Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin is an American political sportswriter. He is the sports editor for The Nation, a weekly progressive magazine dedicated to politics and culture, and writes a blog named Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin.[1] As of January 2017, he has authored nine books.

Dave Zirin
Dave Zirin 01
EducationB.A. Macalester College
OccupationSports journalism
Notable credit(s)
The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World
A People's History of Sports in the United States
Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports
WebsiteEdge of Sports

Early life and education

Zirin was born to a Jewish family[2] in New York City.[3] He graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.[3]


Zirin was the host of the Edge of Sports Podcast, hosted by the Slate/Panoply network. He also co-hosted "The Collision: Where Sports and Politics Collide on Pacifica Radio" with former NBA player Etan Thomas. Zirin is a contributor to The Nation, and has been a columnist for SLAM Magazine, and The Progressive. He has been a guest on ESPN's Outside The Lines and Democracy Now!.[4][5]

His first book, What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books) has entered its third printing.[4][6]

Zirin has published Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports, and A People’s History of Sports in the United States, a sports-related volume in the manner of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States series for The New Press.[4][7] In addition to “What’s My Name, Fool?”, he has also published “The Muhammad Ali Handbook” for MQ Publications.[8] Zirin is also the published children’s book author of “My Name is Erica Montoya de la Cruz” (RC Owen).[9] "A People's History of Sports" forms the basis of a documentary co-written and narrated by Zirin called Not Just A Game: Power, Politics and American Sports, produced by the Media Education Foundation.[10]

Zirin is the co-author with John Carlos of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World (Haymarket Books, 2011).[10]

He writes a blog named Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin.[1]


Zirin has repeatedly called for sports boycotts of certain teams, states, or nations for political reasons.

Call for boycott of Arizona

On April 27, 2010, writing for The Guardian, Zirin called for a boycott against sports teams from Arizona, in particular the Diamondbacks, to protest the Arizona SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.[11][12] He expressed support during the 2010 NBA Playoffs for the Phoenix Suns, who went by "Los Suns" as a statement against the Arizona immigration law.[13]

Support of boycotts of Israel

On June 2, 2010, writing for The Nation, Zirin justified the decision of the Turkish U-19 soccer team to boycott a match against Israel. He described the Gaza flotilla raid as an act of state terror committed by the Israeli government and proposed a boycott of Israel.[14]

Criticism of Hank Williams, Jr.

On October 6, 2011, during a live interview conducted on the sports cable television network, ESPN, Zirin referred to Hank Williams, Jr. as racist and proslavery after Williams, the writer and singer of ESPN's then-Monday Night Football theme song, made a political statement in which he compared multiracial US President Barack Obama to former German national socialist leader, Adolf Hitler.[15]

Defense of Barry Bonds

Zirin maintains the opinion that the aggressive hatred toward Barry Bonds is in large degree due to racism. In 2004 Zirin wrote “The greatest case for reasonable doubt lies in Bonds' very late career success. His unparalleled middle-aged majesty screams his innocence.”[16] However, in an undated interview, Zirin claims “I never wrote that I "believe Bonds has never done steroids."” He continues: “unlike oh so many others, the man never actually failed a steroids test. Is there a ton of circumstantial evidence that the man juiced? Absolutely. But he is still the best player I've ever seen. The best player of what will go down as the anabolic era.”[17] Zirin claims that, rather than steroid use, “much of the reaction to Bonds is simply bad old-fashioned racism”.[18]

Some of his articles and interviews defending Bonds include:


  • What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2005. | ISBN 978-1-931859-20-2
  • Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2007. | ISBN 978-1-931859-41-7
  • Muhammad Ali Handbook, Chicago: MB Press, 2007. | ISBN 978-1-84601-155-9
  • A People's History of Sports In The United States", The New Press, 2008. | ISBN 978-1-59558-100-6
  • Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love, New York: Scribner Books, 2010. | ISBN 978-1-4165-5475-2
  • The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011. | ISBN 978-1-60846-127-1
  • Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, The New Press. 2013. | ISBN 978-1-59558-815-9
  • Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy, Haymarket Books. 2014. ISBN 9781608463602
  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable Hardcover – Apr 13 2018
  • Jim Brown: Last Man Standing Hardcover – May 15 2018

Movies in DVD format

  • Not Just a Game – Power, Politics & American Sports, Media Education Foundation, 62-minutes, 2011 | ISBN 978-1-932869-50-7
  • Race, Power & American Sports, Featuring Dave Zirin, Media Education Foundation, 45-minutes, 2013 | ISBN 978-1-932869-76-7


  1. ^ a b Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  2. ^ Dave Zirin on Twitter. Zirin, Dave. www.twitter.com. Published November 23, 2015. Accessed August 24, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Bleacher Report: "The B/R Interview: Dave Zirin" by Max Tcheyan" November 4, 2008
  4. ^ a b c "Author Bios: Dave Zirin". The Nation. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  5. ^ Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Dave Zirin". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  6. ^ Dave Zirin. "Edge of Sports -> Bio". Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  7. ^ Altman, Alex (2008-09-22). "A People's History of Sports". Content.time.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  8. ^ Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "The Books". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  9. ^ David Zirin. "My Name Is Erica Montoya de la Cruz". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  10. ^ a b Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Edge of Sports". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  11. ^ Dave Zirin (April 27, 2010). "Arizona: Boycott the Diamondbacks". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  12. ^ Kwan (July 27, 2010). "Here Comes Los Suns: Dave Zirin on Sports and Resistance". Making Contact. National Radio Project.
  13. ^ Dave Zirin (2010-05-06). "Dave Zirin: Los Suns Also Rise: Phoenix Suns Win in More Ways Than One". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  14. ^ Dave Zirin (2010-06-02). "Are Teams Right to Refuse to Play Israel". Thenation.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  15. ^ "ESPN, Hank Williams Jr. part ways". Espn.go.com. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  16. ^ Dave Zirin (March 27, 2004). "Reasonable Doubt: Why Barry Bonds is Not on Steroids". Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  17. ^ Dan Lewis. "No Softballs: Dave Zirin". Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
  18. ^ Dave Zirin. "THE UNFORGIVEN: Jack Johnson and Barry Bonds". Edge of Sports. Retrieved June 26, 2008.

External links

1968 Olympics Black Power salute

During their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City on October 16, 1968, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event of the 1968 Summer Olympics, turned to face the US flag and then kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human-rights badges on their jackets.

In his autobiography, Silent Gesture, Smith stated that the gesture was not a "Black Power" salute but rather a "human rights" salute. The demonstration is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympics.

Brent Musburger

Brent Woody Musburger (born May 26, 1939) is an American sportscaster, currently the lead broadcaster and managing editor at Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) and radio play-by-play voice for the Oakland Raiders.

With CBS Sports from 1973 until 1990, he was one of the original members of their program The NFL Today and is credited with coining the phrase "March Madness" to describe the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament while covering the Final Four. While at CBS, Musburger also covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, the World Series, U.S. Open tennis, and The Masters.

Joining ESPN and ABC Sports in 1990, Musburger continued to cover the NBA Finals, as well as hosting Monday Night Football and providing play-by-play for Saturday Night Football and the SEC Network. He covered the Indianapolis 500, U.S. Open and British Open golf, the World Cup, the Belmont Stakes, and the College Football national championship among other big events. In January 2017, he left the ESPN and ABC television networks after 27 years, briefly retiring from play-by-play of live sports.

Raised in Billings, Montana, he is a member of the Montana Broadcaster's Association Hall of Fame.

Chicago American

The Chicago American was an afternoon newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, under various names until 1974.

David Narcomey

David Narcomey is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and an activist who was the regional director of the North Florida chapter of the American Indian Movement or AIM.

Narcomey opposes colleges or universities that use American Indian symbols or representations as sports mascots or other sports related imagery.David Narcomey was perhaps the principal member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma who supported the proposed NCAA ban on the use of Seminole Tribe symbolism by Florida State University. Narcomey was, in the FSU matter, considered to be a leading tribe member in consultation with the NCAA while a proposed ban on the use of Seminole imagery by FSU was reviewed.Later, Narcomey was supported by the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma but a much smaller band of the tribe with promises of financial reward agreed and consequently the NCAA excluded Florida State from the nationwide ban.Narcomey's stance has been supported by a majority of American Indian tribe members at other universities that use American Indian imagery and research done by Dr. Stephanie Fryberg has found the harm exposure to Native Mascots to be measurable on Native youth. In the same area of activism David Narcomey has publicly stated that any use of American Indian imagery by non-Indians harms American Indian children and this is also supported by the American Psychological Association who in 2005 called for the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations. His position has been controversial but is supported by the majority of American Indian tribes as exemplified by the campaign begun in 1968 of the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest representative body of Native American tribes to eliminate the use of Native people as mascots in sports.

Narcomey was instrumental in the YMCA abandoning the 76-year-old tradition of Y-Indian Guides, which he believes traumatizes American Indian children.


The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA FEEF-ə; French for 'International Federation of Association Football') is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.

FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. Member countries must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Asia, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America.

Although FIFA does not control the rules of football, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board, it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship. In 2017, FIFA had revenues of over US $734 million, for a net loss of $189 million, and had cash reserves of over US$930 million.Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption, bribery, and vote-rigging related to the election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the organization's decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively. These allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. On 27 May 2015, several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Those among these officials who were also indicted in the U.S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well. Many officials were suspended by FIFA's ethics committee including Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. In early 2017 reports became public about FIFA president Gianni Infantino attempting to prevent the re-elections of both chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, during the FIFA congress in May 2017. On May 9, 2017, following Infantino's proposal, FIFA Council decided not to renew the mandates of Borbély and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, 11 of 13 committee members were removed.

Haymarket Books

Haymarket Books is a non-profit, independent book publisher based in Chicago.

In Depth

In Depth is a three-hour program that airs monthly on C-SPAN 2 as part of their Book TV programming, and features a different writer each month. Each interview covers the breadth of that author's writing career, and incorporates viewer calls and e-mails. The show is typically broadcast live the first Sunday of each month. The first program was on February 6, 2000, and was a discussion with historian John Lukacs. For the first several years of the show, episodes were not produced during the summer months.

There have been a few exceptions to the practice of featuring one single author, as with the programs featuring the Strand Bookstore, Frank Williams and Edna Greene Medford's discussion of writings on Lincoln, and John K. Wilson and Jonathan Karp's discussions of the writings of Barack Obama and John McCain.

Sometimes, the profile will include taped footage of the author's own home or office, so as to give further perspective on how they approach the task of writing. On occasion (as with the programs with Shelby Foote and Harold Bloom) entire three-hour interviews have been conducted live at the home or office of the featured author.

In Depth announced plans to feature 12 authors best known for their works of fiction during the calendar year 2018, as opposed to their standard practice of interviewing authors best known for non-fiction works.

International Socialist Organization

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is a socialist organization in the United States that identifies with Trotskyism, Leninism and the Marxist political tradition of "socialism from below".

John Carlos

John Wesley Carlos (born June 5, 1945) is an American former track and field athlete and professional football player. He was the bronze-medal winner in the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to tie the world record in the 100-yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record (although the latter achievement was never certified). After his track career, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Canadian Football League but retired due to injury.He became involved with the United States Olympic Committee and helped to organize the 1984 Summer Olympics. Following this he became a track coach at Palm Springs High School. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2003.

He is the author, with sportswriter Dave Zirin, of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World, published in 2011 by Haymarket Books.

List of After Words interviews first aired in 2009

After Words is an American television series on the C-SPAN2 network’s weekend programming schedule known as Book TV. The program is an hour-long talk show, each week featuring an interview with the author of a new nonfiction book. The program has no regular host. Instead, each author is paired with a guest host who is familiar with the author or the subject matter of their book.

List of Macalester College people

This is a list of people associated with Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, including notable alumni and faculty.

List of National Equality March endorsements

This is a list of prominent individuals and organizations who endorsed the National Equality March.

List of Washington Redskins name change advocates

Numerous organizations and individuals advocate that the National Football League team located in the Washington, DC Metro Area change its name, the Redskins, and its primary logo depicting a Native American in profile. Over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promote misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other Americans. The Washington, D.C. team is only one example of the Native American mascot controversy, but it receives the most public attention because the name itself being defined as derogatory or insulting in modern dictionaries, and due to the prominence of the team representing the nation's capital. A local group of DC change advocates collected over 1,800 signatures on a petition which was delivered to the team headquarters in December 2016.

Michael Bennett (defensive lineman, born 1985)

Michael Bennett Jr. (born November 13, 1985) is an American football defensive end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas A&M, and signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Bennett has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is the brother of former tight end Martellus Bennett.

People's history

A people's history, or history from below, is a type of historical narrative which attempts to account for historical events from the perspective of common people rather than leaders. There is an emphasis on disenfranchised, the oppressed, the poor, the nonconformists, and otherwise marginal groups. The authors are typically on the left and have a Marxist model in mind, as in the approach of the History Workshop movement in Britain in the 1960s.

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, and are the only team in their division not based in California. The Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, where, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988.

Under Johnson, and after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, and combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, and reached the 1993 NBA Finals. However, the team would again fail to win a championship, and entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s.

In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, and immediately returned into playoff contention. With Nash alongside Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire, and under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, and were forced into another rebuild.

The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns—Barkley and Nash—have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while playing for the team.

Politically Re-Active

Politically Re-Active is a political comedy podcast from First Look Media and Panoply hosted by comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu.

Washington Redhawks

The Washington Redhawks was a media parody/satire created by a group of Native Americans to draw attention to the Washington Redskins name controversy.


Zirin is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Dave Zirin, American sportswriter

Harold Zirin (born 1929), American solar astronomer

James D. Zirin (born 1940), American lawyer, writer, and talk show host

Amelia Zirin-Brown, singer and actress better known as Lady Rizo

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