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An athlete with the freedom to speak

Toni Smith is a 21-year-old sociology major. And, writes, Ralph Wiley, an athlete who gives us the conscience we so often lack.

Updated: March 3, 2003, 12:44 PM ET
By Ralph Wiley | Page 2 columnist

The question before us is if the sporting arena is the proper venue for airing social protest, whether athletes involved in sports are proper messengers of political conscience.

It depends on who you are. If you're just a jock, looking to maintain that comfortable, peculiar but undeniable societal status that goes along with being a jock, then you don't want that peculiar status threatened. If you're a fan, you come to sports not to think about "stuff like that." But if you're an actual ...

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