The Game is Not a Game: Books on Sports and Struggle

The dramatic effects of the coronavirus crisis on sports have demonstrated the deep connections between sports and larger social forces. With sports leagues shuttered for the health and safety of fans and players, now is an important time to reflect on the many radical traditions across sports history and the impact activist athletes have had on politics and sports culture. We've put together a reading list of Haymarket titles on these topics.

The Game is Not a Game is an insightful, unapologetic exposé of the intersection of sports, culture, and politics from veteran journalist Robert Scoop Jackson.

Things that Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for our turbulent times, a memoir from an outspoken Super Bowl champion, and a manifesto as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.

In this powerful, passionate, and captivating memoir, two-time NBA champion Craig Hodges tells the story of his life and his lifelong fight for equality for African Americans.

"People think speaking truth to power is easy, but if it was easy everyone would do it. This book does it. . . . It speaks truth to the powers that be, from Brazil to the US to FIFA to the IOC. It hits you like an uppercut that rattles your brain and sets it straight. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."—John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalist

Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith's Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Here is the remarkable story of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist John Carlos.

Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin pay poetic homage to slam dunk virtuoso Dominique Wilkins, and creativity and improvisation in the game of basketball.

Sportswriter Dave Zirin provides a no-holds-barred commentary on the personalities and politics of American sports.

This much-anticipated sequel to What’s My Name, Fool? by acclaimed commentator Dave Zirin breaks new ground in sports writing, looking at the controversies and trends now shaping sports in the United States—and abroad.

In this, his first collection of poems, Etan Thomas defies the stereotype of the a-political athlete.

A brilliant and compelling application of the analytic tools of Critical Theory to NASCAR and Motor Cycle rallies.

Faculty and instructors interested in adopting Haymarket titles for their courses can request Exam and Desk copies directly from our distributor, here

'