Review

“Fascinating . . . Insightful . . . Despite the multiple sports explored and the large cast of characters, Futterman develops his theme seamlessly in a book that will appeal to casual fans as well as those who live and die according to the accomplishments of athletes.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An indispensable volume . . . Smart, insightful, and pleasantly opinionated.” 
Publishers Weekly

“An insightful, reader-friendly study of the economic transformation of pro sports in America and beyond.” 
Booklist

“Finally we have the full story of business and sports, told with a mastery that only a writer of Matthew Futterman’s years of experience in both fields could bring to the table. As I read Players I was reminded of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball because it’s one of those great stories that’s been hiding in plain sight, and it also shows us how the games themselves were changed by the action off the field. Anybody with an interest in money or sports will devour this book.” 
—Jim Nantz

“Sports is big business. We all know that today, but how and why did football, baseball, basketball, and the Olympics become so big? And what does that mean to athletes and fans? Matthew Futterman provides the answers in this revealing and wonderfully readable book. Players is a winner.”
—David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still MatteredClemente, and Rome 1960 

“The magnitude by which athletes have become bigger, faster, and stronger is dwarfed by the degree to which they have become richer. Players is a deeply reported expose of the forces that have so often morphed sports from pure fun into pure business. It’s a fascinating read whether you’re interested in big time sports, big time business, or the intersection of the two.” 
—David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene

“A smart, rollicking read about the business of sports, with fresh insight into the breathtaking financial boom that has revolutionized every sport we love and every game we watch. Populated with the boldest pioneers, from Mark McCormack and Arnold Palmer to George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller, Players is a landmark book that will be consulted, and cherished, for years.” 
—Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN investigative reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner, and New York Times bestselling author of First Off the TeeWonder Girl and coauthor of Her Way