Bent Knees and Raised Fists

Because Sports Are Politics

Our Team

Ralph Carhart

Editor, Lead Contributor

Twitter: @ralphcarhart

Ralph is the head of the Society for American Baseball Research’s 19th Century Baseball Gravemarker Project. He is the recipient of the SABR 19th Century Committee’s 2015 Chairman’s Award and the Baseball Reliquary’s 2019 Hilda Award. His historical interests include baseball’s pioneer days, the Negro Leagues, the Hall of Fame, Brooklyn, Cuba, and the New York Mets. He is the creator of The Hall Ball, an epic photo essay featuring pictures of (almost) all of the members of the Hall of Fame, living and deceased. His story was featured in the New York Times and CBS Evening News. His book, The Hall Ball: One Fan’s Journey to Unite Cooperstown Immortals with a Single Baseball, is scheduled to be published by McFarland & Company in early 2020.

Zoe Babad-Palmer


Twitter: @oscarbilde

Zoe is a third-year student at McGill University in Montreal studying English Literature with a focus on the Romantic period and the works of Oscar Wilde. She is a staff writer for the sports section of the McGill Tribune and has worked on the editorial board of multiple student-run academic journals. An avid follower of hockey, particularly women’s hockey and the Montreal Canadiens, she is deeply concerned with how social issues present themselves in sports. When she’s not writing, Zoe works as a freelance proofreader.

Ashraf Engineer


Twitter: @ashrafengineer
Instagram: @ashrafengineer

Ashraf is a veteran journalist, having worked with leading Indian publications for over 17 years, covering and managing the major news events of our time. He is experienced across print, digital and radio. He was in Afghanistan during the war in 2011, training journalists on how to cover Parliament. On his return, he moved to the brand communication industry, where he now advises leading global brands and managing political campaigns across India. He continues to write for media houses and maintains a blog. His book Bricks of Blood was released in 2017. He is passionate about sports, having played cricket in school and as a boxer at present.

Sarah K. Fields



Sarah K. Fields is a professor of communication at the University of Colorado Denver; her work examines the intersection of sport and American culture.  She received degrees from Yale University, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington State University, and the University of Iowa.  She is the author of Game Faces:  Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation (2016), Female Gladiators: Gender, Law, and Contact Sport in America (2005), and co-editor of Sport and the Law:  Historical and Cultural intersections (2014).  After a lifetime in contact sports including soccer, basketball, and rugby, she now golfs and curls.

Rob Hoffman


Twitter: @burtpurdy

Rob is a 30-year veteran social studies teacher. Since December 2014 he’s been writing a blog for the Albany-based “Times Union” called “The Hoffman Files.” For the past year he has also been a contributor to the blog with a recurring piece called “The View From the Middle.” Most of his blogs are written with humor in mind, or his fruitless love of teams that never win, such as the Jets, Mets, Knicks, and Rangers. As a social studies teacher, he has a passion for history, especially when combined with his love of sports.

Lincoln Mitchell


Twitter: @lincolnmitchell

Lincoln Mitchell is a political analyst, pundit and writer based in Manhattan and San Francisco. He teaches in Columbia University’s political science department and is affiliated with Columbia’s Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Dr. Mitchell has written six books, the most recent of which is San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval, Punk Rock and a Third Place Baseball Team (Rutgers University Press, 2019). Lincoln has also written numerous academic and policy articles, opinion pieces and blogs in major America and European publications. Lincoln earned his BA from UC Santa Cruz and his Ph.D from Columbia University. San Francisco Year Zero: Political Upheaval Punk Rock and Third-Place Baseball Team is now available.

Dipyaman Sengupta


Twitter: @ExplorerDip
Instagram: @dipyaman123

Dipyaman Sengupta is an independent writer and copyeditor from New Delhi, India. After completing his studies in Mechanical and Automation Engineering from one of the most reputed private universities in India, he undertook a radically life-changing journey across India. He uses that experience to create engaging travel and food Content for different brands and organizations. His sensitivity towards LGBTQ+ rights in India, healthcare and climate change has helped him work with some renowned companies, both domestic and international. Football is the only thing that transcends his love for writing. An avid fan of Liverpool FC, he believes in the power of the beautiful game to bring people together irrespective of their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, caste or creed and make this world a better place.

Sam Yang


Twitter: @StuffFromSam
Instagram: @StuffFromSam
Facebook: @SouthpawPod
Podcast: Southpaw

Sam is one of the hosts of the Southpaw podcast, where he interviews interesting people and analyzes a different sort of knees and fists (combat sports), but still from a Left perspective. Sam’s political awakening came via martial arts (martial arts to ethics to philosophy to politics). Find him at Southpaw:

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