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The Nation

on Aug 16, 2014 - 20:41 PM ET
Pro wrestler Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP)

His name is Hassan Hamin Assad. But pro wrestling fans know him as Montel Vontavious Porter, otherwise known as MVP. In a sporting spectacle known for its profoundly backward representations of African-Americans, MVP has always chosen to showcase himself as a man of intelligence and confidence that—when playing the villain—could morph into grandiose cockiness. This past...

Sports, Society
on Aug 13, 2014 - 10:43 AM ET
Robin Williams

When I was 12, I was trudging along on 77th and Columbus with my sister and father, another desultory post-divorce dinner with dad. Like it was yesterday, I remember looking up and doing a double take, then a triple take, then a quadruple take: Robin Williams was walking alongside us. Robin. Effing. Williams.

This would have been Robin Williams at the apex of his powers—at least in the eyes of a 12-year-old. After Mork and Mindy. After Popeye...

on Aug 7, 2014 - 15:05 PM ET
Becky Hammon

The biggest line of horseshit you will ever hear in professional sports not uttered by Dan Snyder is that no one in the executive suites cares if you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight. As long as you can help the team win, there is a place for you. Wrong. The pivot of all executive decisions is not “How can the team win?” but “How can I keep my damn job?”

The front office fear is that if they bring in a “distraction...

Sports
on Aug 1, 2014 - 17:42 PM ET
Palestine soccer fans

All it took was a recording of Donald Sterling insulting Magic Johnson in a derogatory manner for the twenty-four-hour news world to stop on its axis. Now imagine if Donald Sterling—in all of his paranoid, racist fervor—had an army at his disposal and bombed Magic Johnson in his home, killing him in his sleep.

If such a scenario sounds like hacky Phillip K. Dick fan fiction as written by Mike Lupica, then you have not been paying attention to the...

on Jul 30, 2014 - 12:44 PM ET
Air strike gaza

I’m in the hospital as I write this, getting ready to be cut open for some kind of intestinal surgery. I feel stressed, a little scared, yet given the news in the world, oddly grateful. I’m grateful that this clean facility, and its overworked but exceptionally kind staff, is not in the process of being bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

It is a sick sign of our times that human beings throughout the world cannot take for granted the concept that...

War and Peace
on Jul 24, 2014 - 15:04 PM ET
Ray Rice

Two games. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on a security camera dragging his unconscious wife-to-be Janay Palmer by the hair, after knocking her unconscious, and the National Football League has chosen to suspend him for two games. Rice in fact will return to the field just in time to wear the NFL’s pink-festooned uniforms to celebrate their deep commitment to breast cancer awareness—and their even deeper commitment to selling sixty-dollar...

Sports, Society