• Sports,  Stateside,  Trump

    And so…

    While millions of Americans face months of utter misery and health crises without electric power or reliable supplies of fresh water, President Trump focuses his (and the media’s) attention on what’s really important: African-American professional athletes who kneel in protest during the National Anthem. Speaking Friday at a rally for a candidate for US Senate from Alabama in a Republican primary (whom he didn’t do any favors), Trump rambled for an hour-and-a-half on a number of topics, including this: President Trump issued a profane call to NFL team owners to fire players who engage in peaceful political protest on the field while speaking Friday night at an Alabama rally for…

  • Obituary,  Sports

    Remembering Muhammad Ali

    “I am the greatest. I am the king of the world.” “Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee.” “Rope-a-dope.” (The strategy of leaning back in the ropes and letting your opponent wear himself out before going in for the knockout.) “The Ali Shuffle will make you hustle.” (My brother used to say this a lot, for some reason.) All these phrases are lodged in my brain, probably for the rest of my life, thanks to the great Muhammad Ali, who died Thursday at 74. There’s never been anyone remotely like him. Like many people, I suppose, I have a slightly shameful fascination with boxing. While fully grasping the horrible…

  • Sports

    Mr Personality

    For Index on Censorship, Padraig Reidy argues the following: “Insisting the heavyweight be silenced accomplishes nothing. It’s unfair to force a sportsperson into the position of role model and punishing Tyson Fury for his views won’t improve boxing or the lives of LGBT people.” Padraig is right that there is no need to silence him. But there is also no need to award him ‘Sports Personality of the Year‘ either. His boxing title is his fair and just reward for his efforts. and it certainly would be wrong to strip him of that title – a title which ought to be gained only by the objective fact of being able…

  • Sports

    Baseball caps and gangster rappers

    After the photo appeared of Mohammed Emwazi (aka “Jihadi John”) wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap, the team felt compelled to issue a statement calling it “sickening.” Which surely it is, especially to to the team’s players and fans. But I’m wondering about this caption in The Daily Mail: Is everyone in the UK who wears the cap of an American Major League baseball team considered to be dressing like a gangster rapper? If so, that’s kind of sad.

  • Iran,  Sports

    Whose side are you on, you fools?

    Cross-posted from Potkin Azarmehr at For a democratic secular Iran 13th September, 2014. The Iranian national volleyball team is playing in Poland. Amongst the crowds, there is one female Iranian fan, who has not succumbed to the suppression of her national symbols by the Islamic Republic occupiers of Iran. Darya Safaei, as in all the other volleyball matches she attends to, is waving the true national flag of Iran – the green, white and red tri-colour with the historic Sun and Lion symbol in the middle, the true flag of her fatherland. She is also holding a poster of Ghoncheh Ghavami, the girl who was arrested in Iran after attempting…

  • Sports,  Stateside

    Why I’m rooting for the New England Patriots

    Guest post by Andrew Murphy Several years ago, when the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, Gene posted about how the Packers were the only “socialist” National Football League team. They are owned by the fans of the team, not by a wealthy businessman. Usually the only “socialism” in professional sports occurs when taxpayers subsidize the building of new stadiums– often because of threats by team owners to move their franchises to other cities unless they get public financing. This Sunday the New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Bob Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, is one of the few NFL owners who…

  • Israel/Palestine,  Sports,  Women's Rights

    Speed Sisters

    Guest post JS Rafaeli Speed Sisters is a film telling the story of the Middle East’s first all-female motor racing team. Through sheer grit and skill, these five Palestinian women have excelled in a male-dominated sport, in the midst of a male-dominated society and a fraught political backdrop. Despite restrictions on movement, the Palestinian Motor Sports and Motorcycle Federation has erected makeshift tracks in major cities across the West Bank. Cars can be seen racing against the clock on winding time trial courses on Arafat’s former helicopter pad in Bethlehem, in vegetable stalls of Jenin, on a tarmac in the 10,000 year old city of Jericho, and by a transit…

  • Gay Rights,  Sports

    This is nice

    Michael Sam and his boyfriend react to the news that Sam is the first openly-gay player to be drafted by a National Football League team. Update: Is anyone shocked to learn that it is possible to be both a Muslim-hater and a homophobe?

  • Sports,  Stateside

    The suspiciously socialist Newt Gingrich

    Following the uproar over racist comments by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, the often bizarre and sometimes surprising Newt Gingrich, Republican former speaker of the House of Representatives, advocates public ownership of professional sports teams. The right answer to the Clippers ownership challenge is to sell it to the people of Los Angeles. Green Bay, not billionaires, is the model — Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) May 1, 2014 Although some will accuse Gingrich of flirting with the dreaded “S” word, I say: Good for him. As I posted after the 2011 Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers football team is owned by the people of Green…

  • Media,  Russia,  Sports


    Are any of our readers going to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics? Do any of our readers know anyone who is going to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics? Can any of our readers imagine knowing anyone who is going to Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics? Aside from the security and corruption angles, journalists arriving in Sochi to cover the Olympics are having some grim fun tweeting about the horrible conditions in their (frequently unfinished) hotels. This is the one hotel room @Sochi2014 have given us so far. Shambles. #cnnsochi pic.twitter.com/RTjEkmyan3 — Harry Reekie (@HarryCNN) February 4, 2014 People have asked me what surprised me the most here…