Sports, Society, and Technology in the News

Smith's Book Adapted Into Netflix Documentary

Film still from 'Blood Brothers: Muhammad Ali & Malcolm X' on Netflix
Film still from 'Blood Brothers: Muhammad Ali & Malcolm X' on Netflix

''In September 2021, Netflix released a feature documentary, "Blood Brothers: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali," based on Professor Johnny Smith’s book of the same title. Smith appeared in the documentary and served as a consultant on the film. “Blood Brothers” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary.

Smith also gave several interviews about the documentary with various media outlets, including the New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ESPN, and NPR.

More information including about Smith’s experiences with the production of the documentary can be found here: Smith’s Book ‘Blood Brothers’ Adapted Into New Netflix Documentary.

McDonald Named Georgia Tech ADVANCE Professor

''In August of 2021, Professor Mary McDonald, Homer C. Rice Chair in Sports and Society, was named the ADVANCE Professor for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. The ADVANCE Professors represent a network of six professors across the institute who are world-class scholars and role models. These six professors work for the advancement of women and racial minorities at Georgia Tech and within the academy. Housed within Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, learn more about ADVANCE on the ADVANCE website.

Johnny Smith Co-Authors War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War

War Fever book cover''Johnny Smith, the J.C. “Bud” Shaw Professor of Sports History, and Dr. Randy Roberts (Purdue University) recently published War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War.

This book is an interwoven tale of three lives— Babe Ruth, Boston Symphony Orchestra Conductor Karl Much, and an Army officer named Charles Whittlesey—set against the backdrop of World War I, rising anti-German xenophobia, and the flu pandemic in the fall of 1918.

Read an excerpt of War Fever, or listen to Smith discuss how baseball, Babe Ruth, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic can provide perspective on current issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic on ESPN’s The Sporting Life.

Mary G. McDonald Honored as a 2019 Faces of Inclusive Excellence Recipient

''Professor Mary G. McDonald, the Homer C. Rice Chair of Sports and Society, was honored as a recipient of the 2019 Faces of Inclusive Excellence at Georgia Tech's 11th Annual Diversity Symposium. The award was given in further recognition of the service excellence award she recently received from the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

Johnny Smith talks Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

''In conjunction with the publication of his new book, Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (written with Dr. Randy Roberts), Professor Smith made several media appearances in which he discussed the tumultuous relationship between the legendary boxer and the Muslim minister. The much anticipated follow-up to Smith's first book, The Sons of Westwood (2013), Blood Brothers sheds important new light on Ali's legacy in the aftermath of the boxer's death in June 2016.

Benjamin Flowers Publishes Book, "Sport and Architecture"

''Professor Benjamin Flowers’ book Sport and Architecture was published by Routledge in 2017.  This book explores the history of sports architecture and offers an analysis of the social, political and cultural contexts of several sports stadiums across the globe.  Dr. Flowers is Professor in the School of Architecture and a SST Affiliated Faculty Member who also directs the Stadia Lab at Georgia Tech.

Holmes v. Atlanta Exhibit


''In November of 2015, Dr. Mary McDonald and several Georgia Tech graduate students organized an exhibit displayed at the clubhouse of the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the historic court case that facilitated the desegregation of public recreation facilities across the country. The exhibit, funded by the Friends of the Bobby Jones Golf Course, is called "Changing the Game"  and commemorates the efforts of Alfred "Tup" Holmes, an African American golfer who challenged how access to public golf courses in 1950s Atlanta was strictly divided along racial lines. Featuring stories, photographs, and other artifacts documenting Holmes' historic Supreme Court case, the exhibit seeks to draw attention to the role of Atlanta's sport culture in the desegregation movement while preserving the history of the Bobby Jones course.

The spirit of the Supreme Court’s Holmes v. Atlanta ruling followed their landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the legality of “separate but equal” state education laws. Holmes v. Atlanta was among the first cases to extend this precedent beyond education into other public accommodations and arguably had a more immediate impact. Fittingly, Tup and Oliver Holmes along with Charles Bell played the North Fulton golf course on December 24 and the Bobby Jones course on December 25, 1955 thus desegregating Atlanta public golf courses.

For more information, visit the Holmes v. Atlanta Exhibit website.

Media coverage of the Holmes v. Atlanta exhibit:

Kirk Bowman's Documentaries about Sport Continue to Wow Audiences


''Professor Bowman, the Jon R. Wilcox Term Professor in Soccer and Global Politics, continues his work as the Co-Founder of “Rise Up and Care,” a non-profit organization that supports high-level performance training (including sports) as a means to encourage youth development in Brazil.

One of the five documentary films he helped to produce, Bad and Birdie Man (2016), screened at the 41st Atlanta International Film Festival. This film follows Sebastião’s quest to use badminton to assist the children in his community of Chacrinha, Rio de Janeiro. With love, hard work and dedication, members of the badminton team qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. After debuting during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Professor Bowman’s five documentaries are now being shown in schools throughout Rio de Janeiro.  

Dr. Bowman is Professor in Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and a SST affiliated faculty member who is currently writing a book that uses soccer to explore the theories and concepts of comparative politics.You can read more about Doctor Bowman's work with Rise Up & Care here:
Rio film events during 2016 Olympic Games higlights innovation by and for the world's poor - Georgia Tech News Center