College of Health and Human Performance

UF and ESPN’s The Undefeated to host town hall on race, sports and culture

UF and ESPN’s The Undefeated to host town hall on race, sports and culture

Oct.30, 2019 (Gainesville, Fla.) – How do black athletes use their influence through relationships with the media, leverage social media and then stay involved in the discussion once they retire?

On Nov.12, the University of Florida Wasdin Speaker Series will bring prominent athletes and speakers—ranging from three-time Olympian Michelle Carter to New York Times best-selling author Nathan Whitaker—to speak on the panel “Sport, Social Justice and the Media.”

“Sport, Social Justice and the Media” will offer attendees a moderated discussion on how black athletes establish and use their influence through their relationship with the media. Special guests will share their personal experiences with realities, challenges and opportunities faced during the course of their careers.

The second annual event is in collaboration with ESPN’s The Undefeated and will promote thought-provoking discussions centered around race, sports and culture.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Harn Museum of Art on the UF campus. The full list of speakers includes:

  • A.J. Andrews, Professional Softball Player
  • Michelle Carter, Olympic Champion, Women’s Shot Put
  • Artis Gilmore, Retired ABA and NBA Basketball Player
  • Grant Holloway, 110 Meter Hurdles World Champion
  • Mike “Mouse” Holloway, NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country Coach
  • Lonnae O’Neal, Senior Writer, The Undefeated
  • Marcus Pollard, Director of Player Engagement, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Jason Reid, Senior NFL Writer, The Undefeated
  • Michael Reid, Professor and Dean, UF College of Health & Human Performance
  • Max Siegel, Entrepreneur and CEO, USA Track & Field
  • Etan Thomas, Retired NBA Player
  • Tom Wasdin, Retired NCAA Basketball Coach
  • Nathan Whitaker, New York Times Best-Selling Author
  • Cameron Wolfe, NFL Nation Reporter, Miami Dolphins

Additional details including an updated list of special guests can be found at

The 2019 Wasdin Speaker Series is an annual event sponsored by UF alumni Susie and Tom Wasdin. This year’s “town hall” installment is a collaborative effort between the College of Health and Human Performance, the College of Journalism and Communications and the Levin College of Law. It marks the first time the event will be hosted in direct collaboration with The Undefeated, ESPN’s platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture.

“The University of Florida is honored to work with ESPN’s The Undefeated on these important discussions of race, sport, and the media,” said Michael Reid, dean, UF College of Health & Human Performance. “Broadcast of the discussions will ensure their national impact long after the town hall is over. Success of this event reflects the generous support of Tom and Susie Wasdin and our colleagues in the College of Journalism and Communications and Levin College of Law.”

A special edition of The Undefeated’s popular weekly digital roundtable show will be taped in front of a live audience on the UF campus. The Undefeated will also provide live coverage of the town hall through its social media platforms and later via the reporting of two UF student journalists, whose coverage of the sessions will be published on the sports, race and culture content hub – Edited video segments from the town hall will post on the site at a later date.

Seating for the event is limited, with half designated for students of the sponsoring colleges and the other half designated for local high school student athletes. Additional ticketed seating will be available outside the town hall for those watching the live stream. Many of the speakers attending the town hall will be participating in UF classes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For media inquiries, please contact Michael Spear, Communications Director (352.294.1622 / 

Download the Wasdin Town Hall marketing toolkit >>

About The Undefeated

The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub,, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.

In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.

About the University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF) is a major, public, comprehensive, land-grant, research university. The state’s oldest and most comprehensive university, UF is among the nation’s most academically diverse public universities. Today, it is one of the most comprehensive and academically diverse universities in the nation, with an enrollment of some 56,000 students annually. UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 170 research centers and institutes and UF offers nearly 300 graduate degree programs.

UF is a leader in research and discoveries which improve the lives of individuals throughout the state, nation and world. UF’s research funding totaled a record $865 million in research expenditures in 2018. UF conducts over $20 million of industrial/company-sponsored research annually. This level of collaborative industry/academic research places UF among the top 25 public research universities in the United States for overall industrial sponsored research. 

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