Socialism Art Nature

The great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighs in on the student-athlete charade that’s keeping college players from having a voice.

"Without unions, college athletics will remain a subtle but insidious form of child abuse."

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Zinn Education Project
On June 4, in 1967, Muhammad Ali and a group of leading African American athletes held a press conference in Cleveland, Ohio after Ali announced he was refusing to serve in the U.S. military in Vietnam. Dubbed the Ali summit, the meeting happened roughly a month after Ali refused to step forward at an induction ceremony in Houston, TX after being drafted into the US military. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Carl Stokes were some of the athletes and political figures involved in the meeting. Read more about the meeting and see full photo caption here: http://bit.ly/1ouVzI3 See resources for teaching about the people’s history of sports here: http://bit.ly/1ouVDaW

On June 4, in 1967, Muhammad Ali and a group of leading African American athletes held a press conference in Cleveland, Ohio after Ali announced he was refusing to serve in the U.S. military in Vietnam. Dubbed the Ali summit, the meeting happened roughly a month after Ali refused to step forward at an induction ceremony in Houston, TX after being drafted into the US military. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Carl Stokes were some of the athletes and political figures involved in the meeting. Read more about the meeting and see full photo caption here: http://bit.ly/1ouVzI3 See resources for teaching about the people’s history of sports here: http://bit.ly/1ouVDaW


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This is why Celtics-legend Bill Russell said Boston is the most racist city in the U.S. The n-word was trending on twitter in Boston last nite after a person of color scored the winning goal against the Bruins. #BostonWrong #TwoBostons #FuckRacism and #BostonStrongMyAss

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Boston Bruins fans blew up Twitter Thursday night following the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

P.K. Subban [a dark-skinned man] ended up scoring the winning goal in the fifth minute of the second overtime.

Fans showing disappointment would have been completely understandable. But many of them took it to a whole other level, seeming following in the footsteps of #DonaldSterling.

Because of our corporate policies, we can’t put this type of profane language on our website, and we don’t want to identify the worst offenders, so here’s just a summary of the filth:

– N***** was trending in Boston because P.K. Subban scored… It’s a rare moment in my life to be ashamed to be a Bruins fan.

– F*** YOU N***** #SUBBAN YOU BELONG IN A F****** HOLE NOT AN ICE RINK

– PK Subban = F****** N*****

– Someone needs to smack PK subban across his big n***** lips. scumbag”

– N***** trending in Boston- #NHL another sport with issues


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Cuban warned that if Sterling is kicked out for his views, other owners could be at risk: “If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia?… What about somebody who’s anti-semitic? What about a xenophobe?”’ Yes, yes, and yes!!

In fact, get rid of ALL the owners! Put all teams in the public hands of the players, fans, and the communities in which they are located!

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Without struggle, there is no progress.

There is absolutely no way that Donald Sterling would have been booted from the NBA for his vile racism if it hadn’t been for the courageous public acts of protest carried out by numerous of the NBA players themselves in the past few days; not to mention the organized efforts of the labor union that represents all NBA players (the National Basketball Players Association) which had been aggressively pushing for the severest possible punishment to be meted out against Sterling.

The NBA executives and coterie of owners had spent the last 35 years abiding this man’s bigotry in their midst. The only thing that changed now is that the players and fans stood up, collectively stuck their necks out, and demanded accountability.


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damn. shows that racism in high places is real — it’s not just a matter of ignorant white people in pointy hoods out in the street.

also, god bless this woman. i don’t know how she has the patience to make such commonsense, cogent, anti-racist arguments to such an odious reptile (let alone be in a relationship with him).

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Former NFL cheerleaders on three teams have filed lawsuits alleging they were paid less than the minimum wage, even as low as $2.85/hour. http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2014/04/23/3429712/buffalo-bills-cheerleaders-allege-minimum-wage-violations-in-lawsuit-against-team/

Former NFL cheerleaders on three teams have filed lawsuits alleging they were paid less than the minimum wage, even as low as $2.85/hour.

http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2014/04/23/3429712/buffalo-bills-cheerleaders-allege-minimum-wage-violations-in-lawsuit-against-team/


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On this day in 1931, 17-year-old baseball player Jackie Mitchell, who was the second woman to play in the all-male minor leagues and one of the first woman pitchers in professional baseball, famously struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees.  A few days later, baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis voided Mitchell’s contract, declaring women unfit to play baseball as the game was “too strenuous.” Here she is with Ruth and Gehrig.

On this day in 1931, 17-year-old baseball player Jackie Mitchell, who was the second woman to play in the all-male minor leagues and one of the first woman pitchers in professional baseball, famously struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees.

A few days later, baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis voided Mitchell’s contract, declaring women unfit to play baseball as the game was “too strenuous.”

Here she is with Ruth and Gehrig.


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IN OUR light-speed sports media environment, we were all given roughly one hour. We had one hour to feel both exhilarated and optimistic about the future of Michael Sam. Here he was: a first-team All-American football player from Missouri and a co-defensive player of the year in the toughest college football conference of them all, the SEC. And now two months before the NFL draft, he was telling the world, on his own terms, that he was gay. As Mr. Sam put it, “I want to own my own truth.”

Even better, his Missouri Tiger teammates had known his “truth” since last August. Michael Sam had come out to them in a team trust exercise, where every player was asked to share something personal. The Tigers not only supported him, they protected him, keeping his secret until he was ready to come out to the world. As he said to John Branch of The New York Times:

Once I became official to my teammates, I knew who I was. I knew that I was gay. And I knew that I was Michael Sam, who’s a Mizzou football player who happens to be gay. I was so proud of myself and I just didn’t care who knew. If someone on the street would have asked me, “Hey, Mike, I heard you were gay. Is that true?” I would have said yes.

A couple of Sam’s straight football buddies even hit the gay clubs with him in the lead up to last month’s Cotton Bowl. One joined him at a pride march and, when the season ended, his teammates voted him most valuable player of the overachieving 12-2 Tigers.

This narrative about the locker room is in many ways more important than the coming out itself. What sports general managers have always said in the past, whether they were speaking in the abstract or talking anonymously about unsigned out-and-proud NBA player Jason Collins, is that “the locker room” would not be ready for a gay teammate. No matter how many athletes have come out as allies, no matter how many polls show overwhelming majorities of pro athletes willing to have gay teammates, this is what was always thrown in the faces of fans: the “locker room” isn’t ready. And here was a living, breathing example of an SEC locker room that did not only survive having a gay teammate but thrived.

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WHAT A story. For one hour, that song from The Lego Movie, "Everything is Awesome," seemed to be playing behind every tweet, every Facebook post and every direct message.

I exchanged e-mails with Cyd Ziegler and Jim Buzinski, from OutSports, two of the journalists who not only broke this story but helped strategize the timing of Michael Sam’s coming out. They have no illusions that the NFL is somehow a rainbow utopia waiting to happen, but as Cyd said, “I don’t think it will affect his draft stock much at all. It’s impossible to predict where anyone will be drafted, but the NFL is about winning. When it makes sense to draft someone of Michael’s skill, he’ll get taken off the board. I just hope it’s the Patriots so I can cheer for him every game.” Yes, everything was awesome.

Then came this article by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated. Thamel collected a series of reactions from anonymous NFL executives about the news of Michael Sam’s coming out, and the operative word here is “reaction.” They belched a collection of comments that would not have sounded out of place in the 1940s, when the sports bosses lectured Branch Rickey about how “the Negro” would make a locker room—and yes, the showers—unbearable.

One NFL executive said, “I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet. In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.” (My emphasis.) …


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Not Just A Game: Power, Politics & American Sports
A Film by the Media Education Foundation
Featuring Dave Zirin

We’ve been brought up to believe that sports and politics don’t mix — that games are games and athletes should just “shut up and play.” In the view of iconoclastic sportswriter Dave Zirin, this mentality cheapens both. In Not Just a Game, Zirin shows that far from providing merely escapist entertainment, sports have also reflected, and at times played a role in shaping, the political tensions and social struggles at the heart of American society. The film takes an uncompromising look at how sports culture has glamorized militarism, commercialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. But it also excavates a largely forgotten tradition of rebel athletes and sports writers to show how American sports culture, at its best, has modeled forms of courage, resistance, and perseverance that have enriched American life.

Dave Zirin
Named one of the UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports for The Nation and is host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio. Press Action’s 2005 and 2006 Sportswriter of the Year, he is a columnist for SLAM, The Progressive, and a regular op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times. His writing has also appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Baltimore Sun, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Source, and numerous other publications.

Zirin is the author of Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports and What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States. His newest book release, A People’s History of Sports in the United States, is part of Howard Zinn’s People’s History series for the New Press.

Zirin has appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, ESPN Classic, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Comcast Sports Network’s Washington Post Live, Al-Jazeera’s The Riz Khan Show, C-SPAN’s BookTV, and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. He has also been on numerous national radio programs including National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered; Air America’s ‘On the Real’ with Chuck D; The Laura Flanders Show; ESPN Radio; Stars and Stripes Radio; The Joe Madison Show; Pacifica’s Hard Knock Radio, and others.


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"Right now the NCAA is like a dictatorship. No one represents us in negotiations. The only way things are going to change is if players have a union."

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Coachella Valley High School’s “Arab” Mascot

ADC is appalled at the use of a caricature depicted to be an “Arab” as the official mascot of the Coachella Valley High School. The image of the Coachella Valley High School mascot depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a Kaffiay, or traditional Arab head covering. It has come to our attention that during sporting events, and school functions, a student dressed as this figure, makes an appearance.

This video clearly show orientalist stereotyping of Arabs. During half-time shows at sporting events, the “Arab male” comes out to music, while a female dressed as a belly dancer entertains him. Further, the gymnasium has the face of an “Arab” caricature in the middle of the basketball court, as well as around the walls. Outside of the building, an “Arab” on a carpet is depicted, with a woman next to him.

All these are examples of gross stereotyping, which must not be tolerated, and must immediately be addressed. ADC strongly believes that use of the word and such imagery perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans. The “Arab” mascot image is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping which should be eliminated. By allowing continued use of the term and imagery, you are commending and enforcing the negative stereotypes of an entire ethnic group, millions of whom are citizens of this nation.

Tell CVHS that this will not be tolerated, sign the ADC petition today:

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50434/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12368

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ho-ly shit. this has GOT to go. like, now.


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Demonstrators marched to the Metrodome on Thursday, demanding the Washington Redskins drop their mascot name or continue to face protests and legal challenges.

Carrying signs that read, “We Are Not Mascots” and “Redskin: A Dehumanizing Racial Slur,” about 700 protesters marched from the American Indian Movement (AIM) national office on E. Franklin Avenue about 20 blocks to the Dome, where the Vikings played Washington on Thursday night.

Among the demonstrators were Billy Mills, a Sioux Indian who won the 10,000-meter gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics; U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, who has led a contingent of congressional representatives who oppose the name, and Joey Browner, a former Minnesota Viking and Pro Bowl player.


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