Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

John Obrien

To conclude on this subject thread of sports and where organizing workers around that, as many workers culture - as the moderator request.

In my own assembling of progressive world history in memorabilia from ancient times to the present worldwide, I have come across
many items on sports, that are relevant to those causes.  

For space here, I limit mention here of U. S. workers history around sports organizations and events. There are far more worldwide,
but some highlights that add to the needed awareness of those interested in U.S. laborers and their history and herstory. 

The European ethnic sports groups that influenced organizing U. S. workers, includes the Turnvarein (German) and Sokol (Czech).
It was the Turnvarein hall, used to form The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, which became known as the AFL.
The AFL had carried out sports events to both attract and organize laborers.  I have items on the United Labor League events held
in Pittsburgh around Labor Day for their track and field games and participants, as other cities of this same labor association. 

A number of labor unions since then have held sports events. Organized U. S. labor has been involved in forming many sports players
and sports entertainment companies workers, into unions.  The New York Trade Union Athletic Association, was an important force
in the ending of the color ban in major league baseball, with those as Daily Worker sports columnist Lester Rodney who I met and
have his autographed book by Irwin Silber: Press Box Red.   There is a great photo of the United Wholesale and Warehouse Union
members in the New York City May Day 1937 parade, wearing baseball uniforms against that racist color bans.  Silber mentions in
that book, the left historian Paul Buhle who wrote with Michael Fermanowski for the UCLA: "Baseball and Social Consciousness
and Kelly Elaine Rusinack of Clemson University who wrote: "Baseball on the Radical Agenda". 

One of my most treasured pinback buttons, of the quarter million that I have assembled collections of, on progressive world history:   
Score Against Hitler End The Color Ban, that was issued by the Committee to End Jim Crow in Baseball.  The New York Trade Union
Athletic Association was the main force in that group and consisted of fifty six AFL and CIO unions.   There were similar efforts by
U. S. labor unions in many sports and not just baseball.  There are well over four hundred different sports.  Many organized around
labor, socialism, against racism, etc. through sports. I have sports team items and images of the Socialist Party of America.
I have included sports cards on Honus Wagner who had been a IWW member, to the Brooklyn Dodgers player Sam Nahem who was
a CPUSA member. 

One of my favorite collecting subjects was around the July 2 - 5, 1936 Workers Olympiad in Cleveland Ohio, which various Sokol groups
were active in.  I acquired a terrific graphic cigarette case for that Workers Olympiad placed with the award pins of those participants. 
There is a deep and rich history of People of Color in U. S. sports, that is part of the history of laborers and organiing workers.   I am 
very proud of both Megan Rapinoe and her lover Susan Bird, who have sided with both Colin Kaepernick and active in organizing both 
women sports players labor unions and also raising awareness around capitalist exploitation of laborers and destruction of our planet.

I do want to challenge the sexism and obvious lack of awareness, in recognizing there were numerous women sports events,
teams and needed struggles around the mind set sadly stated by the Person with No Name, whom incredibly and offensively stated below
in his September 15, 2021 posting yesterday on this marmail list this: "Women do sports talk nowadays but it's poaching on a male preserve 
and IMO tolerated on an unspoken, indulgent "little lady" basis by the men.   

I have a large collection on Women Sports, that includes earlier centuries "than nowdays".  Large numbers were women laborers 
and "ladies of leisure" generally did not participate - but even then, there were some Lesbians. As women sports activities attracted 
manyLesbians, as both spectator supporters and actual players. The ban on women as major league baseball players, was due to
sexism. That rule only was placed, after both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, were struck out in 1931, by female pitcher Jackie Mitchell.  

Women laborers are the majority of laborers - and their lives and organizing struggles, should matter to all Marxists, in every field.
Sports as other Culture, are large parts of many workers lives.  


From: marxmail@groups.io <marxmail@groups.io> on behalf of fkalosar101@... <fkalosar101@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 1:34 PM
To: marxmail@groups.io <marxmail@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [marxmail] Dave Zirin: You Can’t Separate Sports and Politics | Alex N. Press | Jacobin

Sports talk--i.e. baseball, basketball, and football talk--is the badge of manliness exhibited and demanded by every boss I've ever known, every macho asshole I've ever met, and every "woke" liberal trying to prove "street creds" or whatever they're calling it these days.  All the college fraternity elitists are sports fans--there's nothing working-class about those bellowing bullies. Women do sports talk nowadays but it's poaching on a male preserve and IMO tolerated on an unspoken, indulgent "little lady" basis by the men.

No wonder this piece was posted in trendy-effete Jacobin--or that it's linked here by Marxmail's resident Communist Party ideologues.

How many "working-class" Amurricans were won over to socialism by Muhammad Ali or Colin Kaepernik? This is one of those things that is perennially asserted without evidend.

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