Look who's covering sports now

Dave Zirin has been named the first-ever sports correspondent for The Nation. From the flackage:

Starting this month, Zirin will report regularly for The Nation and on the intersection between politics and sports.

"Sports are a new terrain for The Nation," said Editor and Publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel. "The sports world is a place to play, but also a tremendous ground for debate. Dave Zirin is someone who loves sports and who understands the essential connection between sports and culture. He brings the joy of a fan and the keen-eye of a committed advocate for social justice."

Zirin was Press Action's 2005 and 2006 Sportswriter of the Year. Called by Robert Lipsyte "the best young sportswriter in the United States," Zirin is a columnist for SLAM magazine and, a regular contributor to The Nation and a frequent commentator for the Los Angeles Times. Zirin's first book, What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States, has entered its second printing. He is also the author of "Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports" and a frequent participant on ESPN's Outside the Lines, ESPN Classic, the BBC's Extratime and Democracy Now!

"The Nation audience certainly has a love of politics, but not necessarily a passion for the world of sports," said Zirin. "It's vital that we see sports - teamwork,exercise, and healthy competition - as an elemental human right and something we fight to reclaim. It's also essential that we see the roiling political undercurrents in sport as something we try to both understand and if necessary, challenge."

Asked some of the changes he'd like to see, Zirin says: "For one, billionaires should not be given $500 million presents from taxpayers. Itís bad economics, itís bad urban planning and the only people itís good for are the owners themselves and politicians who do photo-ops next to the stadium come election time."

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