“Somebody has to talk about the things that are too uncomfortable to talk about. Somebody has to stand for all of the injustices that are going on in America and a president who’s making it worse,” said hammer thrower Gwen Berry
American gold medalist fencer Race Imboden took a knee and hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist – as other politically-engaged athletes have done in the past – during the playing of the US national anthem at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, to protest social injustice and to call attention to their country’s racism, mistreatment of immigrants, and ongoing gun violence epidemic. Continue reading →
First published on Amateursport.wordpress.com on August 10. 2019
Do you remember the Pan-American Games in 2015 in Toronto? It was a festival of sport and friendship of more than 6,000 young athletes from the Americas with venues throughout Southern Ontario. To raise the army of volunteers needed for various tasks, more than 60,000 people came forward to be selected, and of these only a third were chosen. Canada organized a delegation of its top athletes, who finished second in the medal standing. The Rogers Centre was packed for the closing ceremonies. The hosts built more than ten new facilities and 15 others were remodelled, to inspire the crowds that filled them. The privately-owned Hamilton Tiger Cats even finally walked away with a new stadium paid for by public tax dollars and renamed after some coffee chain owned in Brazil.
October 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Black Power protest at the 1968 Olympics 200 metre medal ceremony by African American athletes Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right), the gold and bronze medalists. Peter Norman (left), the silver medalist from Australia and an opponent of the White Australia policy, displayed the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). This was – and is – a powerful example of defiance in the face of racist oppression, in particular, and for human rights for all, in general. Continue reading →
Surviving Palestinian civilians returning to the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila after the massacre carried out by Phalange-linked militiamen, Beirut, Lebanon, September 21, 1982. | Alain MINGAM/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Historians try not to audibly gasp in the reading rooms of official archives, but there are times when the written record retains a capacity to shock. In 2012, while working at the Israel State Archives in Jerusalem, I came across highly classified material from Israel’s 1982 War in Lebanon that had just been opened to researchers. This access was in line with the thirty-year rule of declassification governing the release of documents in Israel. Sifting through Foreign Ministry files, I stumbled upon the minutes of a September 17 meeting between Israeli and American officials that took place in the midst of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Continue reading →
(July 11, revised July 19) – The world has been saved from an England-France Brexit final at the 2018 World Cup, renditions of “Three Lions” and “Rule Britannia” in the stadiums, and the tsunami of British chauvinism unashamedly embraced by the Canadian sports media.
What goes around, comes around. The dodgy English threw their final match in the opening round with Belgium back on June 28 with the pretext of resting players and avoiding injuries for the Round of 16. “Sometimes, you have to make decisions with the bigger picture, and that’s what I did tonight,” rationalized head coach Gareth Southgate at the time – as if the decision was his and his alone. That bigger picture seems to have included getting a better draw in the knockout stage, that is, to avoid Brazil and therein build the betting pool, the TV market, the revenues of the English Football Association, and “hearts and minds” diversion from the crisis at home – giving a new definition to match fixing and a level playing field. Such are the elastic ethics of England. Continue reading →
Gaza health ministry says most of at least 105 killed in ongoing Israeli assault are non-combatants, half are women and 22 children, with another 700 injured
Remains of the Fun Time Beach bar at Khan Younis beach, Gaza, where nine friends were watching the World Cup when they were struck by a fatal Israeli strike | Robert Tait, Telegraph
Khan Younis (July 10) – They never lived to see the final score.
Inside the Fun Time Beach café on Gaza’s Mediterranean shore, nine friends and siblings gathered around a portable television powered by a generator to watch Argentina take on Holland in the semi finals of the World Cup. Continue reading →