Sport in Capitalist Society

During the recent World Cup in Qatar, which was accompanied by protests, sports took on a more political colour than in other countries. Athletes who had some sympathy for the ongoing protests were called popular athletes who had a place in the hearts of the people, while other athletes were called government athletes who were ‘mercenaries of the regime’.

The basic question raised is whether sports in capitalist society are a simple and natural continuation of physical training in ancient times. Is sports the same bodily and physical activity that every human needs for physical, mental and social growth and prosperity? Is sport popular in capitalist society? Do athletes become popular by some anti-government orientations? How does the “popularization” of athletes or celebrities benefit the working class?

Contrary to the right and left tendencies of capital, sport is not only popular but also a tool and serves the ruling class’s ideology. Sports in a capitalist society with nationalist sentiments serve and consolidate nationalism and are used as a tool to intoxicate the working class and actually serve to suppress the working class. Sports clubs play an essential role in capital giants’ exploitation of the working class.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Sports and physical training
  • Capitalism and the sports industry
  • Sport in the service of nationalism
  • Sport and the left of capital
  • Popular athletes or working-class exploiters
  • Blue girl and textile factory girl
  • Sport and violence
  • Sports clubs or capital giants
  • Sports competitions on the bodies of workers
  • Sport is a manifestation of the moral degeneration of capitalism
  • Sport and gambling
  • Sport during the decline of capitalism
  • Sport in the service of repression
  • Sport as a tool for the benefit of the ruling class
  • Sport in the service of stupefaction of the working class
  • Sport in the service of humanity

Internationalist Voice

February 2023

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