What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States
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“Zirin is America’s best sportswriter.”—Lee Ballinger, Rock and Rap Confidential
“Zirin is one of the brightest, most audacious voices I can remember on the sportswriting scene, and my memory goes back to the 1920s.”—Lester Rodney, N.Y. Daily Worker sports editor, 1936–1958
“Zirin has an amazing talent for covering the sports and politics beat. Ranging like a great shortstop, he scoops up everything! He profiles the courageous and inspiring athletes who are standing up for peace and civil liberties in this repressive age. A must read!”—Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
“This is cutting-edge analysis delivered with wit and compassion.”—Mike Marqusee, author, Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties
Here Edgeofsports.com sportswriter Dave Zirin shows how sports express the worst, as well as the most creative and exciting, features of American society.
Zirin explores how Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl flash-time show exposed more than a breast, why the labor movement has everything to learn from sports unions and why a new generation of athletes is no longer content to “play one game at a time” and is starting to get political.
What’s My Name, Fool! draws on original interviews with former heavyweight champ George Foreman, Olympian and black power saluter John Carlos, NBA basketball player and anti-death penalty activist Etan Thomas, antiwar women’s college hoopster Toni Smith, Olympic Project for Human Rights leader Lee Evans and many others.
Popular sportswriter and commentator Dave Zirin is editor of The Prince George’s Post (Maryland) and writes the weekly column “Edge of Sports” (edgeofsports.com). He is a senior writer at basketball.com. Zirin’s writing has also appeared in The Source, Common Dreams, College Sporting News, CounterPunch, Alternet, International Socialist Review, Black Sports Network, War Times, San Francisco Bay View and Z Magazine.
fifty-six of sixty-one fights, with thirty-seven knockouts. Nation of Islam The day after he beat Liston, Clay announced publicly that he was a member of the NOI. Words cannot do justice to the firestorm this caused. Whatever disagreements one may have with the Nation of Islam, the fact that the heavyweight champion of the world joined the organization of Malcolm X was enormously significant. The Olympic gold medalist had linked arms with a group that called white people “devils” and stood
Project for Human Rights, to organize a boycott of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. OPHR, its lead organizer, Dr. Harry Edwards, and its primary athletic spokespeople, Smith and 400-meter sprinter Lee Evans, were very influenced by the Black freedom struggle. Their goal was nothing less than to expose how the U.S. used Black athletes to project a lie about race relations both at home and internationally. In their founding statement, they wrote,We must no longer allow this country to use a few
average person. A truly tragic example is Johnny Unitas, who died in 2002 at the age of 69. His body was a wreck of scar tissue, and the great quarterback couldn’t even grip a baseball because of joint pain. It’s certainly true that a layer of mega-salaried players develop a massive and distorted stake in the system. During the 1994 baseball strike, ballplayer Lenny Dykstra said, “Hey, I own a chain of restaurants, so I know how it is when you have to keep your workers in line.” Bigger examples
understand today. Here’s a person in the thirties, and this is years before the Civil Rights movement.” Rodney was an acute observer of the intersection of race and sports, but he did more than just record from the sidelines. He used the Daily Worker’s sports page to launch the first sustained campaign to end the color line in Major League Baseball, which enforced Jim Crow on the playing field. “It was only a matter of time after I started when I said, ‘Look at this huge void here! No one is
other groups and individuals targeted as a part of the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” and to show how ordinary people can resist these attacks on our fundamental rights The World Social Forum: Strategies of Resistance José Corrêa Leite 1 931859 15 9 April 2005 The inside story of how the worldwide movement against corporate globalization has become such a force. Women and Socialism Sharon Smith 1 931859 11 6 May 2005 The fight for women’s liberation is urgent—and must be