Tag Archives: Democratic renewal

Sochi 2014: The NHL’s blatant provocation against the Olympics

This article, first published on February 21, 2014 during the Sochi Winter Olympics, exposes both the aim and the method of how the NHL, hand in hand with the sports media, began creating the conditions to justify launching its own private “World Cup of Hockey.”

The discourse runs like this: we poor owners have been victimized and our fans short-changed and held hostage by the Olympics, because “the best league in the world has been shut down” (Prime Time Sports, Rogers Sportsnet, February 18, 2014). “Just look at our empty buildings.” It is reminiscent of the old saw about the thief crying “stop thief!” | TONY SEED*

The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men's hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC on Friday. Photo: Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men's hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News

The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men’s hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC. (Photo) Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men’s hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News

SEEMINGLY out of the blue, the National Hockey League (NHL) based in New York sent their fabled Stanley Cup trophy to Sochi. The media slavered when it made its appearance at Canada House on Monday, February 17th. The iconic silver trophy had seemingly fallen from the sky or appeared as if a gift from the gods of sport with a spiritual significance comparable to a burning bush.

In the media euphoria, Canadian Olympic members were organized to pose with the trophy and world champion figure skater Patrick Chan to bless it with a kiss.

Four-time Olympian skier Brian Stemmle, also a CBC analyst, denounced the maneouvre, rightly asking: “Why is the Stanley Cup at Canada House in Sochi? Other athletes don’t bring their trophies. Hate when hockey tries to overshadow other sports.”

A new diversion began. Continue reading

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Filed under Athletes, Olympics - Sochi

Legendary Olympian puts Charles Barkley in his place

John Carlos | New York Daily News / Hermann, Marc, A.

John Carlos | New York Daily News / HERMANN, MARC, A.

A comment by TONY SEED

John Carlos and Charles Barkley are both “mavericks”, but only one ever put his life and livelihood on the line. Both have political opinions, one progressive and the other crude and self-serving. The former are little known, the latter are widely propagated. One champions popular resistance to state-sanctioned murder, the other police impunity. One gets by, the other is a big property owner and businessman, who enriched himself by capitalizing on his considerable skills through professional sport and TV, with an estimated net worth of $30 million. One website says he pulled in an obscene $46 million between November 2013 and November 2014, a nearly $20 million lead over his closest competition amongst pro athletes: Continue reading


Filed under Athletes, Basketball

Play the Game launches website on good governance

THE credibility of international sport is challenged almost on a daily basis by reports on corruption and mismanagement, whitewashing, match-fixing, embezzlement, the degradation of sportsmanship and other forms of cheating. Many of the stories are directly or indirectly related to the international organisations that represent hundreds of millions of athletes and their multinational imperialist sponsors. An ever-deepening and unprecedented credibility crisis has energed. Continue reading

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Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive – Doctor Sócrates

Remembering Doctor Sócrates, who made the game beautiful

Corinthians fans held a banner that read “Socrates, rest in peace” before a match against Palmeiras in Brazil (Nacho Doce/Reuters)


BRASILIA (December 8, 2011) — A MOMENT of silence was observed in all of Brazil’s soccer stadiums, accompanied by much applause, during the last day of the National Football Championship in memory of the former player and doctor Sócrates, who died during the early hours on December 4 at 57 years of age, as a result of an intestinal infection. Players on the Corinthians team from São Paulo dedicated their fifth title to him with their right fists raised, just as he celebrated his goals as the celebrated captain of the national team during the World Cups of Spain ‘82 and Mexico ‘86. Continue reading

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Filed under Athletes, Soccer / Football

Forums on sports democratization and governance underway


FORUMS on sports democratization and on governance are underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Cologne, Germany respectively.

In Argentina representatives from nearly a dozen countries are attending the sixth MERCOSUR Latin American Forum on Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, which will conclude on October 8.

The forum responds to the need of promoting the social and democratic spaces for people to participate, Forum Chairman Pedro Tavosnaska told Prensa Latina. Continue reading

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The need for a modern definition of Olympic sports

By PEGGY MORTON, TML Daily, February 27, 2010

THE self-serving domination of the rich who use the Olympics for their own ends has a sordid history which shows how the domination of finance capital and the most reactionary elements is blocking a human-centred approach. While everyone speaks in the name of high ideals, the fact is that those who control the Olympics have used this control for the most anti-social aims. For more than 40 years of the post-World War II period, that is, following the defeat of fascism by the world’s people and the achievements which came from that victory, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) was actually led by pro-fascist elements. Continue reading


Filed under Olympics – Vancouver

Where does the dignity of Olympic athletes lie?


HALIFAX (April 1, 2008) – WHEN the International Olympic Committee agreed in 2001 to make Beijing the host of the 2008 Olympic Games, many of us in the amateur sports movement were happy with its decision, as we were with the decision of FIFA, however reluctant, to award the 2010 World Cup to South Africa. For too long, such mega-events have been monopolized by the countries of the North, commercialized and privatized. Continue reading

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The crisis in Canadian basketball

Here is my first and last “letter to the editor”, sent to the Halifax Daily News, 15 June 2007, at the request of colleague and prominent sportswriter A.J. Walling. I’m told by Alex that numerous other letters were also sent. The Transcontinental Inc.-owned Daily News is a media sponsor of the Halifax Rainmen franchise of the American Basketball League. None of the letters were published. – TONY SEED

HALIFAX – SOME sober questions arise from Alex J Walling’s well-researched and provocative article on the American Basketball League which is desperately trying to expand into Canada (“The ABA is a league full of holes,” 11 June 2007). Mr Walling is a veteran sports journalist, independent freelancer and columnist. He carried this investigation entirely on his own initiative and time. Continue reading

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