Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dungy and other sports notables to speak at Tampa panel seeking solutions to racial tensions

TAMPA — Nearly three years ago, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson was preparing for a Monday Night Football game when he heard about the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. After a grand jury voted to not indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man, the community's response was violence.

In his frustration, Watson wrote a Facebook post that went viral. He described his anger, fear, embarrassment and confusion because he said violence always seemed to outweigh communication. "At some point, my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all it entails,'' he wrote.

At the same time, Watson wrote that he was encouraged and hopeful because "ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it's a SIN problem. … SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn.''

The reaction to Watson's Facebook post ultimately inspired him to write a book — "Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race. Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us.'' — that was a frank discussion of racial tensions and how Americans can move toward solutions.

Now it has prompted a one-of-a-kind event — "Under Our Skin: A Forum on Race & Faith'' — to be held Thursday night at the Crossing Church in Tampa. ESPN's Sage Steele, formerly a sports reporter for Tampa's ABC-TV affiliate, will be the moderator for a panel that includes Watson; former Bucs coach Tony Dungy, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl championship; first-year University of South Florida coach Charlie Strong; former quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida; and former Bucs running back Warrick Dunn, who won the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

General admission for the event, presented by Tyndale House Publishers, is $29.99 with VIP packages available for $199. The forum will be streamed live on the Internet. More information is available at underourskinforum.com.

Dungy said he hopes the event will resonate with the audience.

"Communication and understanding are always the key things and I also think it's important to look at it from a Christian perspective; what responsibilities do we have to make it better?'' said Dungy, a Tampa resident. "What can we do as citizens, as a nation? The process starts with two-way communication. Not just talking, but listening and hearing.

"As much as our country has been integrated, we still have a lot of people who haven't been exposed to other cultures. That's why it's important to communicate and not just complain.''

Watson said it's a thoughtful panel, one that should be filled with insight. More importantly, he wants to explore solutions.

"Our hope is when we leave this forum, we will have practical ideas about how to take the talk to action,'' Watson said. "What we have a lot of right now is a lot of bickering and a lot of ideas. My hope is when you come, you will leave with practical tools in your tool belt.

"You can take those back to your dining room tables, churches, communities, teams and workplaces. We can learn how to bridge the gap when it comes to repentance, when it comes to forgiveness, when it comes to moving forward, when it comes to standing up and being united with each other, when it comes to race.''

>>If you go

Under Our Skin: A Forum on Race & Faith

When: Thursday, 7-10 p.m.

Where: The Crossing Church, Tampa, 10130 Tuscany Ridge Drive.

Cost: $29.99 general admission, $199 VIP (limited to 50, includes dinner with the panelists, autographed copy of "Under Our Skin'' and seating in the first three rows). There could be some walk-up, day of event tickets, but people are encouraged to register and purchase advance tickets through www.underourskinforum.com.

Internet: Online broadcast on www.livestream.com. Church livestream is $149 and individual livestream is $9.99.

Moderator: Sage Steele, ESPN.

Panelists: broadcaster James Brown, Detroit pastor J. Kevin Butcher, former Bucs running back Warrick Dunn, Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, author Mo Isom, Restoration Academy executive director Ben Sciacca, USF football coach Charlie Strong, Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, former University of Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel. Music will be provided by Lizzy Cameron and Seth & Nirva.

More information: www.underourskinforum.com.

Dungy and other sports notables to speak at Tampa panel seeking solutions to racial tensions 02/10/17 [Last modified: Monday, February 13, 2017 8:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hillsborough and Pinellas officials can't even agree that they agreed to meet

    Local Government

    Tampa Bay political leaders often tout taking a regional approach to solve the region's most pressing issues. But the challenge has been getting Hillsborough and Pinellas County leaders together on the same page.

    Or in this case, in the same room.

    This month Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill (above) nixed a joint meeting of the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Commissions. But Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long said her Hillsborough counterpart, Stacy White, had already agreed to two meetings. [DANIEL WALLACE   |   Times]
  2. Ex-sheriff's official says sheriff intentionally hid federal inmate revenue from county

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The former third-in-command at the Hernando County Sheriff's Office has filed a complaint, alleging that Sheriff Al Nienhuis intentionally hid from the County Commission $1.3 million in revenue he collected from housing federal inmates last year.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times  Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said he was "extremely disappointed'' to hear of James Terry's allegations about the sheriff's handling of federal inmate dollars and noted that Terry was "offered the opportunity to resign from his position at the Sheriff's Office when numerous complaints as to his unprofessional conduct began flowing into the front office.''
  3. Fewer minions make things better in 'Despicable Me 3'

    Movies

    Despicable Me 3 doubles down on Steve Carell's silly way with words, a smart idea after too much Minions gibberish spoiled part 2. They're still here, in smaller doses and somewhat funnier for it.

     voiced by Trey Parker, in a scene from "Despicable Me 3."  (Illumination and Universal Pictures via AP)
  4. After Rick Scott veto, Tarpon Springs renews push for money to dredge Anclote River

    Local Government

    In a pocket formed at the end of a branch of the Anclote River, Kevin Meisman has seen the size of the boats coming by his family's business get smaller.

    Kevin Meisman, 37, looks out from the dock of his family’s business, Quality T-Tops & Boat Accessories, in Tarpon Springs. Meisman says that, without dredging along the Anclote River, the number of boats he can service is limited.
  5. Senator Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa