Sport Issues

Joe Louis Arena facing closure, demolition as part of stadium deal with Ilitch

By Thomas Gaist, 19 March 2014

The deal represents yet another huge giveaway to billionaire Mike Ilitch.

UK: Families of Hillsborough disaster victims placed under police surveillance

By Barry Mason, 4 March 2014

Hillsborough family campaigners strongly believed their phone calls were being monitored in the aftermath of the football stadium disaster.

Violence in sports: Two more boxers die from head injuries

By Matthew Brennan, 12 February 2014

On February 3, Mexican featherweight boxer Oscar Gonzalez died from brain injuries sustained during a match with Jesus Galicia in Mexico City.

US media, politicians mobilize against Sochi Olympics

By Andrea Peters, 10 February 2014

The Sochi Olympics opened on Friday amid a propaganda onslaught from the US media, taking its cues from the Obama administration and allied powers in Europe.

Tensions mount between US and Russia in lead-up to Olympics

By Andrea Peters, 27 January 2014

The US government and the Western media are working to turn the Sochi Olympics into a debacle for the Russian government.

Top baseball player Alex Rodriguez suspended through 2014 season

By Alan Gilman, 6 August 2013

Major League Baseball has suspended another 13 players, including New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez, for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball suspends Ryan Braun for using steroids

By Alan Gilman, 30 July 2013

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of performance-enhancing drugs shows how the drive for profit has debased professional sports.

Australian media furore over sport “drug cheats”

By Mike Head, 11 February 2013

The source of the constant pressure on athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs is the multi-billion-dollar profits being made from the sports-media-entertainment industry.

Junior Seau’s family sues National Football League over brain trauma

By Bryan Dyne, 26 January 2013

The family of Junior Seau, the former San Diego Chargers football star, is suing the NFL for negligence.

Lance Armstrong and the world of professional sports

By David Walsh, 23 January 2013

Armstrong apparently operated a type of mini-Mafia in cycling, bringing to the sport the very worst of American predatory entrepreneurship.

Baseball great Stan Musial dead at 92

By Alan Gilman, 23 January 2013

During his career Musial won seven batting titles, three World Series titles, was voted the National League’s most valuable player three times and was named to a record-tying 24 All-Star teams.

NHL union lays the basis for massive concessions for hockey players

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 December 2012

The hockey players’ union has agreed in principle to massive reductions in salary and changes in contract structure, with negotiations continuing over their implementation.

The World Series and militarism

By James Brewer, 30 October 2012

Major League Baseball has taken every opportunity to infuse the World Series with patriotism and the glorification of war.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles

By Bryan Dyne, 27 October 2012

Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has been barred from further cycling competition by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

NHL lockout of players continues

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 October 2012

The continued NHL lockout threatens regular season games as owners demand massive salary concessions and contract modifications.

National Football League and referees reach tentative agreement

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2012

NFL referee lockout caused mass anger over officiating mistakes.

Lockout of National Football League referees continues

By Alan Gilman, 20 September 2012

The National Football League lockout of its on-field officials continues into the third week of the NFL season.

The London Olympics and the social crisis

By Chris Marsden, 4 August 2012

Major sporting matches are inevitably coloured by broader economic, social and political factors, and none more so than this, the premier global event.

Corporate sponsors tighten grip on the Olympics

By Paul Stuart, 2 August 2012

The accumulated impact of corporate sponsorship on each successive games is extinguishing whatever remains of the original Olympic ideal.

What Danny Boyle’s Olympic pageant does and does not say about Britain

By Chris Marsden, 1 August 2012

It is to film director Danny Boyle’s credit that his Olympic Games opening ceremony aroused such a hostile reaction from a section of the UK’s Conservative right.

Global elite descend on East London for Olympics

By Paul Stuart, 27 July 2012

The Royal Dock complex, adjacent to London’s financial district at Canary Wharf, is hosting up to one hundred super yachts, including twenty of the world’s most opulent, as the Olympic Games begin.

US: National Football League officials locked out

By Alan Gilman, 26 July 2012

With the National Football League set to open training camps later this month, the league’s on-field officials remain locked out.

Crime, punishment and hypocrisy in the Penn State scandal

By Patrick Martin, 25 July 2012

The NCAA is neither an impartial judge nor an innocent bystander.

British trade unions push productivity deals and enforced arbitration during Olympics

By Paul Stuart, 16 July 2012

The trade unions are pushing through productivity deals in the transport sector ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games due to start 27 July.

London Olympic missile sites confirmed despite protests

By Paul Bond, 12 July 2012

The government has confirmed the locations of ground-based air defence missiles across London during the Olympic Games.

The suicide of professional football player Junior Seau

By Tom Eley, 4 May 2012

The suicide of Junior Seau is the latest in a series of incidents highlighting the brutality of America’s most popular spectator sport.

US baseball manager suspended for comment on Castro

By Tom Eley, 12 April 2012

The US media has reacted hysterically to comments about Fidel Castro made by Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillén.

The New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” program and violence in American sports

By David Walsh, 8 March 2012

From 2009 through 2011, a defensive coach and players on the New Orleans Saints football team operated a program under which players were paid cash rewards for injuring opponents, with higher payments for more serious injuries.

The death of Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal

By Hiram Lee, 27 January 2012

Legendary college football coach Joe Paterno, demonized in the media for his role in the Penn State scandal, died January 22 at the age of 85.

Basketball team owners prevail as NBA lockout ends

By Matthew Brennan, 6 December 2011

After a five-month lockout, the players and the owners in the National Basketball Association have tentatively agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Issues involved in the National Basketball Association lockout

By Matthew Brennan, 24 November 2011

The high profile labor dispute over a new collective bargaining agreement between National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners and players appears to have reached an impasse.

Letters on the Penn State scandal

17 November 2011

Letters in response to The Penn State scandal and sports in America

The Penn State scandal and sports in America

By David Walsh, 15 November 2011

The scandal currently enveloping Penn State’s football program, involving alleged child abuse by a former coach at the school, has dominated much of the American media for the past week.

The deaths of three hockey “enforcers:” The tragic contradictions of professional sports

By Jack Miller, 26 September 2011

Three current or former National Hockey League players, all of them known as “enforcers,” have died this year either by suicide or as the result of alcohol and drugs.

The 2018 Winter Olympics: Money and power

By Werner Albrecht, 12 July 2011

Major sporting events today are all about national prestige and big business, with corruption, bribery and doping playing ever-increasing roles.

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team files for bankruptcy

By Alan Gilman, 4 July 2011

Owner Frank McCourt has looted as much as $200 million from the celebrated franchise.

Aboriginal boxer Lionel Rose dies, aged 62

By Richard Phillips, 27 May 2011

Lionel Rose will be remembered long after the well-heeled politicians “paying their respects” have left the scene.

The Pacquiao phenomenon in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 9 May 2011

Like almost every boxing figure before him, Manny Pacquiao came from a life of grinding poverty. It is this history—the intimate shared reality of suffering and struggle—that the vast majority Filipinos identify with.

US football player targeted for criticizing celebration of Bin Laden killing

By Jerry White, 7 May 2011

The media and corporate sponsors have gone after Pittsburgh Steeler running back Rashard Mendenhall for criticizing the jingoistic celebrations following the killing of Bin Laden.

The Pakistani cricket match-fixing scandal

By Tom Peters, 21 September 2010

The media campaign and charges against Pakistani cricketers Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt reveal the extent to which cricket has become dominated by commercial imperatives.

The World Cup and South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 26 June 2010

Football and squalid shantytowns are no strangers to one another. For many barefoot children playing the game in the dust, their skills with the ball are seen as a way out of poverty.

A comment on the Vancouver Winter Olympics

The unnecessary death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili

By Jack Miller, 16 February 2010

The tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run at the Whistler Sliding Centre north of Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday continues to cast a dark cloud over the Winter Olympic Games.

The Tiger Woods episode: Money, the media, and the “path to redemption”

By David Walsh, 16 December 2009

The American media is generally full of rubbish, but more rubbish has been written and broadcast about Tiger Woods and his affairs than any other subject in some time.

The case of NFL football star Michael Vick

By Hiram Lee and David Walsh, 1 September 2007

Following a week of intense media scrutiny, Michael Vick, National Football League (NFL) quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, pled guilty on August 27 to federal dogfighting charges. Vick, whose sentencing is set for December 10, faces the possibility of up to 5 years in prison, but is expected to serve only 12 to 18 months due to his plea agreement.

Australian court endorses Murdoch takeover of rugby league

By Robert Hoffman and John Roberts, 10 January 2001

An acrimonious court case late last year in Australia's Federal Court over the exclusion of a team from the National Rugby League (NRL) spotlights how Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation uses sport to expand its pay TV subscriber base and secure multi-million dollar profits.

Scandal dogs bidding war over Soccer World Cup

By Chris Marsden, 12 July 2000

The world of international soccer has been gripped by scandal over the awarding to Germany of the right to host the 2006 World Cup. The decision was the result of a controversial vote by the sports ruling body, FIFA, last week, in which a German victory by 12 votes to 11 over rival South Africa was made possible by the abstention of Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) President Charlie Dempsey of New Zealand, who was delegated to vote for the African country after England dropped out. If Dempsey had voted for South Africa the ballot would have been level. FIFA President Sepp Blatter favoured South Africa and would have cast the tie-breaking vote.

Behind the corruption scandals

Big business demands a corporate Olympics

By Richard Phillips, 16 March 1999

The international media, not known in the past for its criticism of the International Olympic Committee, has over the past six months been the vehicle for seemingly endless exposures of corruption affecting the IOC--with each new revelation more damning than its predecessor.

A reader asks the WSWS to comment on the sacking of England football coach Glen Hoddle

19 February 1999

Julie Hyland, for the WSWS

Politicians and media defend child boxing tournament in Australia

By Keith Morgan, 16 February 1999

The Australian Amateur Boxing League held a tournament on the Gold Coast in Queensland late last year where children of both sexes as young as nine were put into the ring and egged on to batter each other about the head for the entertainment of the paying audience.

Some issues raised by Michael Jordan's retirement

By David Walsh, 16 January 1999

The retirement of basketball player Michael Jordan, after 13 years as a professional athlete, has generated a massive amount of media coverage. One doesn't write an "astounding amount" of coverage only because the US media's response is entirely predictable. Along with scandal-mongering and beating the war drums, cultivating the public's fascination with celebrities is one of their favorite pastimes.