By Dave Zirin - Znet
What is certain is that the means by which people have historically felt a sense of having a stake in this country have been inexorably altered in the post-9/11 world. This is now a nation defined and scarred by the cruel anti-immigrant policies of both Presidents Bush and Obama. It’s now a nation defined and scarred by pushing people away from that historic safe haven for immigrants otherwise known as competitive sports. It’s a nation that spawned the brothers Tsarnaev.
By Dave Zirin - April 25, 2013
Why did Newark’s only movie theater, co-owned by Shaquille O’Neal, just pull a scheduled showing of a documentary about Mumia Abu-Jamal? No one is talking, but this is a story that stinks worse than the Jersey swamps...When O’Neal purchased the theater, he held a press conference...and pointedly thanked “the Newark Police Department” which “helped raise” him. The future Hall of Famer has long held court about his dreams of becoming a police officer. He has been sworn in as a “reserve police officer” in both Miami and Los Angeles.
By Dave Zirin - April 15, 2013
The dead. The injured. The anguish. All the result of bombs that were set to explode at the finish line just over four hours after the start of the Boston Marathon. Right now the sane among us will suggest caution. We’ll suggest restraint. We’ll suggest the giving of blood. There will be time to mourn. We will mourn the dead and injured. I also mourn the Boston Marathon and how it’s now been brutally disfigured.
By Dave Zirin - April 12, 2013
"Today marks a historic step for [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered] equality in sports. The NHL and the NHLPA [NHL Players' Association] are stepping up to ensure that the hockey community is welcoming — not begrudging, not tolerant — welcoming to LGBT players, coaches, management or fans...The NHL has long had a slogan — "Hockey Is For Everyone." We will work alongside our partners in the NHL and the NHLPA to continue to make that true."
- You Can Play Project founder Patrick Burke
By Dave Zirin - March 27, 2013
“There are a lot of impressionable eyes on professional athletes and their respective leagues. With that comes some responsibility...to show what’s acceptable and what isn’t. So if there’s anything we can do to help address a sort of ‘unspoken’ sports culture that has in some respects not taken the violence against and denigration of women seriously enough, that should be explored.”
By Dave Zirin - March 13, 2013
The fact is that rape culture...[is] a part of sports. Far too many athletes feel far too empowered to see women as the spoils of jock culture. The young woman in Steubenville was carried like a piece of meat, with the brutality documented like it was spring break in Daytona Beach. It was so normalized that dozens of people saw what was happening and did nothing.
By Dave Zirin - March 6, 2013
The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will mean unseemly celebration on the right and unending debate on the left...Less discussed will be that the passing of Hugo Chávez will also provoke unbridled joy in the corridors of power of Major League Baseball...Venezuela has trailed only the Dominican Republic in the global race to provide a cheap source of Major League Baseball talent. In 2012, fifty-eight players on MLB rosters were born in Venezuela, second only to the DR’s sixty-four.
By Dave Zirin - February 19, 2013
...[T]here is little to admire about Michael Jordan at 50. If anything, the more you learn, the more you recoil. We all know the story of the pro athlete who ends up bankrupt. But what happens to the athlete who gains the world yet still stews in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction? This is Jordan. He’s no longer the smiling, gravity-defying movie star from Space Jam. Instead, he’s more like the glowering recluse from Citizen Kane.
By Dave Zirin - February 13, 2013
[Royce] White has been battling the [Houston] Rockets over how they would deal with issues surrounding his mental health. The first-round draft-pick has an anxiety disorder that affects how he handles everything from flying to practices. He has made it clear amidst an avalanche of criticism that his mental health is more important than his contract or career. Throughout this difficult fall, White has become a crusader for change...
By Dave Zirin - February 11, 2013
It’s an awkward fact of life in Washington, DC, that we are home to both the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Washington Redskins. One attempts to preserve the Native American cultures that weren’t eradicated by conquest; the other is both a symbol and result of the same eradication.
By Dave Zirin - February 1, 2013
We’ve seen the truth about whether there is [a] [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender]-friendly culture in the NFL and the truth is that we have a ways to go. The truth is also that, whether the league or some of its players like it or not, it is in fact getting better. But if an active player is ever going to feel confident enough to come out of the closet, it's going to have to get one whole hell of a lot better than it is now.
By Bryan Dyne - 26 January 2013
The family of Junior Seau, the former professional football player, is suing the National Football League (NFL). The suit claims that Seau’s suicide in May 2012 was the result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a disease of the brain — caused by the violent hits he took as a linebacker...They are accusing the NFL of concealing and ignoring the evidence that showed the relationship between the violence of the game and traumatic brain injuries.
By Dave Zirin - January 21, 2013
...[The] weekend’s football games presented an orgy of militarism. From the armed forces ads, to the live shots of the 101st Airborne watching overseas, to the warplanes flying overhead, the unspoken slogan was, “If you like the NFL, you’ll just love the US military”...It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the tributes to King by the NFL don’t include the time when he said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
By David Walsh - WSWS
American cyclist Lance Armstrong’s account of his years using performance-enhancing drugs and his more than ten-year campaign to intimidate and discredit critics says a good deal about professional sports and the broader social atmosphere...He apparently operated a type of mini-Mafia in cycling, bringing to the sport the very worst of American predatory entrepreneurship. There is in his story...something sinister and disturbing.
By Alexander Fangmann - WSWS
The lead negotiators for the NHLPA acted from beginning to end as though concessions were entirely normal and expected. The team owners easily extracted from the players nearly everything they originally sought, including wage cuts and player contract restrictions.