Running the Prophetic Point: Basketball, Black Lives Matter, and Prophetic Imagination

  • Terry ShoemakerEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies book series (BRIEFSRESTU)


This chapter investigates the intersections of race, religion, and prophetic articulations of basketball athletes related to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. By using Walter Brueggemann’s framework of prophetic imagination, I argue that sports activism shares many of the characteristics of prophetic activity in the modern world. This form of prophetic activity is in a civil religious mode that attempts to call attention to the transgressions of the American society. By locating the social activism of basketball players in the NBA, WNBA, and college, a form of secular resistance emerges revealing an important value of sport within America. In the end, the article offers some reasons why sport might be a principal arena for contemporary, prophetic activity.


Basketball NBA WNBA Sport Prophets Prophetic imagination Activism Religion Secularism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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