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sports



  • What Made Bill Russell a Hero

    Sportswriter Jemele Hill writes that Russell was a model for later activist athletes because he rejected silence and sought to build solidarity with others. 



  • Bill Russell's Greatness Was Unfathomable

    by Jack Hamilton

    "Bill Russell wasn’t just everything we should want out of people who play sports; he was everything we should want out of public figures, an absurdly gifted human being who understood there was a world outside those gifts and who set himself to help change it."

  • How We Told the Ongoing Story of Title IX

    by Laura Mogulescu

    A curator and her team chose to center the work of activists who pushed to determine the scope and meaning of Title IX's prohibition on sex discrimination in education throughout the law's 50-year history. Their exhibit is now open at the New-York Historical Society.



  • Baseball's Labor War

    by Peter Dreier

    Organizing the Brotherhood of Professional Base-ball Players in 1885, John Montgomery Ward asked whether team owners could treat their players as chattel through the "reserve clause." Today's players seem to be learning some similarly radical lessons from the recent owner's lockout.



  • Baseball Players Can't Live on a "Cup of Coffee"

    by Kelly Candaele and Peter Dreier

    Framing the baseball lockout as a battle of billionaire owners vs. millionaire players misses the fact that most players who ever reach the big leagues won't make great salaries, garner endorsements, or get a league pension. 


  • A Tale of Two Olympics: Changed China in a Changed World

    by Joe Renouard

    Since the 2008 Beijing games, the People's Republic of China's vastly increased global economic power and the COVID pandemic have changed the core narrative around the current winter games. It remains to be seen whether the Olympics will signal a turn back to openness or the intransigence of a confident world power. 



  • Will the Diplomatic Boycott of the Olympics Have any Effect on China?

    by Meghan Herwig

    After Tiananmen Square, it became clear that American foreign policy was limited by other Asian nation's growing dependence on China. Today, as regional relations shift, will a more effective human rights advocacy be possible? 



  • Baseball and the Unspeakable

    As history teachers struggle with how to handle racist slurs in primary sources, an unexpected remark from a ballplayer in 1938 illustrates that this struggle isn't new. Columnist Neil Steinberg asks if making words unspeakable blows up in the faces of teachers more often than bigots.



  • Is Ali the Last American Hero? Who Else is There?

    by Robert Lipsyte

    "I’ve been wondering lately just how Ali actually reached such heights. There are plenty of people alive today who once hated him and yet, in American popular culture, he’s now a secular saint."



  • The Existential Crisis of the Winter Games is a Long Time Coming

    by Bruce Berglund

    Avery Brundage of the International Olympic Committee had many faults, but he understood that the Winter Olympics were increasingly out of step with a sporting world less focused on Europe and North America and less tolerant of the massive expenditure needed to host the games.


  • The Art of Swimming (Excerpt)

    by Bill Hayes

    Unline many recognizable modern sports, for most of human history swimming was treated as a utilitarian activity (and occasionally as a pleasure), unsuited for competition or spectatorship.