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Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Downby Dave Zirin
Synopses & Reviews
Sportscaster Howard Cosell dubbed it rule number one of the jockocracy”: sports and politics just don't mix. But as the celebrated alt-sportswriter Dave Zirin shows, politics has entered the modern sports arena with a vengeance. From Jeremy Lin and the national uproar about Asian American stereotypes to the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, the NFL lockout, and LeBron James's aspirations to join the One Percent, this timely and hard-hitting new book reveals the many ways that sports have become the third rail of U.S. and world politics, where the raw quest for political power plays out before an audience of millions in prime time.
Game Over offers new insights and analysis of headline-grabbing sports controversies, as well as less visible but equally fascinating struggles on and off the field, including the efforts of gay and lesbian athletes to gain acceptance, female athletes fights to be more than sex symbols, and a new trend among athletes everywhere to assert their collective bargaining rights as union members. Game Over is a must-read for anyone — sports fan or not — interested in understanding how and why professional sports have been wrested away from fans to become a political spectacle.
"In his enlightening essay collection, Nation columnist and author Zirin (Welcome to the Terrordome) employs common sense and research to show that politics and sports are entangled, whether it's members of the Green Bay Packers supporting the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin's public workers or the Phoenix Suns donning 'Los Suns' uniforms to protest Arizona's controversial, immigrant-obsessed law, SB 1070. Sports also provides material that highlights class and gender issues: massive stadiums funded with the tax dollars of citizens who can't afford the tickets, the expectation that female athletes be competitive and feminine, and cities using the World Cup and Olympics as justification to displace low-income residents in the name of looking good for the world. Sports, Zirin writes, is a 'common language,' that encompasses far more than wins and losses: 'Our sports culture shapes societal attitudes, norms, and power arrangements.' Zirin steadfastly demonstrates how the games we watch are not just an escape from the everyday: they are a reflection that provides a perfect opportunity for protest and change." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A damning indictment of all that is corrupting sports and a song of praise for athletes standing up for human rights and decency.” Kirkus
About the Author
One of the UTNE Reader's 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin is a columnist for The Nation, SLAM magazine, and SI.com. He is the host of Sirius XM's popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPNs Outside the Lines and on MSNBC. His previous books include A Peoples History of Sports in the United States and Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (both available from The New Press). He lives near Washington, D.C.
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