Dave Zirin, The Nation’s sports editor, is the author of ten books on the politics of sports, most recently, The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World. Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Zirin is a frequent guest on ESPN, MSNBC, and Democracy Now! He also hosts The Nation’s Edge of Sports podcast. You can find all his work or contact him through his website EdgeofSports.com. Follow him on twitter @EdgeofSports.
"Are you arresting me? I am a journalist," said John Ray, of London-based ITV News, as he was arrested by the Chinese police. The pernicious crime perpetrated by John Ray was covering a protest outside the National Stadium. "They bundled me out of the park," Ray was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "They forced me to the floor, dragged me, manhandled me into a restaurant next door." Ray was covering the action of eight activists, seven from the US, who unveiled a "Free Tibet" flag near the National Stadium in Beijing.
There are some athletes who can't be bought. Some athletes who refuse tobecome commodities, valuing their humanity more than their wallets. Thenthere is the Spanish national basketball team. Spain's team, whichincludes NBA stars like Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon, is embroiled in acontroversy that has managed to be both racist and juvenile--and all the result of orders from one of their sponsors.
The photo that's rocking the Olympics shows all fifteen members of theSpanish team, pulling back their eyes into a slit-eyed pose meant to mock Asians. They are also all giggling like four-year-olds after someone makes afart joke.
Even worse, it was all done on their sponsor's orders. Not only did allfifteen players think this was a smashing idea, but the Spanish couriercompany Seur paid for it and has been running it in Spanish newspapers.