Sport Is the Opiate of the Masses

Qatar, the World Cup, and the End of Football Activism


  • Damian Gallagher


The intention of this article is to highlight issues and topics in sport that Karl Marx may well have considered in his writings if he were alive or if sport had played the role in nineteenth-century society that it does today. It will focus on the upcoming Qatar World Cup and is intended to provide a snapshot of contemporary footballer activism and an assessment of the likelihood that footballers will utilise their power to unite and change the world. The examples and predictions put forward in this article are intended to stimulate the reader’s own predictions and are to serve as a snapshot for the purposes of further reflection and articles in the aftermath of the Qatar World Cup itself.