On occasion, a sports story breaks free from the sports section — as highlighted by this week’s Time magazine cover story, “It’s Time to Pay College Athletes.” These headlines are less about the latest star or the final score and more about culture, politics and who we hope to be as Americans. Should we build flashy new arenas in bankrupt cities? Do we cheer from the stands or cringe as we watch our children butt heads on the football field, risking a future potential brain trauma?
Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation — the magazine’s first sports editor in the publication’s 148 year history — joins Bill to talk about the collision of sports and politics. There are so many ways in which sports not only reflects but shapes our lives, Zirin tells Moyers, and it “shapes our understanding of things like racism, sexism, homophobia. It shapes our understanding of corporations and what’s happening to our cities. In so many different ways sports stories are stories of American life in the 21st century.”