America’s Sports Superstars: Pawns or Players?

July 12, 2010 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Sports 

The reaction of Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert to LeBron James’ move to Miami says a lot about America’s conflicted history of preaching individuality while practicing ownership.

Many of America’s shared values connect to the ideal of the strong, hard-working, free individual. And yet James, an American hero who epitomizes these traits by all accounts, seems to be judged only by his loyalty and humility- or lack thereof. Sports analysts insist that his decision to go to Miami proves that he is doing what’s best for his legacy and that staying in Cleveland would not have been in his best interest. In effect, LeBron epitomizes American capitalism more than anything else. He is in control of his own destiny in many ways, but make no mistake, his ascent didn’t come without burdens, and his opportunities paled in comparison to those of richer, whiter Cleveland residents. Read more

Cross-post: Rally Against Arizona Immigration Law at MLB Headquarters

July 11, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Sports 

Posted on Long Island Wins blog, July 8, 2010 by Ted Hesson.

UPDATE: Several hundred people turned out for Thursday’s rally against Arizona’s misguided immigration law, calling for Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All Star Game out of Phoenix and into a city that will respect the civil rights of residents and visitors. Among the speakers at the noontime rally—situated outside MLB’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters—were Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), New York City Comptroller John Liu, and the head of The New York Immigration Coalition, Chung-Wha Hong.

To see more photos and video from the rally, visit Read more

Alternative Right Gets Soccer Wrong

July 8, 2010 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Sports 

Alternative Right, the sleek new white nationalist online magazine, has decided to use the world’s most famous sporting event, the World Cup, to talk about race and promote white superiority. I am not surprised that a racist publication is writing about the competition considering the World Cup’s massive following in the U.S. What is surprising is the writers’ approach, and the amount of factual errors.

In the article “Black Men Can’t Kick,” Joe Kowalski, a sports writer of all people (albeit for the website Caste Football, a site that promotes the achievements of white athletes), commits many factual errors. First, he states, “France has shown no such resistance. Historically not a soccer power, they won their only World Cup in 1998…” Read more

Mexican Soccer Powerhouses Cancel Friendly Match in Arizona

May 14, 2010 by Stephen Piggott · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Politics, Sports 

Club America and Pachuca, two of Mexico’s biggest soccer clubs, have pulled out of a friendly match that was due to be played on July 7th in Glendale’s University of Arizona Stadium. Club America stated that its reason for pulling out was the signing of the racist law, S.B. 1070:

“Club America would like to inform you that due to the latest developments regarding the new immigration bill… our team will not participate in any friendly match during the preseason 2010 within the state of Arizona.”

Mexican clubs are extremely popular in Arizona. In recent years many Mexican league clubs and the Mexican men’s national team have played there. Arizona was one of the host cities for the 2005 Interliga, a very important tournament in Mexican soccer that determines one of Mexico’s representatives in the prestigious Copa Libertadores, South/Central America’s premier international club tournament. Read more

Message Over Wrigley: Repeal Senate Bill 1070

May 2, 2010 by Jill Garvey · Comments Off
Filed under: Immigration, Sports 

As the Cubs and Diamondbacks take to the field for warm-ups this afternoon, a very special message is flying overhead. After the Cubs denied a request to run ads on its scoreboard, the Center for New Community, a national civil rights organization, decided to take to the skies.

The message is clear and to the point: Repeal Senate Bill 1070.

This latest action comes amid mounting outrage over the draconian anti-immigrant law that was recently passed in Arizona. According to Dave Zirin, Sports Editor for The Nation,

“the owners of the D-backs, the Kendrick family have, as leading funders of the state Republican party, underwritten the political bottom feeders who passed the bill. The Kendrick’s team also plays in a stadium Chase Field, that received $250 million in public funds. In other words, in a scheme that could be described as wingnut political money laundering, they have taken the people’s money with one hand and with the other used it to bankroll state-apartheid.”

Read more

MLB Players Association Responds to S.B. 1070

April 30, 2010 by Amy Spicer · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture, Immigration, Sports 

As the Chicago Cubs host the Arizona Diamondbacks through the rest of the weekend, the Center for New Community, a national civil rights organization, attempted to buy three 5th Inning messages on the Cubs Scoreboard for Sunday’s game. They would have said the following:

1). Cubs Welcome Arizona Immigrant Players. Repeal SB-1070!

2). Cubs Welcome All Immigrants. Repeal AZ SB-1070!

3). Cubs Welcome D-Backs Please Repeal Arizona SB-1070!

The response from the Cubs was as follows:

Read more

David Duke Calls for a Boycott of this Summer’s World Cup

April 30, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comments Off
Filed under: Sports 

By Tom Dunmore

For the hundreds of millions of people around the world who will watch the FIFA World Cup this summer in South Africa on television, and for the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands traveling to see the tournament take place on African soil for the first-time, the soccer competition offers a global communal experience perhaps matched only by the Olympic Games.

For some extremists, it’s also a chance to attempt to sow discord and division by distorting the facts. Witness David Duke’s hysterical attempt to stoke up hatred as he issues “a call for Europeans and people of European descent around the world to boycott the World Cup being held in South Africa.”

Read more

Cross-post: Chicago Cubs Smack Down Immigrant Rights Message

April 27, 2010 by Imagine 2050 Editors · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Culture, Immigration, Sports 

Dave Zirin over at The Nation describes how the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise rejected an immigrant rights message proposed by the national civil rights organization, the Center for New Community, for this weekends game in Wrigley Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Read more

Possible NFL Player Lockout Damages Worker Rights

February 22, 2010 by James E. Johnson Jr. · Comment
Filed under: Economy, Sports 

‘When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.’
-Ancient African proverb

The land knew peace for nearly three decades. The kings in their rented castles sent their warriors out to challenge each other once a week for 16 weeks. The warriors gave the people of the land great contests and the people were pleased. Yes, there was peace in the land and all were happy, until the kings decided not to extend their contract with the warriors.

The last labor dispute that the NFL experienced was the strike of 1987. Prior to 1987 NFL owners did not just own their franchises, in reality they owned the players also, as the players were stuck with a team unless the team let them go. That strike resulted in free agency for the players, which allowed them the opportunity after playing under contract with a team for four years to shop their talent to the team that was willing to compensate them best. The strike also resulted in the players receiving 51% of ‘football revenue’ that is generated because of their labor. Read more

$6 Bottles of Water and What it Means to “Be like Mike”

February 17, 2010 by Jessica Acee · 2 Comments
Filed under: Economy, Sports 

“I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.” -Shaquille O’Neal

The integration of sports and media has moved professional sports like baseball, basketball and hockey away from their values of triumph through struggle and towards commercialization and profit.

After a recent Chicago Blackhawk’s game I felt degraded and ripped off. And it had nothing to do with the game, which was a nail-biter that ended in overtime and a shootout. It had everything to do with the constant barrage of print and digital commercials, the six-dollar bottles of water, and the fact that a 60-minute game somehow stretched to 3 ½ hours.

Now I know time must be taken to clean the ice. And I love watching the Zamboni do it’s thing as much as the next fan. Read more

Super Bowl Commercials Throw Women to the Wolves

February 9, 2010 by Eric Ward · 1 Comment
Filed under: Culture, Sports 

There is an old folk tale about a noble lord and his coach driver who threw the lord’s new bride to the wolves chasing them in order to survive. The lord and driver reasoned that the bride was less valuable. Madison Avenue, with the permission of CBS, did something similar to women last Sunday.

On Sunday evening about thirty minutes before the Super Bowl game began I decided to place a message in my Facebook update status. The message was simple. “Super Bowl Sunday is the day with the highest incidences of domestic violence against women.” I urged my friends to “check themselves” and break the cycle. My friend Ken D. pointed out that increased violence on Super Bowl Sunday is a myth and that women face domestic violence at a higher rate on Christmas and Thanksgiving days. We both reiterated that Super Sunday was still an important day to speak up and speak out. Read more

Rooney Rule Opens Door for Great Coaches

February 8, 2010 by James E. Johnson Jr. · Comment
Filed under: Sports 

As many of you may remember from a previous blog, ‘The Oakland Raiders: Misfits, Rebels and Progressives’, I am a Raider fan. Yesterday’s game was another reminder that my team has fallen on hard times; not only did we not make it to the Super Bowl, we couldn’t even dream of making the playoffs.

What a game it was yesterday, there is nothing like a good Super Bowl to begin the week and end a season. Especially with a Cinderella ending like it was for the Saints. The two best NFL teams this year put on quite a display for football fans and non-fans alike. I would bet that most of the people watching the game were not thinking about the opportunities the NFL has opened up for historically overlooked people. And with that comes the of another NFL season. Read more

No Fans for All-white Basketball League

January 28, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comment
Filed under: Sports 

By Tom Dunmore

Former wrestling promoter Don “Moose” Lewis last week announced he was launching a basketball league for white, American-born players only. A press release from Lewis reported by the Augusta Chronicle said that “Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league”.

He went on to claim that his league was not racist: “There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” Read more

Show Racism the Red Card Rallies Support in Philly

January 19, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comment
Filed under: Sports 

showracismredcardBy Tom Dunmore

I spent last week in Philadelphia at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention, which plays host to, amongst many other activities, the Major League Soccer (MLS) and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) drafts.

The NSCAA is the world’s biggest coaches organisation, with around 30,000 members, a large number of whom were present. If anyone thinks soccer isn’t a major sport in the United States, well, they obviously haven’t been to this convention. I’ve never seen so many tracksuits in my life.

The gathering also includes a massive trade show, where one vendor brought home to me the size of this gathering: he mentioned that he’d been at the baseball convention recently and, he thought, the soccer convention was even bigger. The trade show there itself was extraordinary, with everybody from AC Milan to the new North American Soccer League to Ferdie’s Soccer Magic Program hawking their product.

We were there, though, not for Ferdie’s Soccer Magic but for a couple of specific reasons: the MLS draft, naturally, but also to meet with supporters to discuss the issues we share in American soccer. Read more

Midnight Soccer League

November 8, 2009 by Axel Fuentes · Comment
Filed under: Sports 

Last summer workers at a Mexican restaurant had a desire to encourage better preventative health care. So they decided to alleviate stress through sports. In their small town in Northern Missouri with approximately 18,000 persons living there, in which approximately 200 are Latino immigrants. Most of them work long hours, up to 13 hours a day, and some of them work all seven days a week in local restaurants in the community. Even so they still have a desire to play soccer.

With the help of the Midwest Immigrant Health Project (MIHP) of the Center for New Community, Feliciano took the leadership to start organizing a soccer league. First, he needed a field with light where we could play late at night. With the help of other folks in the community, we were able to find a baseball field where they would allow us to play. So everyone that was interested in playing, pitched in and we were able obtain the goal posts and also pay for the use of the field. With the big help of Center for New Community we were able to have uniforms. On May we kicked off what’s known as the “The Midnight Soccer League.” Read more

Soccer Brings Us Together

October 9, 2009 by Guest Blogger · Comment
Filed under: Immigration, Sports 

By Tom Dunmore - Editor of Pitch Invasion and Vice Chair, Section 8, Chicago

Last week, we looked at how immigration patterns globally have been critical to the growth of soccer as the world’s game, and the reflection of this in American soccer. The question is, can the sport be a productive place for embracing the diversity that makes America great? Today, we look at one of America’s most diverse cities, Chicago, to find out.

Soccer in Chicago has a long if little-known history from the formation of the Chicago Football (soccer) Association in 1890 to MLS’ Chicago Fire Soccer Club today.

The mix of ethnicities playing the sport together in the early decades of the twentieth century has been a lost but important part of Chicago’s sports history, one thankfully rescued by Gabriel Logan’s 2007 dissertation at Northern Illinois University, “Lace up the boots, full tilt ahead: Recreation, Immigration and Labor on Chicago’s Soccer Fields, 1890-1939″.

Read more

Soccer Fans Give Red Card to Tanton Network

October 2, 2009 by Guest Blogger · Comment
Filed under: Immigration, Sports 

By Tom Dunmore - Editor of Pitch Invasion and Vice Chair, Section 8, Chicago

To be anti-immigrant and to still be a fan of soccer, the game that has depended on open borders worldwide, is a contradiction in itself. A recent article by David Seminara of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), “Why Is the U.S. National Soccer Team So ‘American?”, immediately set-off an alert: after all, CIS was created as a project of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigration organization that promotes near-zero levels of immigration.

Seminara asks “why aren’t immigrants making a bigger impact playing soccer for the Stars and Stripes?”, citing the low numbers of current U.S. men’s national team players born outside American borders. Yet, this analysis ignores the crucial contribution immigrants and second-generation citizens have made to the men’s national team historically.

Read more

How FAIR is Attempting to Destroy US Soccer

September 17, 2009 by Stephen Piggott · 14 Comments
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Sports 

If you have been reading our blog at all this week, you will know that the anti-immigrant organization the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is currently hosting its annual lobbying event and awards dinner in Washington DC. FAIR’s website says it “promotes immigration levels consistent with the national interest – more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.” FAIR only use this 300,000 quota to try and maintain its “mainstream” image.

Its real intention is to end all immigration to the United States. According to the Chicago-based civil rights organization the Center for New Community, FAIR “is a carefully crafted entity whose mission is to achieve the goal of zero immigration to the U.S. by blaming immigrants as the cause of economic, population and environmental problems.” It is easy to say that implementing a zero immigration policy would damage the United States in many ways. But what would the United States look like if FAIR achieved their goal? Read more

The Oakland Raiders: Rebels, Misfits, & Progressives

August 27, 2009 by Guest Blogger · 1 Comment
Filed under: Politics, Sports 

by James Johnson

“Are you ready for some football?”  -Hank Williams, Jr.

This is my first blog and I feel it is important to be upfront from the beginning of our relationship. I confess I am an Oakland Raiders fan. Joel Ebert’s blog the ‘Proximity Effected” Fan, talks about people who are fans because of proximity, that is not me. I live in Denver, Colorado home of a divisional rival.

People ask how can I be a Raider fan and live in Denver. I ask how can any forward thinking progressive not be a Raider fan?

When people think Raiders their image is of people painted Silver and Black with spiked hair, spiked shoulder pads, the Black Hole, out and out fanatical fans.

They think of Jack ‘the assassin’ Tatum, Lester ‘the molester’ Hayes, and the other red meat eating, hard-hitting characters who played for the Raiders. Known for stepping on a man after knocking them down as opposed to giving them a hand up. A team of rebels and misfits. Read more

World’s Fastest Woman Victim of Witch Hunt

August 25, 2009 by Jill Garvey · 1 Comment
Filed under: International, News, Sports 

casterThe questions raised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) about the gender of South African athlete Caster Semenya are deplorable. As a result of what is essentially nasty gossip she is being forced to undergo invasive gender verification testing. The tests involve a physical medical evaluation, input from gynecologists, endocrinologists, psychologists, gender experts, and internal medicine specialists, and they take weeks to complete.

Reports say that doubt was publicly cast on Semenya just hours before she was to run the 800 meter race at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. It’s suspicious and unfair to humiliate an athlete mere hours before a competition. But Semenya really stuck it to IAAF officials by handily winning the race, accepting her gold medal, and refusing to publicly address the controversy. Even her competitors expressed disdain for the way she has been treated. Read more

Next Page »