Many of us experience sports much like religion: they give us a shared identity, a sense of community, and a common purpose. So what wisdom can we draw from the sports world to help us navigate the chaos and confusion -- and also the awakening and transformation -- happening today? Join host Varun Soni, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California, in this limited-run series from Religion of Sports.
In Religion of Sports' latest podcast series, Host Iggy Monda takes listeners inside America’s locker rooms and field houses to explore hazing in high school sports today. Through deeply personal stories of kids who have hazed, parents who have fought for accountability, coaches who are scared of what their players do when they’re not looking, and people who have hazed others, he ultimately asks why hazing is so ingrained in American culture – and what it says about us.
Find and follow ROS Presents: Roughhousing for the full series.
In difficult times, setting aside time to play feels almost frivolous. But is actually even more vital because it provides us with balance, joy and connection with one another. Host Varun Soni talks with Salman Ahmad, cricket player and one of the most famous and beloved musicians in Pakistan, about the value of play during challenging times, his recent battle with COVID, and the role sports can play in easing tensions and building bridges.
Volleyball player and mental health advocate Victoria Garrick is a mentor to many student athletes and others who have been inspired by her public journey of vulnerability and strength. During this time of global pandemic and civil unrest, host Varun Soni asks Garrick how she has managed to deal positively with adversity without shying away from it, and what she learned about this subject from one of her great supporters and sources of inspiration, the late Kobe Bryant.
Host Varun Soni and his guest, author and TV host Reza Aslan, are both die-hard, long suffering, eternally optimistic fans of two of the worst franchises in American sports: the Clippers and the Raiders. Together, they discuss how they find hope -- in their beloved teams and in the future, during what feels like a cursed time.
The most recognizable symbol of solidarity with today's movement against racism and police brutality has been to take a knee, an act of protest popularized by Colin Kaepernick. He's the latest in a long line of athlete-activists whose outspoken defiance have helped push forward social and political change in America. What can we learn from these individuals and the movements they are a part of? And what can we learn from the sports world about inclusion, teamwork, and working together to reach shared goals? Our host Varun Soni explores these questions and more in conversation with Jody Armour, professor of law and author of the upcoming book, "N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice and the Law."
Many of us experience sports much like religion: they give us a shared identity, a sense of community, and a common purpose. So what wisdom can we draw from the sports world to help us navigate the chaos and confusion -- and also the awakening and transformation -- happening today? Join host Varun Soni, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California, in this limited-run series from Religion of Sports, launching July 30.
"We are what we pretend to be, so you gotta be careful what you pretend to be."
Jeff Guerriero works a desk job during the day. At night, his Death Match wrestler alter ego “Cannonball” gets cheese graters raked across his head and wraps barbed wire around his neck. It’s in the transformation from Jeff to "Cannonball" where he finds purpose and contentment.
Jeff may be an extreme example but it’s not that far removed from any other weekend warrior who plays or follows sports – or even other forms of expression like painting, acting, or comedy. Is part of the appeal of sports that they act as a vessel to get many closer to their true, authentic selves?
We search for answers in our final episode of the season by talking to some of the greatest athletes in the history of sports.
Thank you for listening this season and stay tuned later this year for season 2!
"You can see me, right?"
We follow a newly-formed soccer team of young refugees who’ve all, somehow, found their way to Buffalo, New York -- and explore what their stories tell us about sports, the human spirit, and what it means to belong.
Dr. Heidi Ellis
"How do I get to a place like that"
The episode explores resilience through two young leaders in the Native American community, and how they’ve used basketball to overcome immense adversity and build better lives for themselves, their communities, and future generations.
Sadie In The Woods
William Brown Otter Jr.
Dr. Joseph Gone
"90 percent are coming back"
San Quentin State Prison inmates have an organized baseball team that competes against local Bay Area rec teams, which are bussed in from the outside. San Quentin's baseball team is not without controversy and begs a larger question central to prison administration and reform -- are prisons primarily a place for punishment or rehabilitation?
In this episode, we look at sports and rehabilitation through the lens of prison reform -- and the lived experiences of people who have been inside.
Dr. Lois Davis
"The Cure for Pain is in the Pain"
In April of 2018, a deadly bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos junior ice hockey team that killed 16 and injured 13 people left a small tight-knit town and the hockey community reeling in the aftermath. In this episode, we speak to survivors and those directly impacted by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, and try to understand sports’ true power — and limitations — in helping people heal.
We explore the soul of sports through the prism of the current political moment and the stories of Jemele Hill, Johnny Joey Jones, Nate Boyer, and Dave Zirin.
And whether it's realistic -- or the height of naivety -- to believe a shared love of sports can be blueprint for civil dialogue and even compromise among those who disagree.
Conrad Anker is one of the most accomplished mountain climbers alive and has spent his whole life confronting death by choice. During a 2016 climb, Anker suffered a heart attack while on the side of a Himalayan mountain a 19,000 feet. What did he do? Climb down, of course. Less than six months later, he was climbing again.
In this episode, we look at what it means for athletes to face their mortality, and why they push themselves to the edge of life and death.
Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady, and Michael Strahan bring you “Why Sports Matter”, the first 8-episode audio documentary series from Religion of Sports. Each week, a new story is built around larger theme (i.e. mortality, tribalism, authenticity) and told through the first-hand voices of extraordinary people. Whether it's exploring grief and healing after tragedy or understanding the mindset of athletes who willingly face death, we search for purpose and meaning -- without shying away from nuance, or the salient political and social issues of our time.
Coming October 30th.