Playing as if the World Mattered: An Illustrated History of Activism in Sports
by Gabriel Kuhn Author
The world of sports is often associated with commercialism, corruption, and reckless competition. Some have objected to sport being used for political propaganda, or decried its role in distracting the masses from class struggles. Yet, since the beginning of organized sports, athletes, fans, and officials have attempted to administer and play in ways that strengthen, rather than hinder, progressive social change.
From the workers' sports movement in the early twentieth century to the civil rights struggle that transformed sports in the 1960s, to the current global network of grassroots sports clubs, there has been a growing desire to include sports in the struggle for liberation and social justice. It is a struggle that has produced larger-than-life figures like Muhammad Ali, and iconic images such as the Black Power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the '68 Mexico Olympics. It's a struggle that has seen sports fans, in increasing number, reclaiming the games they love from undemocratic associations, greedy owners, and corporate interests.
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