Why the NFL (Still) Has a Diversity Problem

Football is the most watched sport in the US – and one of the most profitable. The NFL reported that last year, the Super Bowl was watched by two-thirds of Americans.

But for some, the popularity and success of the sport are overshadowed by its continuing problems around race – from its handling of players kneeling in protest against the killing of unarmed Black people, to lawsuits over racially biased compensation for concussed Black players, to the NFL’s inability –or is it unwillingness?–to hire and retain Black coaches in a league where a majority of the players are black.

On Tuesday, the Houston Texans announced that they have hired a new head coach – DeMeco Ryans. He becomes one of three Black coaches among the 32 teams in the NFL.

The league is also touting a historic first in the upcoming Super Bowl – two Black starting quarterbacks. Are these hopeful signs or progress, or, as some critics contend, too little, too late?

Host Michel Martin talks to Justin Tinsley, who writes about sports and culture and appears on ESPN.

And Carron Phillips, of Deadspin, explains why 20 years of the NFL’s Rooney Rule failed to diversity football’s leadership roles.

Hidden Viruses And How To Prevent The Next Pandemic

More than three years since the start of the COVID pandemic, infectious disease experts are studying other viruses with pandemic potential. Their goal is to understand how pandemics begin and how they can be prevented.
This is the focus of the NPR series “Hidden Viruses: How Pandemics Really Begin.” In this episode, NPR’s Ari Daniel takes us to Bangladesh, where researchers studied a dangerous virus called “Nipah” and how it spreads.
In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.
Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Specialized Police Units Are In The Spotlight, Again

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded its special SCORPION unit, after five of the unit’s officers were involved in the death of Tyre Nichols. But similar units are still operating across the U.S.

Specialized police units are often created after a spike in crime, as officials come under pressure to do something about it. The units often operate with little oversight and develop a reputation for using aggressive tactics.

We speak with journalist Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.” He has studied police tactics and whether special units work to keep communities safe.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Pamela Anderson Takes Control Of Her Life Story

Pamela Anderson has had an incredibly rich, and varied, career. She’s an actress, the author of several books, and a prominent activist – especially for animal rights.
But many people still see her primarily as a sex symbol, the archetypal “blonde bombshell.”
In a new memoir titled “Love, Pamela”, Anderson takes control of the narrative, telling her story in her own words.
In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.
Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

A Personal Recession Toolkit

Signs of a forthcoming recession seem to be everywhere: from grocery stores, where food prices are soaring, to Fortune 500 companies, where workers are being let go by the thousand.

Survey after survey shows fears of recession are high. And if one does come, navigating the downturn can be tricky.

NPR’s Arezou Rezvani shares advice from economists and personal finance experts on how to prepare for a potential recession.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Could Migration Help Ease The World’s Population Challenges?

While some countries are seeing their populations decline and grow older, others are growing fast. That has economic implications. Could migration help?

NPR’s Emily Feng reports on the long term consequences of China’s shrinking population.

We also hear from Lant Pritchett, research director with the think tank Labor Mobility Partnerships, about the ways in which migration could help tackle population imbalances.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Changing the Way Media Reports on Gun Violence

Americans have grown accustomed to hearing about the latest mass shooting. And recently news coverage has been focused on two tragic events in California β€” Last weekend eleven people were killed and nine injured in Monterey Park near Los Angeles. And on Monday, seven people were killed and one wounded in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco.

In the past 72 hours alone, seventy-one people were killed and 114 were injured by shootings in different incidents all across the country – including another mass shooting this morning near Los Angeles. Three people were killed and four were injured.

Beyond getting the facts right, which is crucial, news outlets put careful thought into how best to cover these stories. But as gun violence continues to rise, is it time for the media to rethink their approach?

NPR’s Michel Martin talks to Nick Wilson, the senior director for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress. And Dr. Jessica Beard from Philadelphia Center For Gun Violence Reporting discusses ways the media can avoid retraumatizing survivors of gun violence.

In the Wake of Tyre Nichols’ Death, Does Diversity Make A Difference In Policing?

Five police officers have been charged with murder and other crimes in the wake of Tyre Nichols’ death this month in Memphis. Nichols, who was Black, died after a traffic stop. All five of the officers facing charges are Black.

Since the deaths of George Floyd in 2020 and so many others, many police departments have vowed to diversify their forces as a way to help end police brutality and racism within their ranks. But does diversity in a police force make a difference? And what more can be done to reduce police violence?

We speak with Phillip Goff of the Center for Policing Equity about how the Tyre Nichols case speaks to larger issues with police department culture and diversity.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Retired WNBA Star Maya Moore And Her Husband Jonathan Irons Talk About Their Journey

Maya Moore stepped away from her stellar basketball career to help free Jonathan Irons, a man who was incarcerated for over two decades on a wrongful conviction.

With the help of Moore and her family, Irons was exonerated and released from prison in 2020.

Over the course of working on his case, Moore and Irons developed a friendship that turned into love and the pair got married shortly after Irons was freed from prison.

This month, Moore officially retired from basketball to focus on her new family with Irons.

We speak with Moore and Irons about their journey together.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

German And American Tanks Are Headed for Ukraine

For months, Ukraine pressed western allies for state-of-the-art tanks. For months, Germany and the U.S. resisted. That changed Wednesday.

Both countries have now promised to send tanks to Ukraine. The German-made Leopard II and American-made Abrams tanks are considered the best in the world.

NPR’s Rob Schmitz in Berlin and Greg Myre in Washington explain how Ukraine’s allies changed their minds.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.