"I have lost the debate on Tim Tebow’s skill as a quarterback. But I’ll still challenge Tim Tebow’s politics for as long as necessary. And in that battle, the fight continues."

That's how leftist sportswriter Dave Zirin concluded a January 8 column at EdgeofSports.com. So naturally Zirin was the perfect guest for MSNBC to bring on today to discuss the "polarizing" Tim Tebow. [MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break]

Support the Orlando Magic, support war in Iraq? That's what MSNBC's favorite leftist sports guru, Dave Zirin of The Nation magazine, argued on taxpayer-subsidized Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now on Friday. Blackwater CEO Erik Prince is the brother-in-law of Magic owner (and conservative funder) Dick DeVos. So Zirin thought NBA fans ought to think twice:   

I mean, I don’t think a majority of sports fans, when they go see an Orlando Magic game and cheer for players like Dwight Howard or Jameer Nelson, are saying, "I’m also buying a ticket to support Blackwater’s efforts in Iraq!" No, that—and effectively, though, that’s what they have us doing. It’s coercive, and I’m against it.

Zirin doesn't say Erik Prince actually owns the Magic, he just draws a Crayola line to him. Zirin also argued it was "money laundering" for sports owners to accept public money for stadiums and then hold political fundraisers in them. His villain was Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, who supports the SB-1070 immigration law:

MSNBC on Monday featured the Nation magazine’s sports editor to rant against Rush Limbaugh as a "unreconstructed racist," a "swine" and also lobby that the conservative host shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team. Morning Meeting guest host Contessa Brewer completely ignored the left-wing affiliation of Dave Zirin and identified him only as "sports writer." [Audio available here.]

Raging against the idea that the Limbaugh might soon own a football team, Zirin asserted that the issue is "about having somebody in an NFL owners box who [players] know views them with naked and open contempt because of the color of their skin." He fumed that the radio star is someone who "has made hundreds of millions now on the issues of hatred and division."

Zirin even used a dubious, disputed quote that he assigned to Limbaugh: "[Players] don't want an owner who has said slavery was a good thing because it made the streets safer." A Google News search finds this supposed comment attributed to the host: "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."