Robert W. Turner II Ph.D.


about robert

Robert W. Turner II is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Science. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He also holds a position as a Research Scientist in the Center for Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke University. After attending James Madison University on an athletic scholarship, Dr. Turner played football professionally in the now defunct United States Football League, the Canadian Football League, and briefly in the National Football League. Dr. Turner is an active member of his local church and serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, D.C.

View Robert's Curriculum Vitae



book publication


Publication Date:

July 2018 | ISBN: 9780199892907 | Edition 1

Not For Long: The Life and Career of the NFL Athlete

Drawing on personal experience as a former pro football player and interactions with over 140 current and former NFL athletes, Dr. Robert W. Turner II reveals what it means to be a high school and college athlete pursuing the dream of playing in the NFL, and why so many players struggle with life after football.

"Robert Turner's ethnography of athletes' journeys to and through the NFL is provocative and deeply discerning.  He draws on life course, developmental, and sociological theories to unveil what the NFL and its patrons turn a blind eye too because they assume the lives of professional football players are much more glorious and desirable than the reality. By sharing his own football trajectory and those of others, Turner skillfully awakens readers to how professional football players imagined lives become in short order, unimaginable." -Linda Burton, PhD, James B. Duke Professor of Sociology, Duke University

Purchase THIS BOOK:

Oxford University Press


Robert Turner has the rarest of insights into what it means to be an NFL player. His time in the game combined with Turner’s scholarly expertise illuminate every issue facing the men who have played in the league. Not For Long is a gift to us all.
— Chris Borland, former NFL linebacker


BOOK RELEASE / Appearances / Upcoming Events


upcoming events


Sep. 12

CBCF annual legislative conference

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001

September 12, 2019 1:30pm - 3:30pm


sep. 25

8th opening lecture for the center african american studies

E.H. Hereford University Center, Bluebonnet Ballroom

300 W 1st St. Arlington, TX 76010

September 25, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Past Appearances / Prior Events


Apr. 2nd


U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

First Street NE / Washington, DC 20515

April 2, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm


MAR. 28th

2019 Global Sport Summit

Arizona State University, Global Sport Institute

2 E Jefferson St / Phoenix, AZ 85004

March 28, 2019


Oct. 1st


SEP. 6th

University of Michigan - College of Literature, Science, and the Arts - ann arbor, michigan

4154 LSA Building, Arbor, Michigan 48104

September 6, 2018 5:45pm - 7:30pm


SEP. 5th

literati bookstore - ann arbor, michigan

124 E Washington, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

September 5, 2018 6:00pm - 7:30pm



Politics & prose bookstore - WASHington, D.C.

Featured Books & Brunch Book Club Event

Washington, D.C. Launch Event / Politics & Prose Bookstore / 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008

August 6, 2018 7:00pm - 8:00pm



Robert Turner II challenges foundations of college athletics in MU visit

Joe Noser, The Columbia Missourian

February 19, 2019

“Are you ready for some football?”

WAMU 88.5 NPR, The 1A

November 21, 2018

Former pro football player turned sociologist takes a look at the NFL

WCAI 90.1 FM, Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands, Living Lab Radio

September 11, 2018

What Happens to Football Players after They Quit the Game?

Kristen Mitchell, GW Today

September 10, 2018

9 football books to kick off the 2018 season

Ross Atkin, The Christian Science Monitor

September 5, 2018

District Line Daily: What Are You Doing, WMATA?

Morgan Baskin, Washington City Paper

August 6, 2018

To Do Today: Special Olympics at 50, De Lux, and Robert W. Turner II

Kayla Randall, Washington City Paper

August 6, 2018

Marc Bernier Show

WNDB 93.5 FM / 1150 AM, Daytona Beach

August 2, 2018

Forward Reviews

Karl Helicher, University Press

August 1, 2018


Make it Plain with Mark Thompson

Sirius XM - Progress - Channel 127

July 31, 2018




Documentary film


"Student Athlete"

Dr. Robert W. Turner II: Technical Advisor - Consultant - On screen appearance  

LeBron James to co-produce HBO documentary on ‘exploitative world’ of NCAA sports


Unpaid college athletes generate billions of dollars for their institutions every year. Student Athlete unveils the exploitative world of high-revenue college sports through the stories of four young men at different stages of their athletic careers, as well as a coach-turned-advocate and a whistle-blowing shoe rep who exposes the money trail. The documentary spotlights: former college and NFL coach John Shoop; New Jersey high school basketball phenom Nick Richards, now at the University of Kentucky; Mike Shaw, who played at the University of Illinois and Bradley University; Shamar Graves, a former wide receiver at Rutgers University; and Silas Nacita, a walk-on who played at Baylor University.

Student Athlete is an HBO Sports presentation in association with LeBron James, Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson at SpringHill Entertainment, and Steve Stoute at United Masters; directors, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton; technical advisor/consultant, Dr. Robert W. Turner II; executive producer, Rick Bernstein; supervising producer, Joe Perskie.




Recent Projects & WorkS



let's connect / booking information

For Speaking Engagements:

Amanda Dissinger, Publicist


Phone: 212-726-6495

Oxford University Press

198 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016


Literary Agent:

Neeti Madan

Phone: 646-652-3274

Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.

115 Broadway

New York, NY 10006