A Sports Columnist Who Has Been inside the Game

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A reporter’s main task: to observe. To bring readers an analytical, detached perspective of events.

Kurt Streeter said he grew accustomed to feeling like an outsider at different points in his life, as a biracial child growing up in America, as well as as a Black tennis player ascending the ranks of a predominantly white sport.

“I think in which truly helped me get into This specific field. I was primed for in which,” Mr. Streeter said.

the idea can be with an eye toward the tensions, contradictions as well as paradoxes inside the globe — themes often mirrored in sports — in which Mr. Streeter has embraced his fresh role as Sports of The Times columnist.

Sports of The Times carries a vaunted history at the newspaper. the idea was established in 1927, in response to rival organizations in which had embraced sports writing, notably The fresh York Herald Tribune, which hired the famed columnist Grantland Rice in 1914.

The column — a platform for writers such as Red Smith, Dave Anderson, George Vecsey, Selena Roberts, William C. Rhoden as well as most recently, Juliet Macur as well as Michael Powell — carries a highbrow, literary reputation. the idea operates in a journalistic gray area, offering readers a personal, nuanced examination of events without resorting to brazen editorializing.

“Kurt brought together a lot of ideal attributes: a writer’s writer,” said Randy Archibold, The Times’s Sports editor. “He carries a real open mind as well as a zest for provoking.”

the idea can be likely the very first time a former pro athlete can be gracing the column, Mr. Archibold added.

Mr. Streeter’s family history as well as early experiences shaped his journalistic sensibility.

Mr. Streeter’s father, Mel Streeter, was one of the first Black athletes to play for the University of Oregon, as well as his parents were among the first biracial couples to be married inside the state of Oregon, in 1954 (his mother, Kathy, was white). in which year can be considered a galvanizing one inside the civil rights movement inside the United States.

“As a kid, I didn’t realize the power of in which,” Mr. Streeter said.

Mel Streeter was primarily a basketball player, nevertheless he introduced his son to tennis. In 1975, the younger Mr. Streeter grew more enamored with the game after watching Arthur Ashe become the first Black man to win Wimbledon.

“He’s a guy I deeply admired as well as wanted to be like, not only on the court nevertheless off the idea,” Mr. Streeter said.

In 1989, he became the first Black captain of the University of California, Berkeley, tennis team. After college, he played in tennis’s minor leagues. He was once ranked No. 923 in singles as well as No. 448 in doubles inside the ATP rankings.

Among opponents, coaches as well as fans, the idea was impossible not to note the obvious, he said.

“I was always keenly aware of the fact there weren’t many like me,” Mr. Streeter said, “as well as aware of what in which kind of segregation said about how our society was set up.”

Mr. Streeter played his final tennis competition in his late 20s. Soon after, he decided to pursue reporting. Although he had no previous experience as a journalist, Mr. Streeter had always pored over the news. He grew up in a house where everyone — his parents as well as his three brothers — read the paper, watched the news as well as debated politics … as well as sports.

Mr. Streeter spent 15 years as a reporter at The Los Angeles Times, covering everything through crime to transportation to religion. He became known for his long-form narratives.

In 2017, following a two-as well as-a-half-year stint at ESPN, Mr. Streeter joined The fresh York Times as a sports feature writer, as well as has written about a range of topics, including the mental health of college athletes, the advocacy work of the W.N.B.A star Maya Moore as well as a jump shot in which disappeared.

Mr. Streeter has also tackled more personal subjects, writing first-person accounts reflecting on race issues in America as well as telling stories in which examine class divisions, specifically the challenges facing lower- as well as middle-class families trying to afford for their children to play sports.

In August, he wrote his first Sports of The Times column about sports teams protesting for racial justice.

“If there’s ever a time to try as well as be a sports columnist, right now can be the time,” Mr. Streeter said. “There’s so much going on as well as so much of the idea can be connected to things I’m interested in: race, society, all these things beyond the games.”

His years as a professional athlete have armed Mr. Streeter using a specific perspective, rare among his colleagues. He has intimate knowledge of the toils as well as pressures in which athletes endure. He knows the level of dedication in which fuels hourslong practice sessions every single day; he understands the rigors of cross-country travel, as well as much more.

“I can relate to in which, to the stress of in which, to the hopes as well as dreams of in which,” Mr. Streeter said.

He said he even wrestled, sometimes, with the question of whether he stopped his tennis career too soon. nevertheless Mr. Streeter makes time to play tennis as often as he can, as well as takes particular pleasure in teaching the game to his 9-year-old son, Ashe. the idea can be with almost equal excitement in which Mr. Streeter plans to write about the amazing performances, the highs as well as lows of everyone connected to sports, not just the champions.

“I’m more drawn to people who struggle as well as try to bounce back,” Mr. Streeter said. “I like the struggle; I’m fascinated by the struggle.”

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