An upcoming documentary for public television by the Sports Conflict Institute and In America with James Earl Jones will offer a unique perspective on conflict in sports with guest speakers including pioneering agent Leigh Steinberg. Steinberg is one of several thought leaders from around the industry that will discuss challenges in competitive sports and how sports can be used to make a positive impact in society. The film is being produced by In America, hosted by industry veteran James Earl Jones, and made in partnership with SCI.
Leigh Steinberg: Sports Pioneer and Leader
Steinberg is known for being one of the most preeminent sports agents ever, and will bring a unique perspective to the documentary. During his decades long career he has secured over $3 billion for over 300+ pro athlete clients, and directed more than $750 million to various charities. Just as important, he has encouraged his clients to be role models in their respective sports, helping to positively shape the industry.
“Unresolved conflict leading to confrontation and deadlock produces destructive often unintended consequences at every level of sports,” Steinberg said. He cites the collective bargaining process in the MLB and hockey that lead to lockouts, alienating fans, losing millions of dollars and stifling the growth of the sport.
“Leigh is a tremendous addition to this project and will bring great insight to dealing with conflict in sports,” said Joshua Gordon, the founder of SCI. “His ability to help athletes become successful off the field is very needed in today’s sports climate.”
Character and Conflict Issues
The documentary will cover character and conflict issues in sports, how these issues are often addressed, and why effectively dealing with challenges in sport is a win for everyone: athletes, coaches, and fans. While incidents of negative off field behavior from athletes and coaches are nothing new, recent high profile incidents in the NFL and elsewhere make the timing of the documentary particularly relevant.
“My 40 years in sports has centered around a central concept–athletic careers are short, we don’t have the option of deadlock,” Steinberg said. “The key is putting myself in the other person’s heart and mind and see the world through their eyes. Then it is possible to craft win-win solutions. Conflict resolution techniques are an essential skill set necessary to navigate the world of sport.”
Steinberg will be one of several guest speakers for the episode that will include thought leaders from all aspects of the sports industry, ranging from respected coaches, agents, athletes, administrators and scholars. Guests have used their leadership both on and off the field to positively influence sports.
About the Production Team
In America specializes in producing high quality programming to public television stations nationwide on a wide range of timely, public interest topics. Episodes use key subject matter experts to illuminate the pressing issues on a variety of education, health, the environment, and business topics. Past guests include former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, President George H. W. Bush, and Barbara Moser of the FBI.
The segment will be featured on public television and distributed on ESPN. Filming is scheduled for June and July with an air date in the fall.