From Publishers Weekly
In sports books, the term "left wing" typically means something very different than it does in Zirin's; a sportswriter and regular contributor to The Nation, Zirin takes a look at sports through the prisms of race, class, politics and identity, examining the mainstream sports media's charged rhetoric and challenging the industry's readily-accepted common wisdoms (especially the popular notion that professional athletes are all rich, spoiled, self-centered thugs). Each of the ten chapters deals with a different issue, from Major League Baseball's exploitation of the Dominican Republic to Olympian graft. Zirin's clear, concise arguments detail the behind-the-scenes manipulation of football star-turned-Army ranger Pat Tillman's death, point out the racism inherent in the media's coverage of Barry Bonds and explicate the global and local politics of soccer. Unfortunately, Zirin's tone is too often snide, stooping to the same depths for which he regularly lambasts right wing commentators (for instance, referring to Dodger second baseman Jeff Kent as someone who "splashes on High Karate before strutting to the free clinic"). Still, this is a unique and thought-provoking collection of politically enlightened sports writing, suitable for anyone with season tickets and a left-of-center outlook.
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About the Author
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. 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.