US sociologist, civil-rights activist, and sports consultant. He was a sociology academic and a sports consultant. On the lecture circuit and on television, he advocated that black Americans and other minorities get a fair deal in sports and elsewhere in society.
He was born in East St Louis, Illinois. As a young black American graduating in the 1960s and well aware of racial injustice, he chose to combine an academic career with that of an activist. By 1968, he had gained national attention by urging black American athletes to boycott the summer Olympics. He failed in this goal but was widely credited with influencing two sprinters, Tommy Smith and John Carlos, to give the Black Power salute on the victory stand. By 1970, he had joined the sociology faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, becoming a tenured professor in 1977. Along with his academic career, which included such books as The Sociology of Sports and The Revolt of the Black Athlete, he served as a consultant to the San Francisco 49ers American football team and the Golden State Warriors basketball team. In 1987, Edwards was hired as a special assistant to promote the hiring of black Americans, Latin Americans, and women in administrative and managerial jobs in organized baseball.