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The SportsThink Weekly Read # 13
March 4, 2022
Welcome new readers! The SportsThink Weekly Read highlights my favorite sport-related article of the week. On the last Friday of each month, I send out the Monthly Review, a longer digest of readings and other content of interest. Most articles are recently published, but some are not; the only rule is that I’ve read them within the past week (or the past month, in the case of the Monthly Review). Some are relevant to my day job as a professor teaching courses on the business, history, and philosophy of sports. Others are just plain interesting, relevant to my life-long obsession with the games we play. I also occasionally share articles and assorted musings on Twitter. The newsletter is free, but comes with two requests. 1. I’m always open to suggestions, so send me the good stuff that you read! 2. If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with other folks who might enjoy it as well. Finally, I try to focus on non-paywalled writing, but if you find yourself unable to access anything, just hit reply to the email and I’ll do my best to get you a copy. Thanks for reading!
This week, some of my students suggested that the war in Ukraine was the first to play out on social media, which is somewhat true, especially for a “western” war. They are too young to really remember the Arab Spring and while there was much mediated-socially as Afghanistan dragged on, I get their point. Consuming the war via Twitter is certainly surreal: what access! Is this legit? Or propaganda? Oh here’s a video of a bombing, followed in my feed by an academic conference announcement, some bit of snark about something irrelevant, and, oh yes, grown men violently arguing about the hand size of young men entering the NFL Draft.
It all seems so trivial in the light of war, but such is life and we all have things to take care of and things to sound off on. Of course, it’s not as if global suffering and violence started 10 days ago. Ranting and writing about sports is almost always trivial, given what really goes on around the world on any single day. So I find myself torn, between sending out a newsletter that just says, “hug your loved ones, life is short” and sending out some content, because what else is there to do, really?
I guess I can do both. Hug your loved ones. Life is short. If you’re in the mood, here’s a couple sports reads that connect us to the war.
The Weekly Read(s)
How Should the Sports World React to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, via his newsletter. The Captain remains principled and righteous. Nothing too revolutionary here, but a well-articulated take on the intersection of sport and geopolitics.
I also enjoyed Aishwarya Kumar’s story on former NCAA star Maurice Creek’s escape from Ukraine. It’s hard not to think of the people for whom escape isn’t an option, but that doesn’t make Creek’s story any less harrowing or human. A bit war-porny, but nicely reported and emotional.
As always, thank you for reading. Please share the newsletter with others who might enjoy it!
See you next week,