967 with Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
The two icons stars joined a group of athletes including legendary Tommie Smith, known for his gloved fist at the 1968 Olympics.
Edwards, who went on to teach sociology at SJSU and for 30 years at the University of California at Berkeley, inspired the institute.
“SJSU has historically been at the forefront of social justice issues, and there is no better place for that work to be undertaken, and no better time for us to begin than right now,” Edwards said.
At a news conference after the meeting, Smith and other top athletes, along with Edwards and Jocelyn Benson, CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, discussed unity and social justice activism under the new administration.
Bay City News contributed to this report