Muhammad Ali was a boxer, athlete and social and political activist who fought against racism, among other issues. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Social Credit Movement made a number of progressive suggestions about the use of sport in society. In 2015, the Australian government launched a sports diplomacy strategy aimed at winning friends for Australia. Governments change, and policies change; however, the need for real resources and a politics of hope that works for people is greater than ever. One of the hallmarks of contemporary society is the gap between rich and poor. Sport plays a part in the lives of both groups. How should we think progressively about sport, culture and society?