Sporting KC Show Podcast: Khiry Shelton and Academy coach Rumba Munthali reflect on racism and social injustice

Running throughout the season on Sports Radio 810 WHB, the Sporting Kansas City Show is available on several podcast hubs including Spotify and iTunes as well as With Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.

A candid and emotional episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show debuted Tuesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB as forward Khiry Shelton and Sporting KC Academy U-17/19 head coach Rumba Munthali shared their experiences with racism and and prejudice as Black men living in the United States.

Shelton, a 26-year-old who returned to Sporting last winter after spending 2019 with German side SC Paderborn 07, grew up in a U.S. military family with a Black father and Caucasian mother. Despite his family's strong ties to the country, Shelton said he, his father and his younger brother have seen and endured acts of racism—both blatant and subtle—for as long as he can remember.

In response to the tragic death of George Floyd, Shelton has been among the countless Black athletes to use their platform as a means of instilling social change and building a better future. He has recently spoken out on Instagram, was the centerpiece of a Kansas City Star feature story by Sam McDowell, and last Friday joined his Sporting teammates to observe Juneteenth, a celebration of Black emancipation in the U.S.

The second segment of the program featured a terrific interview with Munthali, who has served as a Sporting KC Academy coach since 2016. A native of Zambia, Munthali saw his father taken as a political prisoner at an early age. After his father was freed, his family moved to the U.S. and then to Canada. As a youth, college and professional soccer player, Munthali lived in New York, Alabama, Ontario and China before finally settling in Kansas City with his wife.

Munthali's racial experiences varied from place to place, and the countrywide response to Floyd's passing last month has left him with mixed emotions: excited that change is coming, but frustrated that it has taken this long.

Munthali said Sporting KC homegrown players such as Gianluca Busio, Cameron Duke and Jaylin Lindsey—all men of color—have recently spoken to Sporting KC Academy players on Zoom about racism and the actions the club can take to help make a positive difference and build a better future.