Support Aeon

‘Your articles are smart, well written, and enriching. This is what intelligentsia is about.’

Dien H, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

Black 14

15 minutes

In 1969, black football players stood against racism in one of the whitest states in the US

In 1969, 14 African-American players on the University of Wyoming’s nationally ranked American football team planned a protest against the racist policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before their game against Brigham Young University, which is owned and operated by the church. Until 1978, the church blocked African Americans from the priesthood, and only in 2013 officially disavowed their founder Joseph Smith’s assertion that black people are cursed by God. Wearing black wristbands in solidarity, the team approached their white coach Lloyd Eaton to ask permission to participate in an on-field protest during the game. Eaton proceeded to kick the players off the team, arguing that the protest broke his rules against athletes participating in student demonstrations and creating factions within the team. 

The US filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe’s documentary Black 14 uses archival footage to revisit the incident, recounting how the players put their education and potential professional football careers at risk, and caused an uproar in the predominantly white state by standing against racism. Monroe’s film draws clear parallels to the NFL national anthem protests of today, examining how US frameworks of free speech bend toward white institutions and away from black dissent, and challenging the notion that sports can be apolitical.

Director: Darius Clark Monroe

Producer: Yvonne M Shirley

Website: Topic

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Education
A wild muddle

The ethical formation of citizens was once at the heart of the US elite college. Has this moral purpose gone altogether?

Chad Wellmon

Essay/
Fairness & Equality
The respect deficit

Economic inequality is an urgent problem. Deeper still is our loss of mutual respect, the foundation of a fair society

Richard V Reeves