I traveled to Brazil last September to investigate preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. It was painfully evident that the social disruption of hosting two mega-events in rapid succession would be profound. Everyone with whom I spoke in the community of social movements agreed that these sports extravaganzas were going to leave major collateral damage.
What’s the point of a football club? If we look at the motives of its owners, we’d get some strange answers. It could be a millionaire’s pension fund, a property development opportunity, a shot at a capital gain, a millstone, a tax dodge, an ego-trip, a nest-egg, a birthday present, a promotional tool, a political tool — the list is far from exhaustive.
A group of uncontrollable area sports fans, moonlighting as vicious prison abolitionists made a small gesture of sportspersonship. The city government omitted one of its major accomplishments. The gesture was meant to correct this over-site.
The NFL has a long and shameful history in handling tragedy. The league played as planned on the Sunday after President John F. Kennedy's assassination. They were going to play the Sunday after 9/11 until the New York Jets rebelled and Major League Baseball canceled its own schedule forcing the NFL to follow suit. Now we have another example of a sport absent of perspective.
I confess I love watching the Olympics. I know all the arguments about what they have become and what they represent and all that. I get it, as the post below will demonstrate. However, I still like to watch it. I love swimming, since I was once a swimmer...maybe I should call myself a post swimmer. Of course, I enjoy also the big events in track and field, basketball, and all that. I am doing my best to get into soccer like everyone else in the world outside of the USA has long been.
In a very few weeks the razzle-dazzle Five Ring Circus will come to town. Wall-to-wall television coverage and breathless newspaper hype will extol the virtues of the Olympic juggernaut, with paeans to dedicated young athletes in peaceful competition doing their bit to foster world harmony and the wonderful legacy of the Games.
Shahid Khan is a very wealthy man. He owns a $112 million yacht. He is the chairman of Flightstar Aircraft Management. He is the owner of Flex-N-Gate, a $3 billion car bumper manufacturing company with a worldwide presence, which employs over 12,000 people. Khan is also a major figure in east central Illinois. As a graduate of the University of Illinois, he has donated millions of dollars towards research scholarships, the building of an outdoor tennis court and an annex for the College of Applied Health Science. Sports fans may recognize the name as he purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars football team for $760 million in December 2011.