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Not Just a Game (2010)

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This critique of U.S. sports culture shows how 20th-century sports has consistently reflected the hegemonic political discourse of the day, specifically, elite narratives about nationalism, war, gender, race, homosexuality and capitalism.

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Dave Zirin
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We've been told again and again that sports and politics don't mix, that games are just games and athletes should just 'shut up and play.' But according to Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin, this notion is just flat-out wrong. In 'Not Just a Game', the powerful new documentary based on his bestselling book 'The People's History of Sports in the United States', Zirin argues that far from providing merely escapist entertainment, American sports have long been at the center of some of the major political debates and struggles of our time. The result is as deeply moving as it is exhilarating: nothing less than an alternative history of political struggle in the United States as seen through the games its people have played. Written by Anonymous

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Form with Substance...
19 November 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

In this Age of $elling Out, it's refreshing to look back at the accomplishments of some of our more spiritually substantial superstars of Sport. For me, the highlight of this documentary was the clearly-drawn distinction made between $ell-out$ like Lebron James and Michael Jordan and True Greats like Muhammad Ali and Tommie Smith and John Carlos. (With the possible exception of Larry Holmes, I haven't seen an athlete whose career was worth following since the retirement of Muhammad Ali- and, although Holmes had the "form" of an Ali, he most definitely didn't have the Substance. That's not a knock on Holmes, it's just a fact- and the fact that No One stood up and spoke out against The Iraq War tells you all you need to know about where it's at for most of today's high-priced athletes.) The price paid by men like Ali, Smith, and Carlos is probably unimaginable by today's Mathlete$. More's the pity: this being the kind of world it is, we could use a few more like them.


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