Race and the Soccer Player: Part 1


“It’s hard when you start life down 0-1.”

The Players Podcast is dedicated to helping young soccer players grow as students of the game by providing an entertaining and educational show that covers some of the biggest topics in the sport today. Kicking off our first episode is an issue that’s not just been prevalent in soccer, but running throughout our country for generations: racial injustice. This moment has become a flashpoint in American history, a fixture in the headlines this year, and it will have a lasting impact on our local and soccer communities. In this two part series we will use soccer as a lens by which to assess “Race and the Soccer Player” with help from our three guests Kei Kamara, Kellyn Acosta, and Norton Herbst. 

We’re excited to have two professional players join us – Kei Kamara and Kellyn Acosta – both of whom have represented their countries and who each bring a unique perspective to discussing their experience as a black man in America. Kei came to the U.S. from Sierra Leone as a teenager and settled in southern California before embarking on a career that has taken him overseas and across many markets in the US in Canada. As an immigrant, Kei brings a different perspective to Kellyn, who was raised in a suburb of Dallas. Kellyn discusses growing up in a mostly white, suburban environment and shares some very personal experiences that would not be obvious to American soccer fans, who have followed him from a teenager featuring for FC Dallas to the US National team. You won’t be disappointed in what these two men share about their experiences.

We’re also lucky to have Norton Herbst join us for the discussion. Norton is a pastor and professor of history, bringing a fascinating historical perspective to the topic of the black experience in America. He offers some thought provoking insight into how we’ve arrived where we are now on this important subject. 

Stay tuned until the end, where we’re excited and honored to close the show with Bryant Gumbel’s essay on his experience of being a black man in America. To hear someone as accomplished as Bryant Gumbel talk about his personal journey provides some powerful thoughts for reflection for all of us. 

Thanks for listening and enjoy!

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