Brunt, as you can see, can sift out the political and keep this focused on sports.
"For the moment, however, consider only how that logic applies to the world of sports. Consider any other game, and just try to imagine a similar line of argument.One point made yesterday was that if the content is the audience, then, "Cherry reminds us of the Canada we would rather not be so much anymore. He's an atavism, a ghetto hoser." Brunt has that covered too, without actually coining a term such as "ghetto hoser" (although a million points if you get the reference, the author and the novel):
"The English can occasionally sound a bit xenophobic when they discuss the sport they invented and the pervasiveness of imported talent in the Premier League, but no one could seriously argue that the global talent pool, the wildly varying styles of play, haven't made soccer stronger, more popular, more fun to watch.
"No one who loves basketball seriously laments the arrival of Europeans and Africans and Asians in the NBA. No one thinks it was a dark day when Hakeem Olajuwon or Dirk Nowitzki or Yao Ming brought their talents to North America (and no one believes that a flamboyant dunk ought to be punished by cutting the dunker's knees out from under him).
"... baseball's increasing diversity is viewed as a huge plus. Who pines for the days before Ichiro and Dice K, before Latin players arrived on the scene, before African-Americans were allowed to play in the big leagues? To do so wouldn't just make you a racist, it would mean you were blind to the fact those players made the sport in every way better."
"(Cherry's) most enthusiastic customers are those who must find the streets of Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver very alienating indeed. He imagines Eden in the mythical, homogeneous Parry Sound that gave birth to Bobby Orr.That's the size of it, really.
"... But when the act becomes truly embarrassing, you have to wonder how many people really think like him any more? How many living in what has forever been a land of immigrants are really so flummoxed by anything deemed not sufficiently Anglo-Saxon?"
It's a small world, according to Cherry (Stephen Brunt, globesports.com)