Bad Sports

How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love

From the “conscience of American sportswriting” (The Washington Post), a provocative call to reexamine the business of professional sports and put some fun back in the game for fans, with a new preface by the author

“The smartest and gutsiest sportswriter in America.” —Robert Lipsyte, bestselling author and New York Times sportswriter

Funny, engaging, and sharply pointed in his appraisal of the sports complex bankrupting our cities, the celebrated author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States and What’s My Name, Fool? returns with a hard-hitting indictment of the big business that professional sports has become.

When attending a baseball game becomes a luxury reserved for the wealthy few and cities build multimillion-dollar stadiums while letting their bridges crumble, the true cost of sports in this country demands reassessment. Covering the full range of sports shenanigans through 2011, this revised and updated edition of Bad Sports cuts through the hype and bombast to make the case that sports ownership is as irresponsible as the financial deceit that drove the nation to the edge of economic ruin.

From the outrageous use of public funds for stadium construction to the use of these spaces for religious and political platforms, Dave Zirin raises crucial questions about the moral bankruptcy of so many of our politicians; about the real interests of team owners; and, above all else, about where the fun has gone.


“Every owner’s nightmare just came to life. Brilliantly blatant . . . Bad Sports proves that although wealthy men in suits may own franchises, they don’t own the game.”
—Scoop Jackson, ESPN The Magazine
“Zirin makes a strong argument that team owners are ruining our storied teams, not to mention the sports themselves. ”

Books by Dave Zirin

Game Over
How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down

Dave Zirin

The Kaepernick Effect
Taking a Knee, Changing the World

Dave Zirin

A People’s History of Sports in the United States
250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play

Dave Zirin

Goodreads Reviews