Sports, Politics & Money are on a Collision Course in Tokyo

Aerial view of Japan National Stadium, Tokyo. (Photo/Map: Arne Müseler / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Later this week, the Summer Olympics will begin in Tokyo despite resistance from athletes, volunteers, and the public amid a coronavirus upsurge in Japan. As criticism mounts against the International Olympic Committee for placing commercial profits and global TV money over the health and safety of the world’s best athletes and thousands of low-wage workers, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on the intersection of sports, politics, money, and power.

Below you’ll find MEF videos that explore sports as a social, political, and cultural force that alternately reflects, shapes, and reproduces the dominant values of the culture as a whole.