‘Look back at London 2012- in anger or hope?’ | M. Perryman- Counterfire

‘Look back at London 2012 – in anger or hope?’ | M. Perryman- Counterfire

But in remaking that connection we also need a critical politics of sport. When CLR James fifty years ago this year wrote the finest book on cricket ever published Beyond a Boundary he opened with the words ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know ’. This should be the special contribution of the Left to sport, embrace the action, understand it’s social construction as a means to enrich its enjoyment not haughtily discard. One starting point is the neat observation that academic John Sugden makes, ‘Perhaps it is time we got used to the fact that rather than watching the Games, for the foreseeable future, it is more a case of the Games watching us.’ He is describing a process, dating back at least to the hostage-taking of Israeli Athletes by the Palestinian Black September group at the 1972 Munich Olympics and accelerated in the more recent period by all matters post 9/11. This produces what John describes as ‘ the climate of fear that surrounds contemporary sporting events, but also encourages vast expenditure on an intrusive security apparatus that violates principles of civil liberty and human rights and blurs the distinction between political and civil society.’

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