Dave Zirin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dave Zirin
Occupation Sports journalism
Notable credit(s) The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World
A People's History of Sports in the United States
Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports
Website Edge of Sports

Dave Zirin, born December 28, 1973, is an American political sportswriter. He is the sports editor for The Nation, a weekly progressive magazine dedicated to politics and culture, and writes a blog named Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin.[1] As of January 2015, he has authored eight books.


Zirin is the host of Sirius XM satellite’s weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. He also co-hosts "The Collision: Where Sports and Politics Collide on Pacifica Radio" with former NBA player Etan Thomas. Zirin is a contributor to The Nation, and has been a columnist for SLAM Magazine, and The Progressive. He has been a guest on ESPN's Outside The Lines and Democracy Now!.[2][3]

His first book, What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books) has entered its third printing.[2][4]

Zirin has published Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports, and A People’s History of Sports in the United States, a sports-related volume in the manner of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States series for The New Press.[2][5] In addition to “What’s My Name, Fool?”, he has also published “The Muhammad Ali Handbook” for MQ Publications.[6] Zirin is also the published children’s book author of “My Name is Erica Montoya de la Cruz” (RC Owen).[7] "A People's History of Sports" forms the basis of a documentary co-written and narrated by Zirin called Not Just A Game: Power, Politics and American Sports, produced by the Media Education Foundation.[8]

Zirin is the co-author with John Carlos of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World (Haymarket Books, 2011).[8]

He writes a blog named Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin.[1]


Zirin has repeatedly called for sports boycotts of certain teams, states, or nations for political reasons.

Call for boycott of Arizona[edit]

On April 27, 2010, writing for The Guardian, Zirin called for a boycott against sports teams from Arizona, in particular the Diamondbacks, to protest the Arizona SB 1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.[9][10][unreliable source?] He expressed support during the 2010 NBA Playoffs for the Phoenix Suns, who went by "Los Suns" as a statement against the Arizona immigration law.[11]

Support of boycotts of Israel[edit]

On June 2, 2010, writing for The Nation, Zirin justified the decision of the Turkish U-19 soccer team to boycott a match against Israel. He described the Gaza flotilla raid as an act of state terror committed by the Israeli government and proposed a boycott of Israel.[12] Others countered that the Turkish state, aware that a confrontation would occur, played a prominent role in supporting the flotilla, and thus could be held responsible.[13]

Criticism of Hank Williams, Jr.[edit]

On October 6, 2011, during a live interview conducted on the sports cable television network, ESPN, Zirin referred to Hank Williams, Jr. as racist and proslavery after Williams, the writer and singer of ESPN's then-Monday Night Football theme song, made a political statement in which he seemingly compared multiracial US President Barack Obama to former German national socialist leader, Adolf Hitler.[14]

Defense of Barry Bonds[edit]

Zirin maintains the opinion that the aggressive hatred toward Barry Bonds is in large degree due to racism. In 2004 Zirin wrote “The greatest case for reasonable doubt lies in Bonds' very late career success. His unparalleled middle-aged majesty screams his innocence.”[15] However, in an undated interview, Zirin claims “I never wrote that I "believe Bonds has never done steroids."” He continues: “unlike oh so many others, the man never actually failed a steroids test. Is there a ton of circumstantial evidence that the man juiced? Absolutely. But he is still the best player I've ever seen. The best player of what will go down as the anabolic era.”[16][unreliable source?] Zirin claims that, rather than steroid use, “much of the reaction to Bonds is simply bad old-fashioned racism”.[17]

Some of his articles and interviews defending Bonds include:


  • What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2005. | ISBN 978-1-931859-20-2
  • Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2007. | ISBN 978-1-931859-41-7
  • Muhammad Ali Handbook, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2007. | ISBN 978-1-84601-155-9
  • A People's History of Sports: From Bull-Baiting to Barry Bonds, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2008. | ISBN 978-1-59558-100-6
  • Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love, New York: Scribner Books, 2010. | ISBN 978-1-4165-5475-2
  • The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011. | ISBN 978-1-60846-127-1
  • Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, The New Press. 2013. | ISBN 978-1-59558-815-9
  • Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy, Haymarket Books. 2014. ISBN 9781608463602

Movies in DVD format[edit]

  • Not Just a Game – Power, Politics & American Sports, Media Education Foundation, 62-minutes, 2011 | ISBN 978-1-932869-50-7
  • Race, Power & American Sports, Featuring Dave Zirin, Media Education Foundation, 45-minutes, 2013 | ISBN 978-1-932869-76-7


  1. ^ a b Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Edge of Sports: the weekly sports column by Dave Zirin". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Author Bios: Dave Zirin". The Nation. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  3. ^ Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Dave Zirin". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  4. ^ Dave Zirin. "Edge of Sports -> Bio". Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  5. ^ Altman, Alex (2008-09-22). "A People's History of Sports". Content.time.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  6. ^ Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "The Books". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  7. ^ David Zirin. "My Name Is Erica Montoya de la Cruz". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  8. ^ a b Dave Zirin (2012-09-20). "Edge of Sports". Edge of Sports. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  9. ^ Dave Zirin (April 27, 2010). "Arizona: Boycott the Diamondbacks". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  10. ^ Kwan (July 27, 2010). "Here Comes Los Suns: Dave Zirin on Sports and Resistance". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 
  11. ^ Dave Zirin (2010-05-06). "Dave Zirin: Los Suns Also Rise: Phoenix Suns Win in More Ways Than One". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  12. ^ Dave Zirin (2010-06-02). "Are Teams Right to Refuse to Play Israel". Thenation.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  13. ^ Semih İdiz. "Islamists in disarray after Israeli apology". Hurriyetdailynews.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  14. ^ "ESPN, Hank Williams Jr. part ways". Espn.go.com. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  15. ^ Dave Zirin (March 27, 2004). "Reasonable Doubt: Why Barry Bonds is Not on Steroids". Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  16. ^ Dan Lewis. "No Softballs: Dave Zirin". Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  17. ^ Dave Zirin. "THE UNFORGIVEN: Jack Johnson and Barry Bonds". Edge of Sports. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 

External links[edit]