Dave Zirin: The Leftist Athlete Whisperer

Colin Kaepernick, Michael Bennett and Gregg Popovich have all turned to Zirin.

dave zirin
Dave Zirin participates in "What's In A Name-The Washington Redskins Controversy: A SiriusXM Urban View Roundtable" hosted by Joe Madison at SiriusXM studios. (Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Dave Zirin always believed this revolution in sports coming. And to Zirin, Colin Kaepernick is the ideal hero: the athlete-apostate who overcame scheming owners, corporate greed, and Clay Travis to speak the truth, writes The Ringer. Zirin, a columnist, is more than just a political sportswriter for The Nation, he is also an insider to leftish-dissent. Last May, Zirin got the interview with Kaepernick that every TV booker and magazine writer in America was chasing. Then, when Gregg Popovich wanted to put Donald Trump on blast, he called Zirin. Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett wanted him to co-write a book called Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, which will be published this spring. When did this happen? Zirin was always right about a big thing: that the racial-sexual-financial implications of sports were the story. But before 2017, if you read his columns, his prose could feel relentless. But now we live in a time where the president calls football players who kneel “sons of bitches” and famous American gymnasts are joining the #metoo movement. Zirin has found his writing strength: being able to show an athlete not only as an activist, but understanding what sort of activist he/she is.

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