... absorbing ... provides valuable historical context and convincing analysis of the double standards that come into play in the drafting of Black quarterbacks ... The book is particularly strong in its discussion of basketball, which is no surprise considering Feinstein’s connections to some of the great coaches in the game ... Feinstein’s love-hate relationship with Thompson provides some gems (I would love to have been a witness when Feinstein threatened to fight the larger-than-life coach), but equally eye-opening are the stories shared by coaches Nolan Richardson and Tubby Smith, who won national championships at the University of Arkansas and the University of Kentucky, respectively, about the challenges they faced as Black coaches at predominantly White Southern schools ... References to DWB — Driving While Black — abound in the book, for me to the point of distraction. The attention Feinstein gives it is perhaps meant to highlight the hardships of everyday Black life, where by simply driving your car you become a target for police. For some readers, the discovery of the prevalence of DWB may be new...But for me, an African American man who has had to deal with DWB and has heard countless tales of this injustice, the references felt repetitive ... That’s a quibble, however, in what is a comprehensive study of race and sports. Raise a Fist, Take a Knee is a timely book that illuminates why athletes from Olympic medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith to boxing legend Muhammad Ali to former quarterback Colin Kaepernick have risked unpopular stands, often placing their careers in jeopardy.
Feinstein, who’s white, argues strongly, and often, that he will never comprehend how racism might feel to a Black man. He also argues equally, and sadly, that perhaps only a white sportswriter could write this book.