Sport Issues

Rafer Johnson, once the “World’s Greatest Athlete,” dies at age 86

By Alan Gilman, 17 December 2020

The US gold medal winner of the decathlon at the 1960 Olympics, Rafer Johnson, was the first African American athlete to achieve world prominence during the period of the Cold War and civil rights movement.

Cancellations and postponements as disaster in college football continues

By Andy Thompson, 4 December 2020

The University of Michigan has canceled its game this upcoming weekend against the University of Maryland after 12 people in the program tested positive for coronavirus.

zzzz999 College sports and coronavirus developments

2 December 2020

Argentine football star Diego Maradona mourned worldwide

By Rafael Azul and Andrea Lobo, 30 November 2020

Beyond the mark he made on the history of football, Maradona’s hostility to inequality and imperialism won him sympathy from wide layers of workers and youth internationally.

28 November 2020

Potential superspreader event as 10,000 Notre Dame fans storm field after college football game

By Andy Thompson, 10 November 2020

Thousands of college football fans in South Bend, Indiana, stormed the field Saturday night following the home team Notre Dame’s victory in double overtime over Clemson, then the top-ranked program in the country.

Despite COVID outbreaks, NFL season continues in front of tens of thousands of spectators

By Andy Thompson, 6 October 2020

Despite COVID-19 outbreaks of two NFL teams, the professional football season continues.

Michigan State University pushes forward with football amid a mass spike in COVID-19 cases

By Luke Galvin, 28 September 2020

Since August 24, there have been 1,250 cases of COVID-19 linked to the reopening of the university.

US college football season set to begin early November

By Andy Thompson, 26 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Pac-12 football conference has announced games will begin November 6th.

Big Ten universities announce football will resume

By Andy Thompson, 17 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Big Ten football conference has announced games will begin October 24.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer greenlights the resumption of high school sports during pandemic

By Valery Tsekov, 9 September 2020

Ignoring the advice of Michigan’s chief medical executive, the Democratic governor suspended her executive order banning high school contact sports.

Drive to play college football continues as evidence mounts that games could be “superspreader” events

By Andy Thompson, 4 September 2020

Dozens of schools are still moving forward with plans to play games in front of tens of thousands of fans, and 77 of the 130 major college football programs will play their seasons in some form this fall.

Boycott by professional athletes expands in second day of protests against police violence

By Kevin Reed, 28 August 2020

The boycott among professional athletes expanded on Thursday in response to the brutal police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Players shut down NBA playoffs in protest over Jacob Blake shooting

By Alan Gilman, 27 August 2020

The refusal of the Milwaukee Bucks to take the court for their Wednesday playoff game forced professional basketball to postpone all of Wednesday’s games.

Resuming college football driven by financial interests

By Andy Thompson, 6 August 2020

In order to protect billions in revenue, US universities are resorting to threats and cover-ups to keep their plans to play football in the fall on track.

Major League Baseball season on brink of collapse as COVID-19 continues to spread

By Alan Gilman, 3 August 2020

New positive cases have continued to emerge since the first outbreak in the Miami Marlins, causing postponement of 20 percent of last weekend’s games.

Major League Baseball confronted with major COVID-19 outbreak

By Alan Gilman, 29 July 2020

Seventeen members of the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19 since the weekend, exposing a complete disregard for basic safety precautions.

Texas revises its coronavirus death tally upward by 12 percent

By Bryan Dyne, 28 July 2020

If a similar revision were made to the fatality rate across the US, more than 18,000 new deaths would have to be added to the national toll.

COVID-19 disrupts reopening of US professional sports

By Alan Gilman, 11 July 2020

Professional baseball, basketball, football and soccer are all attempting to resume play without live audiences, but dozens of athletes have fallen victim to coronavirus.

The Last Dance: Basketball star Michael Jordan and professional sports in the 1990s

By Omar Ali, 3 July 2020

The recently released documentary miniseries The Last Dance chronicles the championship season of the 1998 Chicago Bulls, with particular focus on the figure of superstar Michael Jordan.

US professional sports confront an opponent that may be unbeatable: COVID-19

By Alan Gilman, 27 June 2020

Major League Baseball plans to begin play during the pandemic, but as with the other professional sports, and college football, the hope of resuming in the midst of the pandemic seems delusional.

Major League Baseball plans to open season in midst of pandemic

By Alan Gilman, 1 June 2020

As baseball finalizes its reopening plan, the monetary interests of the owners continue to supersede the health and welfare of the players, their families and their communities.

Project Restart: English Premier League puts profit first, players’ health a poor second

By Paul Bond, 25 May 2020

The government aims to use televised play to break down public support for social distancing. The PL’s concerns are more directly financial.

After weeks of delay

Major US professional sport leagues shut down seasons

By Alan Gilman, 13 March 2020

The shutdown has extended to college and university athletics, including the NCAA national basketball tournament.

Australian PM compels minister to resign over sports grants pork-barrelling

By Mike Head, 3 February 2020

Morrison’s removal of McKenzie will intensify the turmoil within the increasingly discredited government and the entire political establishment.

Steven Soderbergh’s High Flying Bird: Sports and racial politics

By Joanne Laurier, 1 February 2020

Steven Soderbergh’s latest film High Flying Bird concerns itself with a fictional National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout, but is essentially an accommodation to identity politics.

The sudden death of basketball great Kobe Bryant produces shock and tributes worldwide

By Alan Gilman, 29 January 2020

The retired basketball star and his teenage daughter were among nine victims of a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.

New doping provocation against Russia prior to 2020 Olympics

By Kevin Reed, 12 December 2019

A four-year ban has been imposed on Russian athletes participating in international competition, including the upcoming Summer Olympics in 2020 and Winter Olympics in 2022.

Ford v Ferrari: Life at high speed

By Joanne Laurier, 27 November 2019

Ford v Ferrari recounts Ford Motor Company’s bid to unseat Ferrari as the reigning champion of Le Mans in the 1960s. The Professor and the Madman tells the fascinating story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary .

Remembrance Day and Rearmament:

Why Canada’s elite finally turned on notorious right-wing hockey commentator Don Cherry

By Carl Bronski, 14 November 2019

Don Cherry, the long-time intermission commentator on the iconic “Hockey Night in Canada” television broadcast, was fired Monday after delivering the latest in a decades-long string of right-wing, xenophobic rants.

National Football League continues blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick

By Alan Gilman, 23 September 2019

Despite one-fifth of starting quarterbacks unable to play because of injuries, the National Football League owners continue to refuse to give Colin Kaepernick a tryout, let alone hire him.

Star quarterback Andrew Luck stuns National Football League by retiring at 29

By Alan Gilman, 2 September 2019

The devastating physical and mental toll that professional football players have to endure is compelling some to retire at the height of their careers.

NFL settles Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid’s collusion grievance

By Alan Gilman, 19 February 2019

Kaepernick drew national attention during the 2016 season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice, in particular police killings of African-Americans.

As National Football League season opens

Nike unveils ad featuring blacklisted quarterback Colin Kaepernick

By Alan Gilman, 10 September 2018

The National Football League season has opened against the backdrop of Colin Kaepernick becoming the face of Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign and a ruling allowing his collusion lawsuit against the NFL to go forward.

NFL players national anthem protests resume at first preseason games

By Alan Gilman, 13 August 2018

Despite attempts by the League, various owners, and Trump to stop player protests, several continued to protest for social justice, equality and against police violence.

France wins football World Cup

By Anthony Torres, 16 July 2018

This Cup, marked by many surprise eliminations of top teams, ended with a match between two countries, France and Croatia, that were far from the favorites to win.

Trump rescinds Philadelphia Eagles’ White House invitation in latest provocation against NFL players

By Alan Gilman, 6 June 2018

On Monday, the day before the football team was to be honored for their Super Bowl championship at the White House, President Donald Trump disinvited the team.

NFL issues new policy forbidding anthem protests by players

By Matthew Taylor, 25 May 2018

The action was a capitulation to President Trump’s bullying, as well as an expression of the owners’ own hostility to players’ protests against police violence.

Leaked audio tapes reveal NFL owners feared both Trump and player protests

By Alan Gilman, 4 May 2018

The tape recording of a secret NFL meeting of owners and players to discuss Colin Kaepernick and Donald Trump was leaked to the New York Times.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic legacy”

Part one

By Paul Bond, 30 April 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, has left a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya: Confessions of a media pariah

By Carlos Delgado, 12 March 2018

The film depicts the life and times of Tonya Harding, the former Olympic figure skater who became the center of a media firestorm after the assault on rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994.

Money paid to college basketball players reveals the profit greed of the NCAA

By Alan Gilman, 9 March 2018

The widespread corruption that has become the norm in college basketball shows how its unpaid “student-athletes” have been exploited by a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

2018 Winter Olympics held in Korea under shadow of war

By Will Morrow, 13 February 2018

This Olympics, like those that have preceded it, has been dominated by extreme expressions of nationalism and chauvinism, particularly by the US.

CNN suppressed leaked DHS report on Super Bowl LII security operation

By Matthew Taylor, 7 February 2018

CNN’s decision to withhold their report until after the Super Bowl illustrates the media’s role as collaborators with, and mouthpieces of, the military intelligence apparatus.

International Olympic Committee bans Russia from 2018 Olympics in political provocation

By Josh Varlin, 6 December 2017

The move is intended to humiliate and isolate Russia, facilitating a long-term campaign by US imperialism to remove Russia as an obstacle to American hegemony.

Wisconsin construction worker falls to death while working on Milwaukee Bucks stadium

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 November 2017

Few details have been released about the tragic death last week of an electrician who fell from a ladder at the construction site of the new $524 million stadium.

As Trump presses owners to fire protesting athletes

NFL commissioner says football players should stand for national anthem

By Alan Gilman, 19 October 2017

In an angry tweet Wednesday, Trump complained that the NFL owners had decided not to force players to stand for the national anthem.

Kaepernick seeks arbitration over NFL blacklisting

By Alan Gilman, 16 October 2017

The star quarterback has been denied a chance to play in the league because of his role in sparking protests over racial inequality and police violence.

NFL commissioner announces plans against anthem protests

By Trévon Austin, 12 October 2017

NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell and a number of team owners are taking measures to punish football players who kneel during the anthem.

Trump and Pence orchestrate national anthem provocation at NFL game

By Alan Gilman, 10 October 2017

Pence and his wife left the Indianapolis stadium after about 20 members of the San Francisco 49ers “took a knee” during the national anthem.

Intensifying his attack on NFL players, Trump continues to incite the ultra-right

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2017

Donald Trump has continued his campaign of threats against protesting professional football players and other athletes.

025 Trump vs athletes

27 September 2017

Behind Trump’s attack on the NFL football players

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2017

Trump’s attacks on NFL players for “disrespecting” the national anthem are a calculated effort to whip up racism and militarism.

Former football star Aaron Hernandez had advanced brain damage

By Alan Gilman, 26 September 2017

Once a star for the New England Patriots, Hernandez committed suicide earlier this year while serving a life sentence for murder.

In defiance of Trump threats, US athletes protest police repression

By Patrick Martin, 25 September 2017

In a campaign speech in Alabama and multiple Twitter messages, the US president demanded total conformity from athletes with his policies of police repression and militarism.

The National Football League’s blacklisting of quarterback Colin Kaepernick

By Alan Gilman, 7 September 2017

Last season, while playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police killings of African Americans in the US.

New York high school football player killed during military-style practice drill

By Warren Duzak, 14 August 2017

Joshua Mileto, a 16-year-old high school football player, was killed last week while participating in a group exercise designed for US Navy SEALs.

Brain damage found in 99 percent of deceased NFL players

By Alan Gilman, 28 July 2017

The study showed that repeated head injuries cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Australian cricket pay dispute escalates

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2017

Cricketing administrators are seeking to boost their control over billions of dollars of broadcasting and online streaming revenue.

Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez found dead in his prison cell

By Alan Gilman, 21 April 2017

On the day that his former teammates were being honored at the White House, former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell.

New England Patriots players plan to boycott meeting with Trump

By Alan Gilman, 13 February 2017

Six players from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have announced they will not attend a White House event to be held in their honor.

New accusations of Russian state-sponsored doping

By Andrea Peters, 13 December 2016

Authorities have responded to new allegations of doping to demand the indefinite exclusion of Russian athletes from international sports competitions.

US national anthem protests at sporting events continue to spread

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2016

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem before NFL games, in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, has continued to gain support.

NFL football players spread protests over police violence, racism

By Alan Gilman, 20 September 2016

The protest begun by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over police violence and racial oppression has been taken up by other athletes.

Professional football quarterback Colin Kaepernick protests US police killings

By Alan Gilman, 30 August 2016

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback refused to stand for the national anthem, protesting the relentless promotion of the police and military during professional sports games.

055 Colin Kaepernick protest

29 August 2016

Russian athletes barred from Paralympic Games

By Andrea Peters, 25 August 2016

In the latest salvo against Russia, the world’s top court of sports has ruled that the country’s disabled athletes cannot participate in the upcoming games.

Cohen of the Times on Rio Olympics: “I’m tired of reading about anger in the slums”

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2016

Cohen’s column sums up the social attitudes of a whole privileged layer, who are indifferent to inequality, despise the working class and have embraced imperialism as a necessary foundation of their wealth.

Rio Olympics: Reviving the methods of dictatorship

By Rafael Azul, 9 August 2016

The opening days of the Summer Olympic Games have proven that the Brazilian authorities have zero tolerance for even minimal forms of protest.

Rio 2016: The “Olympic ideal” and the reality of capitalism

By Bill Van Auken, 8 August 2016

The Olympics are being held under conditions of military occupation in Brazil, one of the world’s must unequal countries, wracked by economic, social and political crises.

Rio Olympics overshadowed by social crisis

By Rafael Azul, 5 August 2016

The Rio Olympic Games open in the midst of social crisis.

A week before Rio games, protesters extinguish Olympic flame

By Bill Van Auken, 30 July 2016

The Olympics are being held in a Brazil wracked by political and economic crisis as well as mounting social unrest.

Russian athletes to participate in summer Olympics under discriminatory regime

By David Levine, 26 July 2016

The International Olympic Committee will allow Russian athletes to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games if they can convince sports authorities they are innocent of doping.

090 WADA Russia doping report

22 July 2016

The Fort Bragg baseball game, American militarism and the Fourth of July

Niles Niemuth—SEP candidate for vice president, 5 July 2016

Sunday’s baseball game at the Fort Bragg military base was intended to manipulate the celebration of the American Revolution in order to promote militarism and war.

New doping allegations against Russia ahead of summer Olympics

By Barry Grey, 14 May 2016

While it is entirely possible that the Putin government has overseen a program of doping, the unsubstantiated allegations are being used to promote a reactionary geopolitical agenda.

Hillsborough: A powerful and moving account of Britain’s worst sporting disaster

By Robert Stevens, 14 May 2016

The documentary reconstructs key events and includes harrowing footage of the crush and its aftermath, as well as interviews with family members, survivors and police officers on duty.

The Program: The success and calamitous failure of Lance Armstrong

By David Walsh, 9 April 2016

The latest film from veteran British director Stephen Frears dramatizes the saga of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s rise to the top and his subsequent disgrace in a doping scandal.

NFL admits connection between concussions and degenerative brain disease

By Alan Gilman, 19 March 2016

The NFL’s public acknowledgement that playing American football may cause brain damage is motivated by an attempt to protect the organization against future lawsuits.

Concussion: Highlighting the perils of American football

By Alan Gilman, 14 January 2016

Despite its limitations, Concussion serves to bring before a mass audience the grave risks inherent in playing America’s most popular sport.

Report reveals massive pro-war propaganda campaign

Military spectacle and American sport

By Eric London, 6 November 2015

According to a US Senate report, the Pentagon has paid over $50 million for hundreds of pro-war, pro-military propaganda events at sports stadiums in the last three years.

US imperialism and the FIFA corruption investigation

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2015

No aspect of life is exempt from the impact of mounting economic, political and military antagonisms—and there is no limit to what the US is prepared to do to impose its will.

Media hypocrisy over fate of migrant labour in Qatar

By Mark Blackwood, 5 June 2015

The campaign to overturn FIFA’s decisions to hold the World Cup in Russia and Qatar has spawned a slew of hypocritical articles over the atrocious conditions facing migrant workers.

FIFA head resigns amidst US-led campaign over bribery scandal

By Niles Williamson, 3 June 2015

Sepp Blatter announced his resignation Tuesday in the face of immense pressure from the United States and European powers, upset above all by his closer relations with Russia.

Prince William spearheads UK campaign against FIFA, targeting Russia

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2015

The campaign against FIFA head Sepp Blatter is part of the geo-political manoeuvres of the United States and its imperialist allies.

US seizes on FIFA corruption to pursue campaign against Russia

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 29 May 2015

The rampant financial corruption within football’s ruling body is being utilised by the US primarily as a propaganda weapon against Russia, chosen by FIFA to host the 2018 World Cup.

The “Fight of the Century”: An orgy of wealth and profit

By Joseph Santolan, 6 May 2015

The boxing and entertainment industries generated over a billion dollars in profit out of the spectacle of two men punching at each other for thirty-six minutes.

Star US professional football player retires over fears of brain trauma

By Alan Gilman, 24 March 2015

National Football League linebacker Chris Borland, after a starring rookie season, announced last week that he is retiring in order to avoid crippling brain injuries.

Ohio football player, apparent suicide victim, complained of concussions

By Alan Gilman, 5 December 2014

Defensive tackle Kosta Karageorge, 22, reported missing for several days, was found dead in a dumpster in Columbus, Ohio from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes

By James Cogan, 2 December 2014

The overblown response of the entire media, political and sporting establishment to Hughes’s death deserves careful and critical scrutiny.

Drone flying “Greater Albania” flag provokes soccer riot in Serbia

By Paul Mitchell, 16 October 2014

The violence at the UEFA qualifying match happened on the eve of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belgrade to mark the 70th anniversary of the city’s liberation from Nazi occupation in World War II.

The NFL’s Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson—and the moral high ground of American corporations

By David Walsh, 19 September 2014

In response to recent incidents involving US professional football players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, a number of large corporations have expressed “concern” or even withdrawn sponsorships.

Brain damage affects 3 in 10 former National Football League players

By Alan Gilman, 18 September 2014

In a lawsuit brought by former players, the National Football League has admitted that nearly a third of retired players will suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other long-term cognitive diseases.

Gas billionaire purchases Buffalo NFL Franchise for record $1.2 billion

By Jason Melanovski, 17 September 2014

Terry Pegula has been awarded the rights to the Buffalo Bills National Football League franchise in a bidding war that lasted for several months.

The Ray Rice case and the violence of American football

By Alan Gilman and Jerry White, 10 September 2014

Nowhere in the round-the-clock media coverage and sanctimonious statements of NFL officials, team owners and political figures has there been the slightest insight into the broader social causes of such violence.

Brazil suffers World Cup rout amid mounting social tensions

By Bill Van Auken, 10 July 2014

Brazil’s unprecedented debacle in its semifinal match with Germany has brought to the forefront the deep-going social conflicts that have surrounded this year’s World Cup.

Anti-Muslim hysteria surrounds World Cup in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 3 July 2014

Public statements and policies stigmatizing Algerians during the World Cup reflect the escalating anti-immigrant hysteria seizing the French ruling elite.

On opening day of the World Cup, protests continue in Brazil

By Rafael Azul, 13 June 2014

Protests and strikes continued in Sao Paulo, Río de Janeiro and other cities on the opening day of the World Cup.

More National Football League players file suit over injuries

By Matthew Brennan, 26 May 2014

A group of retired NFL players allege that professional football knowingly supplied them with illegal narcotics and addictive painkillers.

Former US baseball pitcher alleges police brutality ended his career

By Tom Hall, 5 April 2014

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Brandon Backe and 11 co-litigants allege that Galveston police indiscriminately attacked a wedding party in 2008.