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Dave Zirin, Press Action 's 2005 and 2006 Sportswriter of the Year, has been called "an icon in the world of progressive sports ". Robert Lipsyte says he is "the best young sportswriter in the United States. "
Dave writes about the politics of sports for the Nation Magazine, and is author of Bad Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games We Love
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, December 29, 2008 Latter Day Protest? Proposition 8 and Sports
As supporters of Gay Marriage have discovered, it's never easy to be on the Mormon Church's enemies list. The Church of Latter Day Saints backed the anti-Gay Marriage Proposition 8 in California with out-of-state funds, and gave the right a heartbreaking victory this past election cycle. But the Mormon Church has been challenged in the past. Just ask Bob Beamon.
(27 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 10, 2008 Reflections on 9-11
I do not think that anyone alive on that day will forget the shock that struck our nation when the symbols of US capitalism and militarism were struck out of the clear blue sky. I was in panic mode for a few days, because I did not hear from Casey who was stationed at Ft. Hood on that day and his base went into lock-down and he was too busy to call.
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, November 14, 2011 Fan Culture, Rape Culture, and the World Joe Paterno Made
I don't doubt the emotions in Happy Valley are genuine. I don't doubt the searing shock and pain that must be coursing through campus. But this is the pain of self-pity not reflection. It's the pain of the exposed not the penitent.
SHARE Friday, November 4, 2005 Sheryl Swoopes: Out of the Closet--and Ignored
The Houston Comet veteran just delivered what could be the most significant body blow to homophobia ever weathered by the athletic-industrial complex, coming out of the closet with pride, defiance and joy. But Swoopes's announcement has been met in the sports press with "a shrug of indifference."
SHARE Friday, March 17, 2006 Big League Crisis at the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic, an unprecedented international tournament involving teams from sixteen nations, is looking both like an autopsy of the current state of Major League Baseball and a glimpse into an alternative future for Major League Baseball.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, February 5, 2007 The Super Bowl: When Hawks Cry
Last night's Super Bowl was a Roman Vomitorium of odious spew. This wasn't the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was the dreary, the vile, and the insipid...
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 24, 2014 On the Little League World Series, Jackie Robinson West, and Michael Brown
the events of this summer show with bracing clarity that there are huge swaths of this country that love black culture and hate black people. It is difficult to not see this reality in the events of the last week: events that counterpose something as American as apple pie, the Little League World Series, and something else that is frankly also as American as apple pie: the killing of unarmed black men
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, November 10, 2008 Did Tiger Woods pave Barack Obama's path? Are you joking?
It's always dangerous, but never boring, when a newspaper sports columnist uncorks a political thesis. Enter Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. Bianchi thinks that there are some unsung heroes who deserve credit for helping put a black man in the White House - and they are athletes.
SHARE Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Occupy the Super Bowl: Now more than just a slogan.
Republicans plan to pass a law making Indiana a "right to work" state. Like "Operation Iraqi Freedom," "Fair & Balanced," "Tort Reform" & the endless dreck we hear from Republicans it's more double-speak & really means they are attacking unions...again.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 10, 2011 Penn State and Berkeley: A Tale of Two Protests
Last night, two proud universities saw student demonstrations that spiraled into violence. On the campus of Penn State University in State College Pennsylvania, several hundred students rioted in anger after the firing of legendary 84-year-old head football coach Joe Paterno. At the University of California at Berkeley, 1,000 students, part of the Occupy USA movement, attempted to maintain their protest encampment
SHARE Saturday, November 19, 2011 NBA Players: Welcome to the 99 Percent
Maybe it's because they overwhelmingly come from the ranks of the working poor, have career lengths of six years and have been facing off against the ranks of true generational, aristocratic wealth in all it's arrogance. Maybe they just hate to lose. NBA players: welcome to the 99 percent.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, May 2, 2011 Sports, bin Laden, and the New Normal
Howard Cosell said that "rule number one of the sports jockocracy" was that sports and politics didn't mix. And yet last night, at the ballpark in Philadelphia, we received another reminder that some political expression is deemed not just acceptable but glorious.
SHARE Friday, January 27, 2012 The Final Insult: Nike CEO Phil Knight Eulogizes Joe Paterno
The celebration of Knight's message by Jena MacGregor and the attendees is another example why so much of the country looks at Happy Valley, Pennsylvania like some kind of moral Bizarro World. It also drowns out the thousands of Penn State students who held vigils on campus against child abuse or the Penn State alums "sickened" by both the allegations against Sandusky as well as the response by those alumni and students...
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, September 9, 2014 The Revictimizing of Janay Rice
The lack of concern for Janay Rice now that the video of Ray Rice knocking her unconscious has been released is truly troubling.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 12, 2011 Brick by BRIC: How Global Sport Has Declared War on Brazil's Poor
In Chile, it was called the The Brick. It was the many-thousand page economic manifesto of Dictator Augusto Pinochet, written by "the Chicago Boys" - Chilean exchange students from the University of Chicago. Disciples of the university's conservative, neoliberal economics professor Milton Friedman, they printed The Brick on "the other 9/11" - September 11th, 1973.
SHARE Monday, October 29, 2018 A Call for Solidarity in the Face of Hate
When so many groups are under attack, a collective response is the only response.
We need loud rallies against racism. We need speak-outs for immigrants. We need to say that trans rights are human rights. We need public meetings about what fascism is and how to fight it. We need to provide security and ensure safe spaces for groups that are attempting to come together.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, March 3, 2008 The Senator from Comcast?: Arlen Specter and SpyGate
As Will Bunch wrote in the Philadelphia Daily News, "If you simply took Specter at face value, and assumed his passion for grilling the NFL in his official Senate capacity is the passion of a jilted fan, that alone would be an outrageous abuse of his authority. But the truth is much worse, because Specter's interest in this issue dovetails far too closely with those of his two largest contributors...
SHARE Wednesday, September 21, 2011 TODAY, Georgia Murders Troy Davis
It's with rage that I report that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. The 42-year-old Davis is now due to be executed TODAY, Wednesday September 21, at 7 pm . For those unfamiliar with the case, let's be clear: Davis's execution is little more than a legal lynching.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, January 23, 2012 Joe Paterno: The God Who Fell to Earth
For Joe Paterno to say & actually expect us to accept that he "never heard of rape and a man" is ludicrous & offensive. It reveals how dangerous & misquided our obssession with celebrities can be.
SHARE Tuesday, May 26, 2009 New Orleans's Not-So-Super Bowl
The Super Bowl decision perpetuates the status quo in New Orleans. The city will be forced to rise and fall on the basis of an external service economy. Jobs and wages will fluctuate rapidly based on whichever circus happens to be in town that week. Taxpayer dollars will pour into amenities for moneyed tourists and not into building the kind of stable industrial base that can stabilize the community.
SHARE Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Talkin' Sports with Ralph Nader
few people know that Nader is also an avid sports fan. He was responsible for the launching of the League of Fans, a sports reform project, and he has also passionately pushed for a "Bill of Rights" for the American sports fan. In addition, he has recently made the sports pages by raising serious criticisms of NBA referees--assertions he has made for years that are finally being taken seriously ...
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 30, 2013 Who Is the Walter White of the Sports World? The Answer Is Obvious
I have spent the last several days in a Breaking Bad fever dream, asking myself, "Who is the Walter White/Heisenberg of the sports world?" I am very aware that I couldn't come up with a hackier First Take--style question unless I was asking what sports commissioner is most like Miley Cyrus.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 16, 2009 Rush Limbaugh: Why the NFL Just Said No
It boggles the mind. For someone who claims a belief in rugged individualism and rails against "victim politics" while preaches personal responsibility, it was almost jarring to hear Rush whine about "tyranny" on the left when it was his compadres on the right who just said no.
SHARE Thursday, May 3, 2007 Talking Sports from Death Row with Kevin Cooper
Kevin Cooper is a sports fan. Kevin Cooper loves the Steelers. Kevin
Cooper makes his home on death row at the notorious San Quentin
Penitentiary in California. Cooper awaits execution for a crime many
observers are convinced he did not commit. He was to be injected with
poison until his heart stopped on February 10th, 2004 but received a
stay after massive public pressure was brought to bear.
SHARE Monday, September 12, 2005 When George Galloway Channeled Rocky Marciano
review of badass British anti-war MP George Galloways new book 'Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington.' Galloway is about to embark on a tour of the United States to build momentum for the Sept. 24th anti-war demos in Wash. DC and the Bay Area.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 24, 2008 The 2008 Olympics: Subterranean Rot
the press made a choice the moment they stepped on China's soil.
They chose not to seek out the near two million people evicted from their homes to make way for Olympic facilities.
They chose not to report on the Chinese citizens who tried to register to enter the cordoned off "protest zones" only to find themselves in police custody. we should recall a mainstream press, derelict in its duty..
SHARE Friday, June 9, 2006 The 2006 World Cup: Will Racism Come Home to Roost?
The most watched tournament in the universe, the World Cup, opens today amid fears that an open and violent racism could upstage the games, humiliate its German hosts, and provide an international platform for Neo-Nazi swill.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 27, 2008 "No problems. No issues. No complaints," says CBS News
CBS News has joined the chorus of denial, claiming blithely that there's been no "widespread voter fraud or suppression" in the race thus far. That equation--"fraud or suppression"-- is, to say the least, misleading. CBS's verdict: "No problems. No issues. No complaints." Either those reports are bogus, or CBS is simply out to lunch (or in the tank).
SHARE Thursday, April 5, 2007 Olympics Want Some Chicago Skin
ANYBODY GOT $500 million collecting dust under the couch? If you live
in Chicago, take a second look between those cushions. The United
States Olympic Committee (USOC) has let it be known that the people of
the Windy City could pay out as much as $500 million if they are
awarded the 2016 Summer Games.
SHARE Monday, August 28, 2006 The Fugitive Girl Act
Why the Republican attack on the right of minors to get out-of-state abortions echoes the Fugitive Slave Act
SHARE Friday, January 6, 2006 Crossroads: Race and Coaching in the NFL
In the 16 years since Art Shell became the NFLs first African-American head coach, progress has come at a glacial pace. The NFL coaching fraternity makes the US Senate look like Soul Train.
SHARE Sunday, November 5, 2006 Political Players: Where Athletes Give Their Money
This column is usually dedicated to those in the Sportsworld who believe in the power of protest ..." and back their words with deeds. But today, in recognition of this Tuesday's election-lunacy, we give space to those who back their political ideas with cold, hard, filthy, cash.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 15, 2007 What Did Pelosi Know About NSA, and When Did She Know It?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has admitted knowing for several years about the Bush administration's eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant. She was briefed on it when she was ranking Democrat the House Intelligence Committee when Bush and Cheney took office.
SHARE Thursday, November 30, 2006 Organizing the Jocks for Justice
Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Adalius Thomas is only the latest in a stellar cast of pro players chafing against silence, and sounding off against the war and occupation of Iraq.
SHARE Thursday, March 11, 2010 The South Africa World Cup: Invictus in Reverse
There are the dispossessions as thousands have been forced from their homes into makeshift shantytowns, to both make way for stadiums and make sure that tourists don't have to see any depressing scenes of poverty.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, March 24, 2008 CRACKDOWN: China's Brutal Olympic Echo
China's crackdown against Tibetan protesters ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing carries with it a brutal echo from the past. Scores of people, including school children are reported dead and more repression has been promised.
Yet the concern expressed by world leaders has seemed less for the people of Tibet than the fate of the Summer Games, with Olympic cash deemed more precious than Tibetan blood.
SHARE Friday, March 24, 2006 "Death Row" Talks Back to Etan Thomas
Regular readers of this column know that Im not exactly shy about singing the praises of the Washington Wizards forward. Etan plays a gritty, elbows-up style of basketball, but on a microphone he is pure Jordan. In the tradition of Amiri Baraka, his poems are sharp enough to cut glass, and generous enough to leave seedlings that can sprout in the cracks.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 4, 2005 Barry Bonds Laughs Last
He possesses more than intergalactic talent. He is one of a select few modern athletes with a fearless comfort telling uncomfortable truths. He is the Sean Penn of Major League Baseball, a Sean Penn in a Tom Hanks world.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, December 18, 2006 Brawl in the Garden
Young black men scuffling, even scuffling in a way that would make foxy boxing seem threatening, seem to be a catalyst for an astounding amount of public hand-wringing.
SHARE Tuesday, November 15, 2005 P.O.'d about T.O.
Terrell Owens wants his contract renegotiated. Many a sports radio gasbag has wheezed that T.O. was only done with the first season of a seven-year contract and is therefore "not honoring his deal." But T.O. and every NFL player know that NFL deals have the honor of a politician's promise.