The Future of Sports: A Whole New Ballgame

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Duration 01:08:37

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Matthew Andrews teaches American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His courses use the history of sports to explore race relations, gender ideals, political protest, and American identity. Professor Andrews was asked by the UNC student body to give the honorific “Last Lecture” to the graduating class of 2015. His students have voted him their university’s “Best Professor” three times since 2016.


Yogi Berra once said, “I don’t make predictions, especially about the future.”  In this lecture, we will do the opposite and ask: “What might sports look like a few decades from now?”  Will virtual reality and “smart stadiums” put you on the field of play?  Will the gender divide be eliminated from our athletic competitions?  Are you ready for no more nations at the Olympic Games?  Bionic athletes?  Does a New York Knicks v. Xinjiang Flying Tigers matchup for the World Basketball Title pique your interest?  As we survey the potential sports landscape, one thing will be made clear—in many ways, the future is already here.


Discussion Questions:


  1. Is the male-female divide in sports outdated and unethical?
  1. Should performance-enhancing drugs be readily available in sports?  And if not, why not?
  1. Will the new NIL (name, image, and likeness) rules in the NCAA make American college sports even more popular?
  1. Do you have predictions for what sports will look like decades from now?





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