There are sports journalists. Then there are sports journalists who changed the game, whatever the game. Few if any had the impact that Grant Wahl had on soccer in the U.S. Through his magazine profiles, books, podcasts, newsletter dispatches and social media posts over three decades, he introduced and explained fútbol to millions, helping many Americans speak the language of the world.
The future of sports is dimmer without Wahl, who died recently at age 49 while covering the FIFA men’s World Cup. But there are lessons from his work and life that anyone can take forward to build a better world. Revisit our conversation remembering the legacy of the trailblazing writer on soccer, sports journalism and countless lives he lifted along the way.
- George Dohrmann, managing editor at The Athletic and author of Switching Fields: Inside the Fight to Remake Men’s Soccer in the United States
- Gwendolyn Oxenham, producer of the podcast Hustle Rule: The Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer and author of Pride of a Nation: A Celebration of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
- Luis Miguel Echegaray, ESPN host and soccer analyst
- Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports columnist
- Tom Farrey, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program executive director (moderator)
We mourn the loss of Grant Wahl, who planned to participate in our initial conversation about soccer’s role in the U.S. The event was adjusted to honor the impact Wahl had on the sport.
Future of Sports is a conversation series, hosted by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, that helps stakeholders think through key questions shaping the future of our games, the sports industry and its impact on society. Past events examined the future of football, a series on college athlete pay including the government’s role and the future of name, image and likeness rights, sports betting, athlete activism, coaching, the U.S. Olympic movement, women’s pro sports, children’s rights in sports, and the future of sports in the climate crisis. Contact Sports & Society Program Editorial Director Jon Solomon at [email protected] with questions or inquiries.
Thank you to Axios Sports for its support as media partner of the Future of Sports series.