Sports journalist to speak on campus

Story by David Heiling

Dave Zirin

One of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” as well as The Nation’s first ever sports writer will be on campus for the UW-Eau Claire’s Forum series.

Dave Zirin, who is also the host of Sirius XM Radio’s “Edge of Sports Radio” and a published author will present his lecture “Not just a game: The political education of sports” in Schofield Auditorium Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Jonathan Wise, a junior business major, said he is excited at the opportunity to see Zirin speak.

“I am a big sports guy,” Wise said. “Any opportunity to see someone who is as influential as Zirin, especially someone as decorated as he is, is something I want to take advantage of.”

Zirin is also a columnist for Slam Magazine and has had work published in numerous news outlets such as The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Zirin said he is very appreciative by the amount of positive exposure he has received throughout his professional career.

“It’s humbling,” Zirin said. “Any positive feedback that you get is very gratifying.”

Zirin has been writing about the political aspect of sports since before his first book, “What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States” was published in 2005. He believes that politics is consistently interfering with the purity of sports. His lecture will focus on how these two topics overlap.

“What I’m going to do is try to explain why sports and politics always seem to intersect,” Zirin said, “even though there are a lot of people of there who think that they don’t.”

Wise knows about politics in sports from a high school perspective. He played varsity soccer at Beaver Dam High School and thought the coaching was unfair.

“I honestly believe that it is not what you know in terms of sports, it’s who you know,” Wise said.

Zirin will also focus on the influences of owners over the sport team they own, the players and its effect on the media.

“There are all types of politics that are put in place by sports owners,” Zirin said, “whether it is the implementation of military planes flying over stadiums or military generals throwing the opening coin toss of the Super Bowl.”

Tickets for Wednesday night’s Forum are on sale now at the Service Center in Davies and also available at the door prior to the lecture. The tickets cost $8 for the general public, $6 for UW and CVTC faculty and $4 for UW and CVTC students.