02 September 2013

When Is Sport Not Political?

Should sports be the bread or the circus that entertains and diverts the masses? No definitive answer from Northeastern U. law prof Roger Abrams' Playing Tough but plenty of examples of both in the historic and philosophic chronicle of the flirtatious relationship of nationalism (or regionalism) and politics.

It might be more traditional to talk workers on Labor Day, but since it is also a traditional kickoff for voters beginning to pay attention to an upcoming election perhaps it is worth a listen as well to a discussion that moves from an ancient Greek who acted as a free agent Olympic athlete to how Adolf Hitler, who never won more than one-third the votes from his own population, but managed to win over a good bit of the world thanks to Olympics, to how hooligans in sports become militants in politics and war, to NBA star Earl "the Pearl" Monroe's take on how political talk was part of the bond of the last Knick team to claim a championship (40 years ago, if you happen to be counting).

Maybe bread and circuses shouldn't be the only answer?

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