Tackling climate change, social injustice and the pandemic through sports

Tackling climate change, social injustice and the pandemic through sports

Episode #30 – Roger McClendon, the executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, discusses what he terms ‘the three pandemics’ and how the organisation is galvanising members to counter them

In June this year, the Green Sports Alliance was meant to be celebrating its 10-year anniversary at its annual summit, this time hosted in Minneapolis. But, like so many events occurring in 2020, the gathering was curtailed by the Covid-19 crisis.

The world – and the US in particular – is a different place and, in many ways, the remit of the Green Sports Alliance has grown as a result.

While its original raison d’être revolved around the greening of teams and leagues it’s associated with (the organisation has more than 300 members), the coronavirus pandemic and the racial and social injustice coming to light in the US has presented other challenges for the American sports industry.

And although environmental responsibility remains one of its key pillars, the Alliance has established its ‘Ready to play’ initiative, which has been designed to help its members put health and safety of fans and athletes first amid Covid, and is becoming more vocal about social justice.

This week, we talk with Roger McClendon, the Green Sports Alliance’s executive director. During the episode, he discusses what he terms as the “three pandemics” of coronavirus, climate change and social injustice, and talks about how sport can have a positive impact on all three. He explains:

– How the Alliance is helping its members get prepared for life after Covid

– Why sport is well placed to educate around social and racial injustice

– What Green Sports Alliance members are doing to protect the environment

Listen to the full episode here:

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