Associate Professor of Sports Management and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Fritz Polite, Ph.D., of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business is becoming a go-to expert regarding matters of sport management, especially in areas where sports intersect with race and activism.
Dr. Polite was quoted in a July 21 Christian Science Monitor article about fines handed down to Women’s National Basketball Association players who wore black warm-up gear in response to shootings by and against police. The WNBA fined the players and teams for violating its uniform policy.
“The WNBA is flat-out wrong,” Polite said in an interview with the Monitor. “Sport has always had a place in terms of addressing some of the issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation. It always has. It would behoove those in a position of power to embrace the opportunity to impact and create change.”
In September, the Christian Science Monitor again called upon Polite as a source, this time on a story about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem as to protest minority oppression in the United States. While he disagrees with Kaepernick’s tactics, Polite, a U.S. Army veteran, told the Monitor, “He’s actually hit a vein. What Colin Kaepernick elucidates is the flag represents certain unalienable rights and freedoms. ‘I’m exercising this freedom. Now you want to tell me I’m unpatriotic. All I’m doing is all the rights and privileges people fight for.'”
Earlier this summer, Polite was featured in a VICE magazine article about historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and how they do or do not play into the Division I football model.