Low Key


Episode 23: 'High Flying Bird,' Colin Kaepernick and 'The Revolt of the Black Athlete'

Season 1, Ep. 23

Stephen Soderbergh's "High Flying Bird" imagines black pro athletes bypassing mostly white team owners to finally reap the profits of their own athleticism. Is it just a dream, or could Colin Kaepernick's fight with the NFL be the start of something like the nascent revolt in the film?

The film imagines what would happen if the mostly black athletes in the NBA discovered a way to profit from their own hard work without white team owners taking a massive cut of the profits. Super agent Andre Holland plays Ray Burke, who uses social media to circumvent the league and TV networks, and gives his rookie client Erick (Melvin Gregg) a potential map toward a future in which athletes, not owners, control their destinies.

Our talk soon turns to Colin Kaepernick's fight with another league, the NFL, and whether it... made any sense. Finally, we discuss "The Revolt of the Black Athlete," the book Zazie Beetz's character starts reading at the end of "High Flying Bird." 

We also talk about Muhammad Ali, O.J. Simpson, J. Cole, and finally, what's really going on with the Lakers.

More Episodes


Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions.With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism, Walter Mercado gave hope to the hopeless — until an ugly legal dispute yanked him from the air and cost him control of his own carefully cultivated image.:45: Our late-night infomercial memories3:00: Is the Michael Jordan-approved The Last Dance real journalism? Is Walter Mercado getting the Michael Jordan treatment?5:45: "Celebrities nowadays are derivatives of celebrities back in the day."5:50: How Walter Mercado was like Michael Jackson and Prince7:05: About that psychic phone line...7:50: How is Walter Mercado different from a televangelist?8:50: "You just can't swindle a swindler"10:00: Let's talk about Walter Mercado and his manager's relationship11:45: Zodiac signs12:40: "What's the difference between a Walter Mercado and a Tony Robbins?"15:00: Tim has the same religious beliefs as Walter Mercado: "No one has a monopoly on God"18:00: "He had a much better life than most people have"24:00: A Billy Dee Williams story (and here's the background on the gender-fluid story)27:00: Another excellent famous-person story30:55: "The only person I ever saw solve racism was Prince"31:50: "Netflix, again, coming through on the diversity point before it was fucking cool. ... They've been on this train."33:15: Netflix's $120 million donation to HCBUs36:00: "I have an appreciation for any man that dresses up like a wizard"Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is now streaming on Netflix.