In an upcoming four-part season of the BBC World Service’s gripping podcast, Amazing Sport Stories, listeners will delve into the compelling real-life narrative of the “Black 14” – a group of 14 young, black American football players unceremoniously ousted from their university team in Wyoming in 1969 for daring to protest against racism at another institution.
Penned and narrated by American writer and presenter B.A. Parker, the series transports us back to the tumultuous 1960s, shining a light on the injustice suffered by the Black 14 as they faced dismissal from their university team and the subsequent loss of scholarships, forcing most to abandon their studies at the University of Wyoming. The repercussions of this event resonated profoundly, significantly altering the trajectory of their lives.
B.A. Parker, presenter, says: “The Black 14’s fight for their dignity has had a lasting impact on the U.S. sporting community. And their story is a necessary one to tell. In this BBC World Service series, I want listeners to reflect and see how far we’ve come from that tumultuous moment in 1969, yet how far we still need to go in terms of advocating for equality and standing up to racial injustice, both in the United States and globally.”
The podcast, titled “Amazing Sport Stories: The Black 14,” is scheduled for release on BBC Sounds and BBC Podcasts Premium on Monday, 29 January, available to international audiences outside the UK. Wider distribution on other podcast platforms will commence on Thursday, 1 February, with episodes released weekly. The inaugural episode will air on BBC World Service radio on Saturday, 3 February.
Launching in tandem with Black History Month in the USA and Canada this February, the series will also precede the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on 11 February. Notably, two members of the Black 14 later played in the NFL and participated in the Super Bowl.
Produced by Whistledown Production for the BBC World Service, “Amazing Sport Stories: The Black 14” is masterfully crafted by Sasha Edye Lindner and Jill Achineku, under the executive production of Robert Nicholson.
“Amazing Sport Stories” distinguishes itself as a BBC World Service podcast that ventures beyond the conventional realms of sports narratives, focusing on tales of courage, rule-breaking, and the unexpected. Previous seasons featured a captivating story about a 12-year-old Canadian girl’s battle to play ice hockey with boys, transforming a sporting struggle into a legal showdown. The podcast also explored the challenges of a 200-mile underground tunnel ultra-race, where hallucinations are practically guaranteed.