Among the owners of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams, 24 are billionaires. For decades they have complained that labor costs — particularly players’ salaries and pensions, but also the stadium workers who park cars; sell hot dogs, beer, peanuts and T-shirts; clean the stadiums; show fans to their seats; and provide security — have undermined baseball’s finances. Yet since 2011, the teams’ average value has tripled — from $523 million ($680 million in today’s dollars) to $2.1 billion. Mark Walter, the founder and CEO of Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago-based investment company with over $310 billion in assets under management, has a personal net worth of $3.7 billion. In 2012, Walter and his partners purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion in cash — a record cash amount for any sports franchise. The team is now valued at $4.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Fans of Red Star Belgrade rolled out banners featuring the number of US military interventions during the club's match on Thursday. According to local media, the performance was dedicated to the anniversary of the ethnically-motivated violence against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. The banners featured the number of all military operations US forces have participated in since the Second World War, including the first Gulf War, the bombing of Yugoslavia, as well as the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The banners also featured a line from an anti-war song by the late singer John Lennon: "All we are saying is give peace a chance". Red Star Belgrade defeated Rangers 2-1, but this was not enough to progress to the quarterfinals of the Europa League as the club lost 3-0 during the first leg.
At 8:50 PM today, a young supporter of Just Stop Oil ran onto the pitch during the Everton vs Newcastle United game to draw attention to the group’s demand that the Government ends all new fossil fuel supply projects. Louis, 21, locked on to the goalpost at Goodison Park wearing a Just Stop Oil t-shirt, causing the referee to stop play or nearly 10 minutes. The shirt featured a link – bit.ly/WeHaveNoFuture – which leads to a short video message. Louis said: “It’s 2022 and it’s time to look up, time to step up and not stand by. It’s time to act like it’s an emergency. “Report after report is telling me that my future is going to be dire, and my government is telling me not to worry and pay into a pension. “My generation is being shafted — we face a cost of living crisis, a housing crisis, a fuel crisis and an unlivable planet — but we have a choice. We can choose to highlight that our climate is breaking down, we can choose to resist this government that is betraying us, we can choose to step up and not stand by.”
“I have seen first-hand the harm that mascot names and imagery cause to the self-esteem and self-confidence of our young people. I know only too well what the research proves about the harm the imagery does to them. By selecting a team name and image that reflects a city’s shared values and celebrates all its citizens, the Cleveland Guardians have set a welcome and higher standard for how change can be managed by listening to all community members, including all voices in a shared vision, and helping a city, an enterprise, and citizens grow as they move forward.”
We need a Workers’ Olympics as an alternative to the bourgeois Olympics! This might sound like an empty slogan, but the International Workers’ Olympiads took place from 1921 to 1937. The workers’ movement had always organized its own sports competitions. The Workers’ Olympiads let workers from all over the world exercise and compete together. Participants did not march under national flags — instead, everyone used the same red flag as the universal banner of labor.
Germany’s women’s Olympic gymnastic team will wear unitards at the Tokyo 2020 games in protest against the “sexualisation” of the sport. The team will wear full-body outfits that cover their legs from hip to ankle. This is an obvious difference from the traditional leotard which usually leaves the entire leg and hip exposed on the female gymnasts. The unitard, although breaking from conventions, doesn’t defy the rules of the competition.
Ten thousand people. That’s how many Olympic volunteers quit their posts in Tokyo, with the games just 50 days away. That is one of every eight volunteers needed to pull off the 2021 (still called the 2020) Olympics. This is just the latest warning sign that, despite the Panglossian protestations of the International Olympic Committee, this summer’s Games are in peril. Japan is currently wrestling with a coronavirus upsurge and less than 3 percent of the population is vaccinated. According to polls, as much as 80 percent of the country does not want to host the games, for fear of it exacerbating this omnipresent public health crisis, currently classified as a state of emergency. The masses of Tokyo want to postpone or cancel the games, but the government says it’s the IOC’s decision, not the host country’s, sovereignty be damned.
On March 3, Missouri father Brandon Boulware begged lawmakers not to pass a bill that would ban his transgender daughter from participation in her dance squad, volleyball, and tennis teams. To date, a video of his testimony shared by the American Civil Liberties Union has impressively drawn more than 7.5 million views. But visibility alone has been no match for the tide of anti-trans legislation introduced over the past three months. The Missouri bill that Boulware testified against is just one of the more than 100 bills introduced around the country targeting trans people’s ability to update our identification documents to accurately reflect our gender, play sports in school, and access health care.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has signed executive orders barring transgender athletes from women’s sports in the state. “Only girls should play girls’ sports,” Noem tweeted on Monday. “Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I am immediately signing two executive orders to address this issue: one to protect fairness in K-12 athletics, and another to do so in college athletics.” The executive orders direct the state’s Department of Education and Board of Regents to align its policies so only those who are biologically female can participate in women’s sports. Last week, Noem refused to sign the GOP bill barring transgender athletes from women’s sports.
Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and appears regularly on the sports network and NPR. His most recent book “The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism” is about the responsibility often placed upon professional black athletes from Jackie Robinson to LeBron James to be role models for social justice. In their conversation, Bryant tells host Robert Scheer that black athletes often come up against the conflict between their corporate sponsors and their desire for social justice and action.
If sports don’t trump religion as the opiate of the masses, they have, until recently, been at least the background music of most of our lives. So here’s my bet on one possible side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic to put in your scorebook: if the National Football League plays regular season games this fall, President Trump stands a good chance of winning reelection for returning America to business as usual -- or, at least, to his twisted version of the same. That’s why he announced at a recent daily coronavirus briefing-cum-rally his eagerness to bring professional sports back quickly. Though it was Major League Baseball that he mentioned -- “We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old” -- the sport that truly matters to him is football, the only major mass entertainment (other than Trumpism) that endorses tribalism and toxic masculinity so flagrantly and keeps violence in vogue.
Boycotting for Palestinian rights works. A reporter broke the news in late September that the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team ended their partnership with Leupold & Stevens, which makes rifle scopes for Israel’s brutal occupying army, following a year-long protest campaign led by our Portland, Oregon, chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and many allies. For nearly 10 years, Leupold & Stevens sponsored a “Hometown Hero” segment during Blazers games...
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan (D) is joining other Native American leaders on Thursday to protest the “racist” name and mascot of the Washington Redskins ahead of the NFL team’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. As a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Flanagan is the highest-ranking Native woman elected to executive office in the history of the United States. “In this role ― and in my role as a mom ― I will march with fellow Minnesotans who are making clear that our state does not tolerate a racist mascot," Flanagan wrote in a Thursday op-ed for the HuffPost.
DENVER—No longer welcome on an NFL sideline, Colin Kaepernick turned to social media to make his point on the NFL’s opening Sunday. In a tweet, Kaepernick gave a shout-out to “my brothers,” Miami Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Watson, who were the only two players in the league to take a knee during the national anthem during Sunday’s early games. “They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated,” Kaepernick said in the tweet, which was accompanied by a picture of the Dolphins kneeling before their game. “Love is at the root of our resistance.” It was Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, who sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016—his way of protesting policy brutality and social injustice in America.
NFL Tells Players Patriotism Is More Important Than Protest – Here’s Why That Didn’t Work During WWI
Last season, during the playing of the national anthem, dozens of NFL players kneeled, locked arms and raised their fists in protest against police and state-sanctioned violence inflicted upon African-Americans. Their actions elicited a fierce backlash, much of it fueled by President Donald Trump, who encouraged his overwhelmingly white base of supporters to boycott the NFL so long as players, in his view, continued to disrespect the flag. Seeking to avoid further controversy, on May 23, Commissioner Roger Goddell announced that for the upcoming season, “All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” Not following this directive could result in teams being fined and players subject to “appropriate discipline.”