Dave Zirin on Super Bowl Fever in New Orleans and the Militarization of Sport’s Biggest Spectacle

via DemocracyNow.org:

Sportswriter Dave Zirin, author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States, says the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl appearance—at least for the moment—is boosting spirits in New Orleans on a level unseen since Hurricane Katrina. Zirin also discusses pro athletes who have stood up for gay rights and how the Super Bowl spectacle continues to be used to promote US militarization.

DAVE ZIRIN: I was speaking to [former Green Party Congressional candidate] Malik Rahim, who I know you’ve had on your show before, a former Black Panther Party member, someone who has been a community activist in New Orleans for thirty years. And I asked him about the role that the Saints are playing in the city. And I expected Malik to be a bit of a skeptic about it. But Malik said to me, “I haven’t seen people in the Ninth Ward or in Algiers this happy since Katrina. And I haven’t seen African Americans and working-class whites talk to each other so much in all three decades since I’ve lived in New Orleans.” And I think it’s really helped by the fact that, more than any other team in the NFL, players who play for the Saints, post-Katrina actually live in the city and are part of the rebuilding effort in the city. So there’s a real connection there between team and city that, honestly, you just don’t see anymore.

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  1. […] From Democracy Now!, by way of On The Wilder Side […]

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