The Race between Politics and Sport
In 1995, Robert Lipsyte initiated a public exchange with his tirade about what he described as the “emasculation of sports” in the United States, which provides a nicely summarized critical perspective of the athletic arena in American culture.
As a mirror of our culture, sports now show us spoiled fools as role models, cities and colleges held hostage and games that exist only to hawk products. The pathetic posturing of in-your-face macho has replaced a once self-confident masculinity. And the truth and beauty of sport itself— a pleasure of the flesh to the participant, an ennobling inspiration to the spectator—seem to have been wiped off the looking glass. 1
A writer at New York Magazine responded with his hope that “the real world”—a basketball game—protected readers from Lipsyte's article:
Luckily, events in the real world kept traditional and not-so-traditional sports fans safely on their couches and away from Lipsyte, whose damning article appeared on a day when Connecticut's (somewhat unfortunately named) Lady Huskies capped their undefeated season with a dramatic, come-from-behind victory over Tennessee, in what was perhaps the most-watched women's basketball game in history. 2