Cari Champion: ‘Use your platform for good’

During Women's History Month, we pay tribute to 10 Black women who are moving the culture forward.

Our Black Women Amplified series highlights the accomplishments of ten Black women who are creating their own history with their unique contributions to the world whether it be through media, arts, science, or politics. We salute their accomplishments and are inspired by their example. Below is more on our seventh honoree, Cari Champion.

Cari Champion has succeeded as a sports journalist, host, and multimedia personality, adding her passion and perspective to every career role.

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Champion began her career in newsrooms but made her way to TV as a host of ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. Throughout the past decade, she’s used her journalistic skills to work her way into new roles, becoming an advocate for equal opportunity in media and journalism along the way.

“It is my choice to make sure that I hold the door open so that the marginalized are not forgotten, in fact, they should be pushed to the front of the line,” Champion told theGrio.

The 2020 Sports Illustrated Awards
Cari Champion hosts the 2020 Sports Illustrated Awards on December 10, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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In her seven-year-career with ESPN, Champion was able to profile NFL quarterback Cam Newton for E:60, host Sports Nation, and become an anchor on Sportscenter. She also hosted NBC’s The Titan Games, an athletic competition series created by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

In Jan. 2020, Champion, 45, left the sports network and by June, she and fellow former ESPN host Jemele Hill announced they’d be partnering for a talk show, Cari & Jemele (won’t) Stick to Sports, on Vice. It debuted in August and personalities from Lebron James to Stacy Abrams have already been guests on the show.

Champion also has a podcast, Naked With Cari Champion featured on the Black Effect Podcast Network and is the founder of Brown Girls Dream, a non-profit foundation working to empower women of color through sisterhood and mentorship.

Cari Champion
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Essence)

“I’m creating HERstory by making sure women who look like me and sound like me and talk like me get those same opportunities that the mainstream receives,” she shared with theGrio.

“My advice for anyone who is trying to make a difference, especially in the world we live in today, is to use your platform. No matter how large, or how no matter small. Make sure that you give back, you serve others. That is the point of this life we live, service to others.”

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