“For my entire life, I’ve had a natural affinity for sports and writing; that’s why I say I was born to be a sports journalist.”
Ron Thomas became the original director of Morehouse College’s Journalism and Sports Program in 2007 and is an associate professor in the English Department. He administers one of the few journalism programs in the nation with a sports emphasis, teaches Basic News Writing and Sports Reporting, and advises the Maroon Tiger student news organization. Before coming to Morehouse, for 34 years he covered major college and professional sports mainly in the Bay Area and at USA Today, where he was its first pro basketball reporter. His beats included the NBA, the San Francisco 49ers and Giants, and periodically professional tennis. Read his past work and his blog “My Take” at www.ronthomas.news. Inspired by the writings of Dr. Harry Edwards and Sports Illustrated’s Jack Olsen in the 1960s, Thomas has specialized in writing about the racial dynamics of sports. His book “They Cleared the Lane: the NBA’s Black Pioneers” is the first one written about the integration of the NBA in 1950 after black players were secretly banned from the league. His 1994 book chapter, “Blacks Still Rare in the Press Box,” chronicled the relative lack of black sports reporters, a problem that persists today. In 2017, Thomas received the Morehouse College Professor of the Year Award and the Legacy Award given by the National Association of Black Journalists. Thomas received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and his master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern.
Office Location & Hours
University of Rochester
Free-lance writer/Copy editor
Black America Web
Wrote articles about San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, Boalt Hall School of Law Dean Christopher Edley, and various sports topics.
San Francisco Examiner
Wrote columns and articles about professional and college sports.
Created pro basketball beat for new national newspaper, designed NBA coverage plan for the sports section.
San Francisco Chronicle
Covered pro basketball and football, college sports.
- The history of black sports figures, Their trials and triumphs
Publications & Presentations
They Cleared the Lane: the NBA’s Black Pioneers
They Cleared the Lane: the NBA’s Black Pioneers/University of Nebraska Press
Ron Thomas (2002)
“Black Faces Still Rare in the Press Box” book chapter
“Sport in Society: Equal Opportunity or Business as Usual?”/Sage Publications
Richard E. Lapchick (1996)
National Association of Black Journalists
Co-host, Sports Task Force Pioneer Awards | 2001-2020
William Monroe Trotter Group
Awards & Honors
AWARDS & HONORS
Legacy Award from National Association of Black Journalists (2017); Excellence in Sports Journalism Lifetime Achievement Award given by Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport and its School of Journalism (2011); Won NABJ award for best sports column at newspapers with circulations under 150000. Column entitled “Why So Few?” examined lack of black NFL head coaches. (1999)