“[We are] saddened by the mixture of politics and sports.” So said a spokesperson for the Israeli Football Association in response to news on April 31 that the Turkish under-19 soccer team cancelled its match in Israel. Turkey's team made the move following the Israeli Navy's attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that left at least nine dead and scores injured. Then on June 1, the Swedish Football Association (SFA) announced that it would formally request European soccer's governing body to cancel Sweden's under-21 game in Israel on June 4.
In April, Arizona passed SB 1070, a controversial law that encourages police officers to harass residents they "reasonably suspect" to be undocumented migrants. Chuck D, from hip-hop legends Public Enemy, spoke to sports journalist, broadcaster and author Dave Zirin about SB 1070. Abridged from Zirin’s website, Edge of Sports
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DZ: Why did you choose to record “Tear Down this Wall?”
A battle has been joined for the very soul of Arizona. On one side, there are the Minutemen, the craven state Republican lawmakers, Governor Jan Brewer, and the utterly unprincipled John McCain, all supporting SB 1070, a law that codifies racial profiling of immigrants in the state. SB 1070 makes it crime to walk the streets of this state without clutching your passport, green card, visa, or state ID. It not only empowers, but requires cops to demand paperwork if they so much as suspect a person of being undocumented.
This will be the last column I write about the major league baseball team Arizona Diamondbacks in the foreseeable future. For me, they do not exist. They will continue to not exist in my mind as long as the horribly named anti-immigrant “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, signed into law on April 23, remains on the books in Arizona. This law has brought echoes of apartheid to the state.
The February 19 Tiger Woods press conference was an exercise in self-abasement that will achieve the opposite of its intended effect. I haven’t seen anything this painfully scripted since The Phantom Menace.
In our 5000-channel, Tweeting, shouting culture of constant distraction, there are precious few annual events that unite the US national gaze. In fact, there is really only one: the Super Bowl.
During the Bill Clinton impeachment idiocy of 1998, many on the left said if Clinton were removed from office, let it be for gutting welfare or for imposing sanctions on Iraq, and not l’affair Lewinsky.
All Brandon Marshall wanted was the opportunity to be part of the moment.
Ever since Andrew Johnson welcomed the New York Mutuals to the White House in 1867, presidential politics has exploited professional sports. Its a foolproof way for politicians to show voters they enjoy competition, fair play and are salt-of-the-turf Americans.
Witness the massive padlock, tightly hugging its doors. That will tell you all you need to know about Hurricane Gustav and the federal US government’s carefully orchestrated response.