George Martin, former defensive end for the New York Giants, recently walked from New York City to San Diego. Yes, he walked across 13 states. In the process, Martin took roughly five million steps and raised roughly $2 million to benefit 9/11 first responders. Well done, Mr. Martin.
(HT: Baseball Crank)
In this space, I’ve previously hoped aloud that FIFA would take action against South Africa if that nation’s leaders didn’t apply political pressure to Zimbabwean “president” Robert Mugabe.
Well, David J. Warner, in an excellent post over at FanHouse, applies some cold water to this theory. When an organization’s leader is as impossibly corrupt as FIFA head Sepp Blatter, then hoping for a principled stand is little more than foolish wish-casting. Point taken, unfortunately.
Spain’s victory in Euro 2008 was a galvanizing moment for a country troubled by separatist forces. But it was just that–a moment. As powerful as soccer is in Western Europe, political divisions often run deeper. The euphoria will pass and old tensions will resume. That’s simply how things work.
Paul Ince was recently named manager of Blackburn of the English Premier League. This is significant because Ince now becomes the first British-born black head coach in the history of the Premiership. It seems a belated milestone, this being 2008 and all. Of course, given European soccer’s complicated racial history, it’s not entirely surprising.
In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s “victory” in the Zimbabwean presidential election, the ICC may move to ban that nation’s cricket team from international competitions. Now that Mugabe has been sworn in, the pressure to take action against Zimbabwe will only grow. And grow it should.
In the process of stealing the election, Mugabe’s henchmen murdered at least 85 opposition supporters, while countless others were assaulted or displaced. The U.N. Security Council has already condemned the tactics (and the election), and it’s appropriate that every other pressure be brought to bear upon Mugabe. If that means punishing Zimbabwean athletes for the political order back home, then so be it.
Though less likely, a late-hour ban from the IOC is also justified. There’s precedent, of course, as Apartheid-era South Africa was banned from Olympic competition for close to three decades. On the other hand, the IOC’s ability to make a credible stand for human rights is undermined by, you know, allowing China to host. Yet the IOC shouldn’t worry itself with the hobgoblin of little minds; instead, it should take the bold step of barring Zimbabwe’s Olympians until Mugabe is deposed.
“The main trouble with holding elections is that you don’t know in advance how they’re going to turn out.” – Lord MacLehose
Because I don’t blog on weekends … Arcade Fire: