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Not just a game

We've been told again and again that sports and politics don't mix. In this documentary, Dave Zirin, sports editor of The Nation magazine, takes viewers on a tour of the good, the bad, and the ugly of American sports culture -- showing how sports have helped both to stabilize and to disrupt the pol...

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Corporate Author: Media Education Foundation.
Other Authors: Zirin, Dave., Earp, Jeremy., Boulton, Chris., Jhally, Sut.
Format: Video DVD
Language: English
Published: Northampton, MA : Media Education Foundation, 2010
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Review by Library Journal Review

This hour-long program features author/commentator Dave Zirin discussing the overlap of sports history with politics. The violence and machismo of pro football, for instance, dovetail neatly with militarism, normalizing it in the mind of the viewer while concealing the costs and consequences of warfare. Female athletes of the 1960s like tennis star Billie Jean King and marathoner Kathrine Switzer helped overcome perceptions of women's limitations, just as boxer Jack Johnson (world heavyweight boxing champion, 1908-15) and baseball star Jackie Robinson, who broke the major leagues' color barrier in 1947, did for blacks. Zirin also points out Muhammad Ali's sacrifices (possible jail time, missed bouts) through his principled political stands, contrasting that with Michael Jordan's reluctance to offend any potential customer of his many endorsed products. While these are all valid points, Zirin embraces the rhetoric of the academic left (plenty of "marginalizing" and "dominant narratives" here), missing the opportunity to connect with the mass of sports fans. Nonetheless, recommended for libraries for its unusual viewpoint and use of historic film clips.-John Hiett, Iowa City P.L. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.