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Super Bowl Champion and two-time Pro Bowler Michael Bennett is an outspoken proponent for social justice and a man without a censor. One of the most scathingly humorous athletes on the planet, he is also a fearless activist, grassroots philanthropist, and organizer.
Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our times, a sports memoir and manifesto as hilarious as it is revealing.
Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, has gained international recognition for his public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement and women’s rights. Bennett donates all his endorsement money and half of the proceeds from his jersey sales to fund health and education projects for poor underserved youth and minority communities, and has recently expanded his reach globally to provide STEM programming in Africa.
Dave Zirin has been called the “finest, most important writer on sports and politics in America,” by Dr. Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at the Harvard Divinity School. He is sports editor for The Nation and author of several titles for Haymarket Books, including his critically acclaimed book The John Carlos Story, written with 1968 Olympian John Carlos.
From the author Robert Lipsyte calls “the best young sportswriter in America,” a rollicking, rebellious, myth-busting history of sports in America that puts politics in the ring with pop culture
In this long-waited book from the rising superstar of sportswriting, whose blog Edge of Sports is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Dave Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin’s eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of—and spur toward—the political conflicts that shape American society.
Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.
A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”
An NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work—Biography/Autobiography
John Carlos was a bronze medalist in the two hundred-meter race at the 1968 Olympics, but he is remembered for more than his athletic accomplishments. His and his fellow medalist’s Tommie Smith’s Black Power salutes on the podium sparked controversy and career fallout—yet their show of defiance, seen around the world, remains one of the most iconic images of both Olympic history and African American history. This is the remarkable story of John Carlos’s experience as a young man in Harlem, a track and field athlete, and lifelong activist.
“This book is fascinating for more than just the sports history, as the text talks about Carlos’ connection to Dr. King, basketball player Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Olympic runner Ralph Boston, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and boxer George Foreman. Carlos even comments on topics in today’s news including First Lady Michelle Obama, the value of Twitter, the antics of athletes like Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, and his views on an award he received at ESPN’s 2008 ESPYs.” —Chicago Tribune
“John Carlos is an American hero . . . I couldn’t put this book down.” —Michael Moore, filmmaker and New York Times–bestselling author of Here Comes Trouble
The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the World Cup—the world’s most-viewed athletic tournament—in 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics. But as the events were approaching, ordinary Brazilians were holding the country’s biggest protest marches in decades.
Sports journalist Dave Zirin traveled to Brazil to find out why. In a rollicking read that travels from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the fabled Maracanã Stadium to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Zirin examines Brazilians’ objections to the corruption of the games they love; the toll such events take on impoverished citizens; and how taking to the streets opened up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.
“Millions will enjoy the World Cup and Olympics, but Zirin justly reminds readers of the real human costs beyond the spectacle.” —Kirkus Reviews
Sportscaster Howard Cosell dubbed it “rule number one of the jockocracy”: sports and politics just don’t mix. But in truth, some of our most important debates about class, race, religion, sex, and the raw quest for political power are played out both on and off the field. From the NFL lockout and the role of soccer in the Arab Spring to the Penn State sexual abuse scandals and Tim Tebow’s on-field genuflections, this timely and hard-hitting new book from the “conscience of American sports writing” offers new insights and analysis of headline-grabbing sports controversies (The Washington Post).
It explores the shady side of the NCAA; the explosive 2011 MLB All-Star Game; and why the Dodgers crashed and burned. It covers the fascinating struggles of gay and lesbian athletes to gain acceptance, female athletes to be more than sex symbols, and athletes everywhere to assert their collective bargaining rights as union members. Dave Zirin also illustrates the ways that athletes are once again using their exalted platforms to speak out and reclaim sports from the corporate interests that have taken it hostage. In Game Over, he cheers the victories—but also reflects on how far we have yet to go.
“A book that no thinking sports fan can afford to miss.” —Jonathan Mahler, author of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning
Jim Brown is recognized as perhaps the greatest football player to ever live. But his phenomenal nine-year career with the Cleveland Browns is only part of his remarkable story, the opening salvo to a much more sprawling epic. Brown parlayed his athletic fame into stardom in Hollywood, where it was thought that he could become "the black John Wayne." He was an outspoken Black Power icon in the 1960s, and he formed Black Economic Unions to challenge racism in the business world. For this and for his decades of work as a truce negotiator with street gangs, Brown--along with such figures as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and Billie Jean King--is revered as a socially conscious athlete.
On the most hypermasculine cultural canvases of the United States--NFL football, the Black Power movement, Hollywood's blaxploitation films, gang intervention both inside and outside prison walls--Jim Brown has made his mark. Yet in the landscape of the most toxic expression of "what makes a man"--numerous accusations of violence against women--he has left a jagged mark as well.
Dave Zirin's book redefines an American icon, and not always in a flattering light. At eighty-one years old, Brown continues to speak out and look for fights. His recent public support of Donald Trump and criticism of Colin Kaepernick are just the latest examples of someone who seems restless if he is not in conflict. Jim Brown is a raw and thrilling account of Brown's remarkable life and a must-read for sports fans and students of the black freedom struggle.
“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.
Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, an organizer, and a change maker. He's also one of the most humorous athletes on the planet, and he wants to make you uncomfortable. Bennett adds his voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field. Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Sitting Down to Stand Up is a sports book for young people who want to make a difference, a memoir, and a book as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.
The fastest-growing sector of today’s sports audience is the alienated fan. Complaints abound: from inflated ticket prices, $6 hot dogs, and $9 beers to owners endlessly demanding new multimillion-dollar stadiums funded by public tax dollars. Those sitting in the owners’ boxes are increasingly placing profit over players’ performances and fan loyalty. Bad Sports cuts through the hype and bombast to zero in on tales of abusive, dictatorial owners who move their teams thousands of miles away from their fan base, use their stadiums as religious and political platforms, or hold communities ransom for millions of dollars of taxpayer money to fund their gargantuan stadiums.
As the multibillion-dollar sports-industrial complex continues to lumber along, Dave Zirin is the voice in the wilderness, speaking out for the common fan with a tough, passionate, and intelligent voice that will remind readers that there is more to sportswriting than glowing athlete profiles.
“Dave Zirin is the best young sportswriter in America.”—Robert Lipsyte
This much-anticipated sequel to What’s My Name, Fool? by acclaimed commentator Dave Zirin breaks new ground in sports writing, looking at the controversies and trends now shaping sports in the United States—and abroad. Features chapters such as “Barry Bonds is Gonna Git Your Mama: The Last Word on Steroids,” “Pro Basketball and the Two Souls of Hip-Hop,” “An Icon’s Redemption: The Great Roberto Clemente,” and “Beisbol: How the Major Leagues Eat Their Young.”
Zirin’s commentary is always insightful, never predictable.
Dave Zirin is the author of the widely acclaimed book What’s My Name, Fool? (Haymarket Books) and writes the weekly column “Edge of Sports” (edgeofsports.com). He writes a regular column for The Nation and Slam magazine and has appeared as a sports commentator on ESPN TV and radio, CBNC, WNBC, Democracy Now!, Air America, Radio Nation, and Pacifica.
Chuck D redefined rap music and hip-hop culture as leader and co-founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy. Spike Lee calls him “one of the most politically and socially conscious artists of any generation.” He co-hosts a weekly radio show on Air America.