Dave Zirin

Your 14-year-old daughter is dumped on your freezing front lawn in a state of chemically induced incoherence with her shoes off and frost stuck in her hair. She tells you she was raped. You hear her 13-year-old best friend was also raped that same night.

Your daughter is then bullied as a tape of the incident passes around her high school. You wait for the indictments and some semblance of justice, but one of the accused is a football star from one of the area's most prominent and politically connected families.

If after Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and Darius Simmons, you thought that you could be sickened by racist violence but no longer shocked, you need to know the story of Jonathan Ferrell.

There are few people in the sports world I respect more than Cyd Zeigler, the founder of the website Outsports, which deals with the sporting lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes.

I tweeted Zeigler's excellent article titled “Don’t Boycott Olympics Ban Russia From Competing Instead” precisely because it was incisive and made me think. I do, however, feel that on principle I need to state that I strongly disagree with his central premise.

One has to hark back to 1968 in Mexico City, when thousands of students and workers marched against the Olympics, to find a sports-related demonstration that compares to the size and militancy of the mass anti-World Cup/Olympic protests taking place in Brazil.

As in Mexico City, thousands of people in Brazil took to the streets — and outside of stadiums hosting Confederations Cup matches — raising slogans that connect the spending and austerity that surround these mega-events to a much deeper rot in the nation’s democratic institutions.

In February last year, the stalking and murder of Trayvon Martin affected pro athletes — particularly African-American athletes — in a way that perhaps can be best described as intimate.

Players like Carmelo Anthony saw the case far more clearly than George Zimmerman’s prosecutor: it was a racist murder and Trayvon, condemned to death for Living While Black, could have been them or their children.

I travelled to Brazil last September to investigate preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. It was painfully evident that the social disruption of hosting two mega-events in rapid succession would be profound.

Everyone with whom I spoke in the community of social movements agreed that these sports extravaganzas were going to leave major collateral damage.

Everyone agreed that the spending priorities for stadiums, security, and all attendant infrastructure were monstrous given the health and education needs of the Brazilian people.

Mark Twain's maxim that "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme" is echoing in the streets of Istanbul. The echo is heard in everything that makes Turkey resemble a sequel to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution that toppled assumed President-for-Life Hosni Mubarak.

Turkey and Egypt are of course two very different countries with different leaders, different political systems and different histories. But the revolt of the highly intense, usually apolitical "ultra" football-fan clubs must be noted.

Hearing the news made me feel like I'd accidentally walked into a wind tunnel. For as long as I had written about this issue and as many times as I had said in recent years that this will happen in a matter of months if not weeks, it still hit me like a triple shot of espresso cut with a teaspoon of Adderall.

Thanks to the courage of 34-year-old NBA veteran Jason Collins, we can no longer repeat endlessly that no active male athlete in North America has ever come out of the closet.

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.

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.

The Boston Marathon matters in a way other sporting events simply do not. It started in 1897, inspired by the first modern marathon, which took place at the inaugural 1896 Olympics. It attracts 500,000 spectators and over 20,000 participants from 96 countries.

Never have I witnessed a gap between the mainstream media and public opinion quite like the first 24 hours since the death of Margaret Thatcher.

While both the press and President Barack Obama were uttering tearful remembrances, thousands took to the streets of the UK and beyond to celebrate. Immediately, there were strong condemnations of what were called "death parties," described as "tasteless", "horrible," and "beneath all human decency""

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