NNOMY News August 1, 2019 Militarism in Sports in America


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Theme: Militarism in Sports in America

Consistant with the increasing presence of all things military in the public sphere, sports is now a regular venue for opportunistic messaging and military troop adulation at our sporting events, especially those national in scope and televised.  War itself is articulated in the venacular of sports and the idea of cultural militarism is reienforced in this mix of what is viewed as harmless with what is obviously lethal.




Dave Zirin: Debunking the Myth that Sports and Politics Don't Overlap

Sports has a rich tradition of resistance politics. Such sports luminaries as Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King and Pat Tillman all have their political side, and their actions have been integral to this country's struggle for racial equality, gender equality and peace at home and abroad. Sports creates a safe language to discuss many otherwise difficult topics—topics that team owners hate because they break the apolitical rules of "jockocracy." In this video, The Nation's Dave Zirin, guest editor of the recent Sports Issue, dissects the overlaps between sports and progressive culture, urging the next generation of both sports fans and progressives to heed these intersecting histories.

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The Militarization Of Sports And The Redefinition Of Patriotism

Since 9/11, sports and the military have become increasingly fused in this country.

William J. Astore - Huffpost - Since 9/11, however, sports and the military have become increasingly fused in this country. Professional athletes now consider it perfectly natural to don uniforms that feature camouflage patterns. (They do this, teams say, as a form of “military appreciation.”) Indeed, for only $39.99 you, too, can buy your own Major League Baseball-sanctioned camo cap at MLB’s official site. And then, of course, you can use that cap in any stadium to shade your eyes as you watch flyovers, parades, reunions of service members returning from our country’s war zones and their families, and a multitude of other increasingly militarized ceremonies that celebrate both veterans and troops in uniform at sports stadiums across what, in the post-9/11 years, has come to be known as “the homeland.”

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MLB Gets in Bed With the Pentagon

John Kiriakou - But if you’ve been to a baseball game at any time in the last decade, you’ve probably noticed some changes. Military or law enforcement members now perform flag ceremonies before the start of the game. Military recruits are enlisted right on the field. Surprise reunions of deployed men and women and their families play out before an audience of thousands. There’s always the obligatory ovation for wounded warriors. And this year saw a flyover by three F-18 fighter jets during the playing of the national anthem.

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 Anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Dinkytown, April 11, 1967. Photograph by St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press.


The Movement Against War

This article posting dedicated to Libby Frank of the Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project

Emilio, Educarueca.org - In the summer of 1963, the League of War Resisters created a peace action committee that fundamentally fought against the anti-terrorism terrorism exercised by the US-backed Ngo Dinh Diem government of South Vietnam. On July 25 there were pickets in the house of the permanent observer from South Vietnam to the UN, and in October, a demonstration to “welcome” Mrs. Ngo Dinh Nhu during her visit to New York.


The first important demonstration against the war took place in New York on December 19, 1964, and was supported by the WRL, CNVA, FOR, the socialist party and SPU. One thousand five hundred people took to the streets despite a temperature below zero to hear the war denounced to Muste, Norman Thomas and. Philip Randolph. In San Francisco, one hundred people heard Joan Baez sing. Other demonstrations took place in Minneapolis, Miami, Austin, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Boston and Cleveland. A feature of the mobilization was the disclosure of "a Call to American Consciousness," which prompted an immediate ceasefire and the earliest possible withdrawal of US troops.

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Op-Ed: Football is America’s war game

Mark Edmundson, Los Angeles Times - What exactly have we become that makes football the American game?

The best answers are sometimes the simplest. Football is a warlike game and we are now a warlike nation. Our love for football is a love, however self-aware, of ourselves as a fighting and (we hope) victorious people.

Until the end of World War II, it was possible for us Americans to think of ourselves as warlike only by accident. Europe had pulled us into the First World War — there were a great number of Americans who wished us to stay out. And when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, we had no choice but to fight. The soldiers who returned from the war by and large believed that the United States was now finished with conflict, at least for a long time to come. The U.S. was a peace-loving nation and it had earned the right to peace.

But then came Korea, Vietnam, three wars in the Middle East and no end of flare-ups around the world. One may think that our military engagements have been justified. One may think they have been necessary. But it is no longer really possible to think that America is a deeply peaceful, or even a peace-loving nation.

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 Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali said, “No comment” when confronted by the media as he left the Federal Building in Houston during his trial for refusing induction into the U.S. Army in 1967. Ed Kolenovsky/AP Photo


Athletes and activism: The long, defiant history of sports protests

Steve Wulf, theundefeated.com - The history of sports protests goes deep. Back, way back, on Jan. 13, 532 A.D., at the chariot races in Constantinople, rival drivers from the Blues and Greens teams asked the emperor Justinian to pardon two of their followers who had been condemned to die. His refusal led to the Nika Revolt, six weeks of rioting that resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people.

So taking a knee during the national anthem isn’t exactly unprecedented, or nearly as calamitous. Athletes in modern times have often been moved to protest conditions, to demonstrate that they are citizens of conscience by speaking truth to power. The following timeline of sports protests begins in 1883 and ends with the crescendo of events leading up to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee in 2016.

There have been all sorts of protests about race, gender, money and nationality in American and Olympic sports history, but they all have this in common: the constant struggle for justice, supported by the U.S. Constitution, which turned 230 on March 4 2019.

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Americans Who Tell The Truth

Portraits and narratives highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness. By combining art and other media, AWTT offers resources to inspire a new generation of engaged Americans who will act for the common good, our communities, and the Earth.

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