William C. Rhoden

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William C. Rhoden
Rhoden with sports analyst Stephen A. Smith
Born1950 (age 70–71)
EducationMorgan State University
OccupationSports journalist, Author
Years active1973–present

William C. Rhoden is an American sports journalist and author, who formerly worked as a columnist for The New York Times from 1983 until 2016,[1][2] when he joined ESPN's The Undefeated as a writer-at-large,[3] where he is currently employed. Rhoden is also a visiting senior practitioner at Arizona State University[4] as well as the director of the Rhoden Fellows program.


Rhoden was born in 1950 in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He attended Morgan State University from 1968 to 1973, and played on the 1968 Morgan State Bears football team that beat the Grambling Tigers in Yankee Stadium,[5] the annual match known as the "Whitney Young Classic".[5][6][7] After graduating from college, he worked for the Afro-American Times, the Baltimore Sun, and eventually Ebony where he became a columnist for magazine from 1974 to 1978. In 1983, Rhoden joined the New York Times staff as a sports columnist.

In 2006, he published his first book, the Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, an original and perceptive analysis of the racist history and current reality of professional sports in the United States.[8][9][10][11] Etan Thomas, a major activist and retired professional basketball player, praises this book and claims it is a "necessary read for all young athletes."[12]


  1. ^ a b "William C. Rhoden: Sports of The Times". The New York Times. April 7, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-04-07.
  2. ^ Rhoden, William C. (July 25, 2016). "A Career Transition, Inspired by One of the NFL's Best". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ "William C. Rhoden". The Undefeated. ESPN. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  4. ^ "William Rhoden | iSearch". isearch.asu.edu. Arizona State University. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b Harris, Burney (October 11, 2010). "Remarkable Journey: The Richardson Era". Morgan Magazine. pp. 3–11. Retrieved 16 March 2017. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  6. ^ "Whitney M. Young /New York Urban League Classic". Black College Sports: History & Legends Archives. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ Staff Writer (July 22, 1971). "Grambling, Morgan State in 1st Whitney Young Classic". JET. p. 47.
  8. ^ Leonard, David J. (August 13, 2006). "Golden Shackles". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Davis, David (October 19, 2006). "More Gray Than Black and White". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ Straight, Susan (July 9, 2006). "Body and soul". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Goldstein, Warren (July 23, 2006). "Unfair Play". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Q&A with Etan Thomas". C-SPAN.org. Retrieved 2018-10-29.

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