It is not news that the Trump administration has canceled the agreement signed by the MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation, on December 19, after three years of hard work by both parties.
And it is not because the agreement sought to end the human suffering of Cuban athletes. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
What about the neo-colonial mentality and behaviour of the monopoly sports media? Every foreign star who touches down in Canada is celebrated as some singular being, and Canadians are supposed to be blessed and thankful for the favour of paying to watch them perform.
Throughout the past week, the sports media has been hyping non-stop the first start of American football quarterback Johnny Manziel in the Canadian Football League. A former NFL first round draft pick, his two seasons with the Cleveland Browns were marred by off-field troubles including spousal abuse. He has not played since the end of the 2015 season. Continue reading
By ENVER VILLAMIZAR
On July 15, 2015 the coach of Cuba’s rowing team to the Pan American Games, Juan Carlos Reyes, confirmed that four of Cuba’s rowers had left Canada for the United States. The Globe and Mail and other media outlets pounced on the story, reporting on it in a manner that sheds no light on the issue at the heart of this story. The impression is conveyed that those who abandon their team are “defectors,” a term reserved for those who flee oppression and persecution. This feeds a narrative which claims they are fleeing to freedom. Media reports speculated on the motivation of the rowers, using quotes from professional U.S. “recruiter” Joe Kehoskie, to cobble together a story that imposes the predetermined conclusions of a Cold War mindset. Continue reading
Qatar’s Marko Bagaric from Bulgaria, left, tries to score past France’s Ludovic Fabregas during the men’s preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP
By TONY SEED
August 10, updated August 19, 2016
Of the some 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, an unknown number are competing for medal-hungry countries that are not their birth nation. At least 23 of Qatar’s 39 member team at Rio were born outside of Qatar and transplanted – recruited in many cases with the offer of financial inducements. The Canadian Olympic team also features a number of plastic or transfer athletes recruited through the “Own The Podium” program of private big capital for support and funding on the basis that they are “winners” and “America’s best who happen to have some kind of Canadian connection.” Such developments, all in the name of high ideals, should be of concern to Canadians.
(July 7, 2015) – As often happens at other events, the presence of the Cuban national baseball team in the XVII Pan Am Games leads fans and colleagues who are unaware of our reality to ask why its stars do not play in U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB).
And the question holds a certain logic since everyone sees the majors as the mecca of the sport, and the very media that promote the signing of multi-million dollar contracts as the realization of the so-called American dream do not talk about the reality that makes things so incredibly different for Cuba. Continue reading
U.S.-based Cuban journalist Edmundo Garcia in March 2012 wrote about the problem of Cuban baseball players being caught up with unscrupulous human traffickers in the Dominican Republic, with their ultimate destination the U.S. major leagues. Garcia cited a front page story on March 10, 2012 in the Dominican newspaper Listín Diario entitled “Edgar Mercedes arrested for trafficking Cuban baseball players.” Continue reading