I heard about this book After James Blake Did A James Blake did a interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air It s a wonderful interview I recommend it Unfortunately the book wasn t what I expected and after getting through about half of it I threw in the towel I thought each chapter would be a profile of a different athlete The writing itself was distracting to me it is occasionally repetitive and veers off into ong and unnecessary recaps of historical context ike the Israeli Palestinian conflict for example Overall a very good book about how some athletes have been and continue to be activists for good causes The book is co written with Carol Taylor and it contains a very nice set of examples from numerous sports and erasThere s only one thing that I enjoyed the stories of athletes throughout history as they pushed for reform in sports and in our society And his account of what happened to him in New York and to other men and women of color was riveting to read as well however this book really really needed editing because Mr Blake in his enthusiasm repeated himself numerous times to the point that I began skipping paragraphs and considering dropping the book altogether In it s entirety this was a good read but it took me awhile to get through itI enjoyed the composition of short storiesbackgrounds given for the notable trailblazers mentioned and this book really pushed me to explore their egacies further However the writing was a bit repetitiveI would say though that this is a good starting point for anyone interested in diving into the activism displayed in the sports world and its progression I heard about this book on NPR and immediately added it to my wish ist Read in 2018 after receiving it as a holiday giftThe I never would have picked this one up if I hadn t heard it discussed on Minnesota Public Radio I if I hadn t heard it discussed on Minnesota Public Radio I t read a ot of non fiction Nice Girls Dont Speak let alone anything about sports so this was something new and different I give Mr Blake an A for effort in recording stories of activist athletes Publishing in one place stories that illustrate how athletes make a difference was a grand idea Mr Blake also shares his own experiences which makes the work very personal I didn t rate this any higher due to notiking the writing It was almost ike reading a blog I think it could have benefited from or better editing as parts are repetitive and some interviews that have great insight just ramble on and on
one oses interest This detracted from what otherwise a good read Tennis star James Blake opens this book with a description of how one moment he was minding his own business on a New York street and the next he was tackled handcuffed abused and harassed by a police officer wh. Inspired by Arthur Ashe’s bestselling memoir Days of Grace a collection of positive uplifting stories of seemingly small acts of grace from across the sports world that have helped to bridge cultural and racial dividesLike many people of color James Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand publicly first at the US Open and then in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street where he was tackled and handcuffed by a police officer in a case of mistaken identity Though rage would have been justified Blake faced both incidents with dignity and aplombIn Ways of Grace he ref. .
so one oses interest this detracted from what
N and sponsors might not Das Fnfte Flugzeug like or support while athletes make aot of money their athletes make a 1 lot of money their are often very short and there is a real risk of cutting them even shorter by deciding to speak out Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed as I write this It s not necessarily easier for famous athletes to take a stand or a knee than it is for any of the rest of us mere mortals But sometimes the need to overcome injustice is greater than the fear ofosing one s job And maybe 50 years down the road today s athlete protesters will be viewed as heroes the same as many of the people mentioned in this book from decades past are now I ve docked a star for two reasons First the writing is somewhat repetitive and sentences providing the same information a second time often appear with a page or so of each other Not constantly but often enough to be annoying And second there are a couple of direct swipes at the current POTUS which sadly are Isola likely to make the very people who might benefit the most from reading this book throw it across the room instead It s a bit heavy on the tennis but if you re into sports and intersectional social justice I found this an inspiring read The title was a bit weird to tote around He ends up explaining why the book is called Ways of Grace but even so I felt it screamed a bit Catholic preachy when it was nothing of the sort The stories were to the point but still interesting nonetheless As someone who could do without sports personally I still have respect for players who prove themselves while inspiring others for human rights even with potential risk to their career at stake I didn t know half of the stories in this book so it was enlightening to read about the players who are still fighting for what s right for the world and the people whoive in it Book explored the athlete and activismthe good and the bad of being an athlete activistGive the current climate in the US and the World we need any all high profile folks to speak out against injustices of all kind race sex orientationimmigration status et alI applaud Mr Blake for turning his Chicken Sh t NYPDUS Open experience into Social Justice Chicken Salad Mr Ashe would be and is proud The best part of this book was reading Blakes account of exactly what happened to him when he was physically assaulted by the NYPD during a case of mistaken identity a few years ago The incident is alarming on so many counts and it really made me think about issues of racial profiling and police brutality in a new way The rest of the book recounts interesting cases where athletes have served as activists for euality and social justice I most enjoyed the stories of my favorite tennis players and heavily skimmed the res. E up his battle to end apartheid a struggle that led to his eventual freedom and his nation's transition to black majority ruleGroundbreaking tennisegend Arthur Ashe who was a model of courage elegance and poise on the court and off; a gifted player who triumphed in the all white world of professional tennis and became one of his generation's greatest playersWeaving together these and other poignant and unforgettable stories Blake reveals how through seemingly small acts of grace we can confront hatred bigotry and injustice with virtue and use it to propel ourselves to greater height. ,
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O ooking for a black suspect just grabbed the first black man he saw Blake was not read his rights nor told anything about the first black man he saw Blake was not read his rights nor told anything about he was being apprehended When he was et go the cop ied to the police department about what happened and so did other officers who had appeared on the scene Blake was ucky because the occurred in front of a hotel camera and he was able to gain Blake was The Occult Reliquary lucky because the incident occurred front of a hotel camera and he was able to gain to the film and show that the cops wereying Otherwise it would have been his word against theirs And we all know how that tends to be treated The experience turned him into an activist able to use his high profile to bring attention to what had happened to him In turn his own activism made him curious about and created a connection to other athletes who have used their fame as a platform to highlight social or professional wrongs and unfairness In this book he covers a broad range of subjects Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the 1968 Olympics and the ittle known story of the Australian athlete who pinned a badge for human rights to his uniform for the medal ceremony and suffered for it Billie Jean King and her fight for women s euality on the tennis circuit and beyond Venus and Serena Williams continuing the battle for eual prize money eual respect as female athletes and eual endorsements as black athletes Martina Navratilova speaking openly about her sexuality Chris Kluwe and his stand for marriage euality and the current decision by many NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to bring attention to the vulnerability they and other black men and women face just by existing in the US I deeply admire Blake s passionate writing in this book He elouently states why discrimination cannot be tolerated period Not on the basis of gender sexuality skin color religion ethnicity or any other reason people can come up with Not in sports or in society in general He is adamant in his fight for euality and fairness applied to everyone no exceptions His fire for justice blazes off the pages He also has a number of interviews with other athletes and hearing them describe their experiences and motivations on their own words was also fascinating I was impressed by how well researched the book is as well The socialhistorical circumstances around athlete protests or statements are provided with plenty of end notes showing where the information came from It s also even handed For instance the Australian Olympic Committee has a different story about why Peter Norman s career ended after 1968 and Blake includes their version Blake also makes it very clear that it is indeed an act of bravery to be a professional athlete taking a stand that one s fans or one s sports associatio. Lects on his experiences and explores those of other sports stars and public figures who have not only overcome adversity but have used them to unite rather than divide includingAisam Ul Ha ureshi a Pakistani Muslim and Amir Hadad an Israeli Jew who despite the conflicts of their countries paired together in the 2002 Wimbledon men’s doubles drawMuhammad Ali who transcended racism with a magnetic personality and a breathtaking mastery of boxing that was unparalleledNelson Mandela who spent twenty seven years in prison for his commitment to social reform peace and euality yet never gav. .