Episode 56: Deflated: Are Big-Time Sports Losing Gen Z?

Nico Luginbill

Major-league sports and premier events like the Olympics have long been an American obsession, but so far, Gen Z seems to be sitting out—unless, say, our hometown Cincinnati Bengals happen to make it to the Super Bowl, but even then we’ll probably be scrolling something else on the side, because football takes forever.

Other than turning their entire product into a video game—one youth-outreach strategy described in a recent New York Times article—what can the NFL, the NBA, and other legacy leagues do to win us over? For starters: try being less racist*, less sexist, less exploitative, and more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable.

More than a better game, we want a better world, and we think sports can help us get there. But the industry needs a new game plan.

The podcasters:

  • Alberto C. Jones (host)
  • Nico Luginbill, Walnut Hills H.S.
  • Joyeuse Muhorakeye, Aiken New Tech H.S.
  • Pawan Rai, Aiken New Tech H.S.

Conversation recorded on Zoom Feb. 13, 2022 (Super Bowl Sunday)

* Recommended listening: Here’s an NPR interview with former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who’s filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, alleging racial discrimination in hiring.

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