Tag Archives: Dave Zirin

A world of sports worth fighting for

Who decides? Athletics are far too important to leave to greedy capitalists, monopolies and cartels. To reclaim sports as a right, people need to empower themselves politically. – TS

Nihaveli Beach Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Photo by Tony Seed (Click to enlarge)

Street cricket: youth playing their sport. Nilaveli Beach Road, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. Photo by Tony Seed (Click to enlarge)

DAVE ZIRIN*

(March 23) – I love sports, but I hate so much of what sports have become. Playing sports should be an opportunity, especially for children, to exercise, make friends and, heaven forbid, have fun. As for the pro leagues, they have been and always will be a business first and foremost, but they should also be a sweet escape after a tough day—instead of something that makes you feel used and even dirty about enjoying.

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Apartheid Games: Baltimore, Urban America, and Camden Yards

Freddie Gray protests at Camden Yards

Protesters rally at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during a march for Freddie Gray on Saturday, April 25, 2015 | AP Photo/Gail Burton

BY DAVE ZIRIN, Edge of Sports

(April 28) – If you don’t understand Oriole Park at Camden Yards, then you can’t understand why Baltimore exploded this week. If you don’t understand Oriole Park at Camden Yards then you can’t understand why what happened in Baltimore can replicate itself in other cities around the United States. Continue reading

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US NCAA: Poster boy for corruption and exploitation

usaid-cashThe annual US college hoops hysteria known as March Madness generates a multibillion-dollar wave of revenue – but the players don’t receive a dime of it. And this includes the 25 Canadian youth being hyped by TSN, which does not broadcast Canadian college games, as “the next generation of basketball” for self-serving reasons.

Dave ZirinThe Nation (April 1, 2013) – THE corruption extends to the college sports media industry. Over the past decade, the number of college football and basketball games broadcast on ESPN channels has skyrocketed from 491 to 1,320. ESPN now happens to be both the number-one broadcaster of college football and basketball and those sports’ number-one news provider. Covering sports and shilling for the industry have become carnally intertwined. Nationally credited journalists from ESPN and other media outlets reportedly show up at the Fiesta Bowl a week in advance, where they stay at the finest resorts and receive a different expensive present every day, courtesy of the tournament’s corporate sponsors. Continue reading

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Israel: Where soccer fans boo their own players when they score

Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem hold a banner reading “Beitar will always remain pure.” | Reuters/Stringer

Supporters of Beitar Jerusalem hold a banner reading “Beitar will always remain pure.” | Reuters/Stringer

By DAVE ZIRIN

“It’s not racism. They just shouldn’t be here.”

Not even in the earliest days of Jackie Robinson’s 1947 historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers did Brooklyn’s white fans walk out after number 42 stole a base or hit a home run. The Brooklyn faithful’s love of “Dem Bums” trumped any racism that simmered in the stands. What does it say that sixty-six years later, Israeli fans of the soccer club Beitar Jerusalem have not evolved to postwar-Brooklyn standards of human decency? Continue reading

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Fists of freedom: An Olympic story not taught in school

By DAVE ZIRIN*

Olympic Project for Human Rights button, worn by activist athletes in the 1968 Olympic games, originally called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympic Games. The iconic photo appears in many history textbooks, stripped of the story of the planned boycott and demands, creating the appearance of a solitary act of defiance.

Olympic Project for Human Rights button, worn by activist athletes in the 1968 Olympic games, originally called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympic Games. The iconic photo appears in many history textbooks, stripped of the story of the planned boycott and demands, creating the appearance of a solitary act of defiance.

It has been almost 44 years since Tommie Smith and John Carlos took the medal stand following the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and created what must be considered the most enduring, riveting image in the history of either sports or protest. But while the image has stood the test of time, the struggle that led to that moment has been cast aside. Continue reading

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The war on Palestinian soccer: Free Mahmoud Sarsak

On June 3, Palestinian national soccer team member Mahmoud Sarsak completed 80 days of a grueling hunger-strike. He had sustained the strike despite the fact that nearly 2,000 Palestinian inmates had called off their own 28-day hunger strike weeks ago. Continue reading

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‘An Olympics without Black athletes’: Martin Luther King Jr., John Carlos, and the boycott that wasn’t

"An Olympics Without Black Athletes": Martin Luther King Jr., John Carlos, And The Boycott That Wasn't

John Carlos is best known as the man who, along with Tommie Smith, raised a clenched fist—the Black Power salute—on the medal stand after the 200 metre race. Carlos took bronze, and Smith gold, at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. But that moment was a culmination of months of political discussion among black leaders in America. One such discussion happened in early 1968 in New York City. Carlos explains, in a section excerpted from The John Carlos Story, written with Dave Zirin.

I recall going down to the Americano that evening, walking into the lobby and being just overwhelmed by the size of it all. I had never really made time in the downtown Manhattan hotels and my eyes almost popped out of my head. It looked like a movie set, with 50-foot-high ceilings, gaudy chandeliers, and the kind of deep, smoky woodwork that looked like it had been carved and sanded for kings. It crossed my mind that I’d turn the corner and bump into John Dillinger. I gathered myself and I went up to the room where the meeting was to take place. Continue reading

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