Other People’s Money

In the midst of all the Vick coverage, I just had to comment on one little throw-away line in an ESPN.com column yesterday by Gene Wojchiechowski. The column itself was standard stuff: Vick as a cautionary tale, the frequent stupidity of professional athletes, etc. But, the comment below well illustrates the mindset of much of sports media, for whom billionaires’ riches are to be unquestioned, while millionaire athletes are undeserving pretenders to other people’s money.

Wojo wrote:

Vick used Atlanta Falcons money, or Nike money, or Coca-Cola money, or EA Sports money (hey, everybody loved Mike back then) to bankroll a gambling operation so repugnant that you need a barf bag to watch the footage of what happens when pit bulls are turned into canine gladiators.

I have commented many times before on the schizophrenic relationship of most sports media and sports fans to the ‘market.’ Most of the time, that relationship is an uncritical one – capital’s prerogatives are rarely questioned in a fundamental way in American sports discourse. There are exceptions – people complain about ticket prices, for example, notwithstanding the fact that those are set by the laws of supply and demand. But, generally speaking, vast accumulations of wealth – and the attendant political and financial clout that such wealth allows owners and leagues to wield – are well down the list of topics of interest for sports commentators. Because, in the end of the day, owners can do what they want with their money, their ball, their franchises and their stadiums (even when those stadiums really belong to local taxpayers).

When it comes to players’ salaries, of course, the tone and focus change fundamentally. Fans and commentators complain endlessly about those, notwithstanding the fact that those salaries are also set by a labor market driven by supply and demand. But, the endless harping on them (witness Arod’s contract) speaks to something deeper – an underlying sense that players aren’t really entitled to their wealth in the way that owners are.  Wojo’s comment goes farther than most in reflecting that sort of logic: he’s actually gone so far as to argue that the money didn’t belong to Michael Vick. That Vick did unspeakable (and moronic) things with that money is already well-established. But, how is the money he spent not his? How is that money more legitimately the property of the Falcons, or Nike, or EA or whomever it was who found it in their financial interests to pay Michael Vick?

Am I making alot out of that line? Maybe. But, I think it’s highly revealing – a sentiment based on the idea that athletes should never see themselves as anything but lucky to be in the position they are, as always living on borrowed time and as properly understood to be the wards of those institutions in American life that are legitimately entitled to their wealth – major corporations. I noted a few weeks back that Peter King was highlighting efforts by Commissioner Goodell to remind the players that it was a privilege, not a right, to play in the NFL and doubted whether Goodell would ever make a similar comment to NFL owners.

There is a perverseness in this double standard about whose fortunes are legitimate and whose are the consequence of other peoples’ beneficence. Perverseness because one of the key pillars of American capitalism is the notion that those who assume risk deserve the reward. This is doubly wrong-headed when it comes to sports. First, because owning a major league franchise (especially in the NFL) means never assuming meaningful risk. Given the combination of revenue-sharing, an all but legal monopoly, and multi-billion dollar television contracts (not to mention on-going stadium/taxpayer swindles) – owning an NFL team is a license to print money. There is, in no meaningful sense, any risk whatsoever in such a business venture.

The second side of the perverseness of the risk argument is that all meaningful risk is assumed by the wage-earners, the players. Their future physical and mental well-being, indeed their very mortality, is at stake. Do they choose that life? Of course. But, that choice doesn’t change the fact that they alone assume put something of real value on the line for the well-being of the business.

Given the obvious fact that Blank and Nike and everyone else paid Vick because they found it financially beneficial to do so, and given that, by all relevant laws and norms of American economic life, those decisions entitled Vick to the money he received, on what basis could Wojo argue that Vick’s money belonged, in fact, to someone else?

Only on the basis that pro athletes are, in some fundamental sense, chattel (or children), whose proper relation to management is to thank their masters for their sustenance and to accept their status as something less than entitled citizens.

And, you can make all the clever remarks you want about Vick, but the logic of Wojo’s comment applies to every professional athlete. And, on the merits, is there a serious debate about whether the Arods, Larry Johnsons and Tom Bradys of the world are more deserving of the fortunes they’ve made from sports than their owners?

Wojo is just the latest in a long line of sports commentators who, oblivious to his own (unearned?) wealth and privilege, has, in the name of “common sense” and “good guy” values, has weighed in on the side of billionaires and morally dubious corporations (I’m surely not alone in noting the irony of Nike feigning moral indignation over a lack of humaneness). And, in the process, provided yet another example of the sports corollary of the bullshit populism that has so infused our national conversation.

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94 Responses to “Other People’s Money”

  1. Ha ha, great perspective. Should we blast Wojo for buying crullers with Disney’s money? I mean, crap. It’s always someone else’s money if you look at it that way.

  2. This is the media environment that allows the concept of the Falcons trying to get $22 million back from Vick that they already have paid him, much like the Dolphins are getting Ricky Williams’ already-paid signing bonus back. If it’s popularly perceived as “not their money”, then it’s more than acceptable to take it back. The only thing saving MLB and NBA players from similar fates are unions that actually represent their membership.

    Nice post, J.

    If you want a first-hand look at how you can expect to be screwed by your employer in the future, look to the athletes risking life and limb.

  3. Man, you’re not off base. It’s bullshit. Black people rarely deserve the salaries they receive and when they fuck up it’s pointed out that they only got their jobs because they were black.

    Football is arguably the most dangerous, major professional sport in America. Those players deserve every cent they get, seriously.

  4. “Vick used…..”…..this is the mentality….its so sad. He earned every cent and then some……but there is this mentality that he didn’t. Wonder where it comes from…probably the same place as “you people are taking OUR jobs, OUR scholarships, OUR spots in grad school, OUR, OUR, OUR”…the more things change……nothing happens.

  5. “Am I making alot out of that line? Maybe. But, I think it’s highly revealing – a sentiment based on the idea that athletes should never see themselves as anything but lucky to be in the position they are, as always living on borrowed time and as properly understood to be the wards of those institutions in American life that are legitimately entitled to their wealth – major corporations. I noted a few weeks back that Peter King was highlighting efforts by Commissioner Goodell to remind the players that it was a privilege, not a right, to play in the NFL and doubted whether Goodell would ever make a similar comment to NFL owners.”

    Great point. He wouldn’t dare. The owners, collectively, are his boss. He would have no STANDING to make such a comment. His only standing is derived through being selected to manage the operations of the owners. He has that standing with players and with coaches and general managers – but not with owners. The Commissioner is the highest ranking employee of the owners – and he is a shared employee – but he BELONGS more to some teams than others because not ALL franchises are of equal value or of equal standing within the association.

    Players need to wake up.

  6. S2N – exactly. That’s what I said about the NFL retirement scandal. We’re trained not to feel bad for famous people no matter what happens to them, but in this arena, they are treated exactly like the rest of us. Management is trying to avoid paying out money, period, regardless of the merit of the claim.

  7. [...] Wait a minute. Why are we referring to Michael Vick’s earnings as money belonging to those who paid him? [The Starting Five] [...]

  8. Typical.

  9. Great post. Last year, former Chairman & CEO of Hewlett-
    Packard received a $21 million in a severance agreement.
    She was fired from HP the previous year. There was no
    dispute as to whose money it was.

  10. The former Chairman & CEO was Carly Fiorina.

  11. In a world where Kelly Ripa pulls down $28M every 365, I don’t ever want to hear about what money belongs to whom. Ya dig.

  12. Dang T3,
    That just makes me cry.

  13. Temple3,

    When was the last time you heard someone call a radio talk show and complain about how much money Kelly Ripa, or Tom Cruise, or even Julia Roberts makes? ………….Yes, I’m waiting too.

  14. Damn Temple, damn. Thank you for that tidbit I can throw out at people.

  15. I can’t wait for Kelly Ripa to plead guilty to anything either. It’ll be like a field day here!

  16. S2N-

    The owners going after bonus money paid by another team for services already rendered… I still don’t get what they did to Ricky.

    I also think the media and the public likes to portray as a privilege to play as straight up jealousy. It makes it seem that any of us could go play if we wanted to. People in general don’t like to feel inferior, so any little way to tear down another is used. How often do you hear people refer athletes as ‘dumb jocks’, regardless of color.

    Athletes are privileged… Sure they’re privileged in the same way that any of us with healthy functioning bodies are. Most bust ass and work hard to get/stay where they are at, that isn’t a privilege. And when they lose a step, they get cut. But try and retire and they’ll steal your bonus money from years before paid by a different team. Jake Plummer is also in that boat. I just don’t understand it. If my boss tried to get my bonus money from a few years back, I’d be pretty pissed, and they’d be out of luck, because I don’t have it anymore.

  17. Wojo is also writing an editorial.

    Let’s find someone who has a copy of Vick’s contract so we can read the language of it and actually see whether or not he has to give any of it back.

  18. boney – don’t be a bitch…it’s not about ripa committing a crime just as this furor wasn’t about vick’s crime.

    pay attention to the discussion. wojo thinks vick doesn’t deserve his money…folks who are actually following along identified others in the same boat – like jake plummer. i mentioned kelly ripa because duh, phukkin’ duh if she can clear $28m per year no one should be talking about who earns what and the sources of that cash.

    if you can’t follow, get ta steppin’.

    “I’m not a smart man, Jenny, but I know what crime is.” – Boney, paraphrasing after watching Forrest Gump for the 15th time.

  19. #13 – Marc:

    Check it…I’m not even mad at Kelly. More power to her. She is masterful at what she does. She is a magnet. She attracts viewers, she creates interest in boring shit, she gets folks to spend loot and keeps advertising pleased as punch. She is generating some real value for folks. However, there is a place for folks to start asking questions and it should begin right where Des said – with the CEOs.

    Many Americans seem to have forgotten the notion that the corporation is supposed to run to meet the interests of the shareholders BEFORE the interests of the managers. When Fiorina and others walk off with that kind of loot, it’s a breach of the fundamental premise of corporations. Fiorina isn’t the only one and she’s not the worst offender. Dick Grasso…George Steingrabber…Art Modell.

    If kids want to play in a park in the South Bronx, as far as the Yankees are concerned, they can take their asses to Manhattan or somewhere else. Smart, sexy designs aside, there is less space for more kids.

  20. I second the notion of the absurdity behind the notion that athletes are more overpaid than faces and personalities on talk shows.

    Say it with me: “They’re all entertainers.” As SignalToNoise points out above, athletes risk their life and limb and football players can’t even get guaranteed contracts. I’m seeing the movie Gladiator played over and over in my head. The crowd always gives the thumbs down, don’t they?

  21. Are you not entertained??

  22. pretty funny Temple3

  23. GMP,
    “If my boss tried to get my bonus money from a few years back, I’d be pretty pissed, and they’d be out of luck, because I don’t have it anymore.”……….LMAO!!

    They couldn’t even get the supplies I take up out of here every month to replenish my home office.

  24. Miranda –

    I call those ‘fringe benefits’.

  25. GMP,
    YEP! LOL!! Speaking of which…I need some more 8.5 x 11 paper, liquid paper and a new hi-liter……..

  26. Sweet Jones Says:

    I would point everyone to the comments being left about Lance Briggs’ recent accident. Please note the emphasis being placed on his ‘crime’ and the speculation of his being drunk.

    http://www.topix.net/forum/source/chicago-tribune/T3C49L3KVPF61LUI8

    As if any millionaire waits around after a single car accident at 3:30 in the morning on the side of the highway while the jackers are lurking. Ain’t that how they got Jordan’s pops?

    You’ll also note that in the 3rd largest city in the country’s major paper, the Front page story is the picture of a Kneegrow athlete’s “fancy car”.

  27. thanks boney…nothing personal…you’re better when you’re in the conversation than out on the edges looking for chum.

  28. I agree with comment #23

    And people are fascinated with Lance Briggs car, WTF?

    Why does it matter if he left a wrecked car? isn’t that what most people do when the car is really effed up? leave the wreck and come back another day?

  29. Oh well no more Jack Johnson, I mean Ali I mean OJ, I mean Tyson, I mean TO, I mean Kobe, I mean vick. So what will the good ole boy media talk about now??

    Bonds, TO, Kobe, OJ mayo???????

    We shall see……….seems like these good ole boys have a brotha or sista to hate for evey sports season.

    Tennis season – the williams sisters have no class and are lazy.

    NFL season – take your pick. Better yet just name a black QB.

    NBA season – Artest, Kobe………hell even hating on isiah thomas.

    MLB season – Bonds…….or any black latin player!!!

    Shh these fools just need a brotha to hate in NHL and they will be set.

  30. this year a nascar driver michael waltrip wrecked his car left the scene of the accident and it was barely mentioned on espn. waltrip was not condemned the way briggs has been.

  31. Because waltrip is a true american.

  32. Word on the street is tim couch used steriods………….lord who else used them Ryan Leaf and david carr!!!LOL!!!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AiJB90fpggBg.S_bJyO3THY5nYcB?slug=jo-couch082807&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

  33. Tim Couch is proof that steroids do NOT enhance performance:)

  34. Wow the good ole boy white media says that iverson dad was arrested for drug selling.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Ai4t_TCpkciVREPoT630zLe8vLYF?slug=ap-iversonsstepfather&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Yet they still never said anything about Joe theisman son selling that dope.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/nfl/20020212-0604-fbn-theismannsson-charges.html

    F the white media.

  35. I’m not speaking for anyone else, and I on’t muich care for what the MSM says. But let me ask you a question: If YOU crash YOUR car into a lightpole, and you left it, would people be right in the assumption that you were drunk or had committed a crime? Because, and this is the point, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. That’s why cops question you when you do it.

  36. Okori, I had no idea it was a crime, nor would most people. There are all kinds of crimes that are never prosecuted, I can’t tell you how many times people run through crosswalks, despite it being a crime and so forth.

    Please don’t come on this site and defend the criminal justice system, it is extremely unjust and pretty damn criminal.

  37. Allen that’s not what people usually do. If it’s a car wreck with another person they exchange insurance information and then a tow-truck gets called. If it’s a one-person wreck they stay around and call the tow truck themselves if they are capable.

    Jay I struggled to come up with the right words to try and illuminate my point, and i finally came up with this: Look i understand that there are a lot of laws that are prosecuted terribly unfairly, and that’s a disgrace mere words can’t do justice to. And i wasn’t trying to defend the criminal justice system as a vast monolithic whole because that’s not how i operate. But I also don’t blindly go “The Athlete is always right. TEH LAW SUX~!” You take a look at every situation, and judge based on the facts you see.

    These are the facts of the case: A car crashes into a lightpole on an expressway at 3:30 in the morning. The police come to investigate the accident and find that the driver of the vehicle has left the scene. They check the license plate of the car and find it belongs to Lance Briggs. They then question Lance Briggs. What about that is criminal and unjust?

  38. SRD @31:

    If a number 1 draft pick using ‘roids doesn’t generate an uproar (and it won’t) it has to make you wonder (unless you already know and don’t wonder about these things anymore). Given the standard that many posters have applied on this site, Couch is guilty as charged AND is one of the more reprehensible and dastardly human beings on the face of the earth. I’m willing to be that’s news to him.

  39. #34 – diallo…lol

  40. If you walk away from a $300k car, you have a very, very good reason – and that reason MUST be tied to a GREATER punishment than the legal sanction for leaving your car. I don’t see much wiggle room here. As it stands, this appears to be relatively harmless. The fines for the driver will cover the costs to the municipality. According to Briggs, he called 10 minutes later to change his story with the po-po. If I had to guess, he was running from the breathalizer – shhhhiiiit, I’da been toe-up too at 3:30 rollin’ in the Lam…But, nah-nah-nah, sober cats don’t walk away from the ride since they don’t HAVE a ride and a ride is coming…sorry.

  41. I’ve done it. I wasn’t sober. (The ride was not worth 350K, more like 3k).

  42. i wasn’t implying he willfully did anything illegal. but it is something the cops have to question him about. das it.

  43. Origin,

    I put my money on OJ Mayo. They ALREADY hate this guy and THEY KNOW NOTHING! about him. In the meantime (before the college basketball season starts), they will just continue to rail on NFL players. Cause you know, they commit crimes at a rate UNSEEN except in the halls of Congress and the rest of America.

  44. The more I read, the better it gets.

    The another great quote by Miranda:

    “They couldn’t even get the supplies I take up out of here every month to replenish my home office.”

    and…

    “YEP! LOL!! Speaking of which…I need some more 8.5 x 11 paper, liquid paper and a new hi-liter……..”

    not to mention the time she wish she could donate to dog killing fund to shut everyone up. I know, I know she’s going to say that I didn’t “get” the joke and it’s over my head. Well get some taste and sense of decency and you won’t get called out for you lack of class.

  45. Blood money. Good point.

    If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However…

    I watched Vick’s public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick’s “enlightenment” carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

    I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare “What’s worse?” “What’s worse”, we ask, “carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?”. “Dogfighting or gambling?” “Dogfighting or rape?” “Dogfighting or racism?” “Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?” “Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)….?” The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

    Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings – they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

    Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being “a winner” is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

    Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

    Chaplain Nancy Cronk
    Founder, http://www.AnimalChaplains.com

  46. Oh! No! It’s Mr. Bill!

    Yeah she lacks class, and you are all class for coming around us classless set. Since we are beyond help, take you fake missionary ass out of here before we put you in a pot.

    As for the animal preacher, were the fuck did you get that Vick tortured animals as a child? You a lying bitch, vomiting up shit! Give it a rest and go back to your chapel already

  47. kulturejam Says:

    Who is Kelly Ripa?

  48. Sankofa,
    Bill-y Bob isn’t even worth the comeback…..he’s just lurking around..when there are no more Vick stories (that I’m sure he googles up ERE day while looking at the fathead on the wall) he’ll disappear.

  49. Nancy Cronk,
    Call me a cynic but really….where is your outrage over Ramy Brooks? Please, did you send letters and cry over that situation?

  50. who is railing against Briggs now? My understanding was he took care of the fines associated with the accident and that’s that. No more investigation right?

  51. and about Tim Couch, whoever said earlier about how steroids obviously don’t work was right. Couch should be suspended from the NFL if he failed a drug test… but since he’s no longer on a team, and likely had to take a steroids test when he signed his 2 year deal, then it’s all just hearsay right? He won’t be back in the league, so who truly cares?

  52. Bill-

    Funny. Way to take lighthearted comments and run way too far with them.
    Everyone uses ‘fringe benefits’. I take my laptop home and use it for non-work stuff… and so does everyone else in the company, based on all the programs I see on people’s systems. Anyone surfing the ‘net at work is using ‘fringe benefits’. It isn’t all material items, company time is worth more than a stack of 8.5×11 paper.

    Get off your high horse… unless you wrote in from home on your own dime.

    And to everyone else on the board, please no more Leaf. It’s been 10 years of horror for us Charger fans. Can’t we just make fun of the Browns for passing on McNabb to get Couch?

  53. we can make fun of the Bears for selecting 2 sorry QBs in the first round within like 7 years (I think) of each other… Grossman and McNown

  54. Boney:

    It’s much, much, much, much, much worse than that…the last Bears QB to throw for at least 2500 yards and have a 2:1 TD/INT ratio was born in 1932.

  55. Missed 1 – Erik Kramer in 1995…super solid season…almost 4k in yds…and almost 3:1 with 29 tds.

  56. Temple-
    Your ‘missed 1′ actually emphasizes the point.
    When your best QB statistically for a 75 yr span is Erik Kramer….

  57. Erik Kramer was a dud, and I’m a Lions’ fan. I was happy to see that bum roll out for “greener pastures” in Chitown… they deserved him and his salary.

  58. true, all true. but for one season, he was pretty damned good. 3800 yards, 29 and 10. I’ll take that every year from anyone.

  59. Sweet Jones Says:

    @ #51,

    Boney,

    I suggest you tune into any Chicago sportstalk station. You will here this strange fascination with the ‘felony’ aspect (allegedly lying to police about car stolen) of this Briggs thing. You’ll also hear the rampant speculation as to why he didn’t hang around (everything from being drunk to potential drug involvement). And you will hear Lovie Smith getting his head handled to him for NOT wanting to speculate on what happened, NOT demanding to know why a grown man was out at an ‘indecent hour’, and for being an ‘enabler’.

    See this Morrisey column as an example:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-070828morrissey,1,7299808.column

    My friend, the ‘railing’ has just begun.

  60. Yeah good one sweet jones. The good ole boys are at it again.

    Wow and I only thought the klan had this bad of a mob mentality.

  61. Good Lord, Sweet Jones,
    There is less cattiness on The View…..”Don’t ask what Briggs was doing out at 3 a.m.”……WTF?? What difference does it make what time a grown azz man is out and about??

  62. curfews for all the nigras – Morrissey.

  63. well, chicago sportswriters have a problem with just about everything since the Bulls don’t win anymore and since the Cubs never win anything either… it’s almost like you have to be a bitter white guy to write for the Chicago newspapers…

  64. Miranda remember that conversation we had where I pointed out that we are well within our rights to criticize our own brothers for acting stupid, but no one else does. That’s what this is. I don’t want to hear from anyone in the MSM talk about Briggs, because they don’t know anything yet. But if it’s proven that Lance lied about calling the cops and just split, or was out drunk, he’s got a problem, and I’m not going to waste breath defending someone who was drinking and driving.

  65. Boney you must not know chicago well. I was born and raised there. Lived there before the bulls run and after there run. The media has always been that way. We were the city of losers before the bulls. And the White media complained and B%^@$ed. During the bulls run they B%$@^ed about the bulls drama, about phil’s sometime attitude toward the media. The second run they B%$@ed about rodman and kukoc being soft.

    The MFers complained about Pippen during both runs. The Mfers B%$&@ed about how neal anderson lost a step and was scared of contact. They B&^$#ed about how ditka was an idiot and had no respect from the media. Later the media ran him out of chicago.

    Idiots like mariotti during the bulls first run talked about how we should trade jordan for alonzo mourning and kendell Gill. Since Jordan was getting to 30 years old.

    The sports media in chicago have always been a bunch of bitter white men as you call them.

    I witness this for over 20 years. The only difference is that there are more sports talk shows not just the ticket. Now marriotti B%$@& @ss is on TV and now they have tons of websites to spew the ignorance. Nothing has changed in chicago…….its just easier to gain access to this ignorance.

  66. Okori,
    I don’t think the MSM has waited for facts since before the Clinton administration.

  67. Excuse me I meant the score in chicago. The ticket is here in Dallas.

    I get my good ole boy radio stations mixed up.

    My fault Sh%$ is Sh^% no matter where you live.

  68. Miranda fantastic point. Hopefully Lance wasn’t out drunk.

  69. Okori, from what I’ve seen down here in Louisiana, lots of poeple leave wrecked vehicles on the side of the road and come back for them later. Since I’ve read more stories I don’t think that’s all Briggs did so his situation is different, but it’s not that uncommon for people to leave a wrecked car on the side of the road here. Maybe we just have a problem down here.

  70. ok then. that’s good to know.

  71. Origin, I know how crappy chicago sportswriters are… I have to listen to them on ESPN and hear about them on TrueHoop whenever another Kobe or KG to the Bulls rumor comes up…

    Thank goodness we don’t have horrible ones here in DC that have their own radio shows..

  72. Well, I’ve always said that if the teams are going to rake in all this money from tickets and tv and advertising, I’d rather see it go to the players instead of the owners. After all, if I do plunk down $30 or so to go see the Falcons, I’m doing it to see the players. Its not to watch Mr. Home Depot in his box. So I’d want the money to go to the players. Of course, I’d rather they both cut ticket prices and paid the players less money. :)

  73. Allen, ditching cars is common practice in the city of Detroit… drive through on i-75 and you’ll see an abandoned car on every exit in the main drag of Motown.

  74. So I quess Michael Vick getting hit by defensive lineman coming in at him at 75 mph and having knee, separated shoulders and a broken leg is undeserving while the league he played in made nearly 300 million off his likeness in video games, jerseys,posters and sellout crowds. Vick earned his money like Tom Cruise, Rupert Murdock or any other person who entertains for a living. This is the MSWM saying ‘those nigras ought to thankful for the money we pay them’ Oh yeah Bill and the rest of whiteboy posse and their media enablers, I will remember that the next episode of Conard Dobler and ex- NFL players who can’t even get disablity payments from the league who does not offer guarnteed contracts or health benefits.

    That’s why I am for Jamarus Russell or any NFL player getting as much from these billionare NFL jerkoffs as possible Vick earned his money on NFL fields and should keep his money because he earned it on the field so the Falcons ain’t entiled to nothing but a ‘Coke and a Smile’.

  75. Eric Daniels, in your rant or tirade against those arguing that Michael Vick should get paid like other “entertainers” you seem to forget that the system by which Vick agreed to play under and that (for example) Tom Cruise agreed to entertain under are 2 seperate things.

    There is no limit to the money that Tom Cruise can make simply by agreeing to play a role in a movie. There is, however, a limit that has been set by the Union and the League saying that teams can only pay so much to their “athletes” in order to keep competitive balance.

    Maybe you should write a letter to the Player’s Association and voice your concerns over guaranteed contracts. I mean, the last time I checked, the head of the player’s union right now is Black. There isn’t a “good ol’ boy” running that show over there is there? Sure, the owners may not initially see eye to eye on it, but the NFLPA has to sign off on it as part of a CBA don’t they?

    Vick should be able to keep the money already given to him, but until we see some language that was written on a document he signed, we’ll have to assume the worst… which it looks like you’ve already got a good start on it.

  76. Boney Vick earned his money on NFL fields nationwide so he doesn’t owe the American public or the Falcons anything, Vick is the reason the Falcons got more pub AND sold out their stadium for the last 6 years. Also they were on Monday Night Football and put money in the league coffers so whey should he pay back 22 million dollars?

    All I have heard from white people like you on Blogs like ESPN AJC and other mainstream media is nice little gems of white racist poetry like…..

    1) Take that nigger’s money and send him back to the projects
    2) Lynch Vick
    3) He should give all his NFL money to PETA and the ALF
    4) He’s a thug with his braids and baggy pants

    Well maybe if he was more like Tim Duncan and Tiger ‘calabasian’ Woods white folks might like him, But althletes are entertainers and when Vick along with his Falcons teamates helped sell out the Georgia Dome I consider that a debt repaid.Now will any of you defenders of Vick’s emaculation condemn the white majority for their racist attitudes over the past month and a half? If anything African- Americans were more fair – minded and witheld judgment unlike whites in america who should their blatant hatred for African- Americans through the lens of Vick and dogfighting.

  77. The question is: Are professional athletes overpaid?

    My answer is “yes.” Let me explain. I heard the market system used as a defense for their inflated contracts; while I agree with the market system, I don’t agree that the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL are true market systems.

    First of all, all of us living in a city that is “lucky” enough to house one of these elite sports franchises has been saddled with the cost of paying for their playground. The city that I live in was recently extorted into for two brand new stadiums and the city has agreed to yet another one. This is tax payer money paying for these playgrounds for the “rich and spoiled.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the owners get a free ride on this issue by any means. I’m just saying that before anyone starts belly-aching and telling ME how much Nate Clements deserve $80 Million over 8 years — you better tell me why I have to pay for his damn stadium (I say “pay” rhetorically, because I don’t live in SF). If it was me making the decisions, it would be the owners and players that pay 100% for their own damn stadiums and not the average taxpayer. A stadium may hold 60,000 – 70,000 fans, but millions have to pay extra in increased sales taxes and other hidden taxes in order to fund these monstrosities.

    Some may say — well it’s the cities fault for funding the stadiums and not the NFL (for example) or the players. Yes, I’d agree to a point — BUT — you all know that the NFL, NHL, and NBA limit the amount of product (sports teams) in a monopolistic fashion so there are ALWAYS more cities that want these professional teams than there are teams to go around. Henceforth the rich owner ethos of — give me that $300 Million stadium or your city can find a new franchise (and good luck renting out that large “60K seat building with no roof,” because we won’t be needing it anymore.

    I think the public should not be in the practice of funding private sports stadiums. Are you telling me the F’n NFL can’t afford to build its own damn stadiums? Of course you’re not… because the NFL has boatloads of money. But why pay for your own home when someone else will build it for you? Such is the mindset of the professional sports franchises. Local governments will tell you that they must cut this program and that program because the govt. “can’t afford it,” but when it comes to writing a check for major sports teams… that cramp in the govt.’s right hand all of the sudden disappears.

    So I say to you that call the NFL and the NFL Player’s Assoc. a “free market,” give me a break. I don’t think Nate Clements would be making $80 Million if the 49ers and the NFL had to pay for Candlestick/Monster Park, I don’t think Clements would be getting $10 Million a year. So if the true owners of Candlestick Park/ Monster Park (the SF taxpayers) ever hear Nate Clements utter the words “not in my house”… they ought to send him an eviction notice, because it’s truly NOT HIS HOUSE. Clements is merely a wealthy squatter… the people of SF and all the other cities with franchises across this country paid for that “house.”

  78. Man, why are you making players part owner of stadiums? I’ve never heard that leap of logic before.

    I’ve never heard anyone connect player salaries to stadiums since most people understand that the stadiums are owned and managed by the owners of the teams, who EMPLOY the players to perform in said venues. If you have a problem with stadiums you should take it up with owners and politicos, not with players.

    There salaries have nothing to do with new stadiums. In fact new stadiums are built so owners can make even more money despite having to pay players their market value.

  79. “Yeah, I’m a dog person. I don’t want to go all “Marley & Me” on you, but the night I brought my Cocker Spaniel puppy Elvis home, I slept next to him on the kitchen floor so he’d feel safe and wouldn’t whimper so much. Twelve years later, I slept next to him on the living-room floor as his breathing became more shallow and his blood count worsened by the minute. He died later that day. But at least he didn’t die alone.

    We’ve got another pooch now — a pain-in-the-butt, pig-in-a-dog-suit Cocker named Oskie. And even though he’s been known to sneak on top of the Thanksgiving dinner table for a slice of just-carved turkey, I can’t imagine a day without him.”

    That Wojo’s a crazy bastard.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=2977604

  80. Allen,

    Come on man, let’s get real here. Why do the owners constantly need bigger stadiums and more money? Yes, they’re greedy, but that’s not the only reason. In order for a small market team to compete with a large market team (I understand that salary caps exist, but there are additional factors), the small market team demands a stadium commensurate with the large market team.

    As players’ salaries go up, owners expenses go up, and owners demand more revenues to pay these players. If your local teachers’ union goes on strike and demands higher pay, then chances are your school taxes may be going up next year. The same logic exists in professional sports. The problem with sports is that the salaries of professional athletes (like the salaries of CEOs) is far outstripping the rate of inflation. How do you argue against this logic… cost of labor goes through the roof and somebody’s got to pay. How much more will ticketholders pay???? Will ticketholders pay the true cost of professional athlete wage inflation?… I doubt it.

    If ticketholders had to bear the full brunt of increased labor costs, then the price of a seat at an NFL game might be $500. Think about it Allen… if the public refused to pay for these damn $300 Million + stadiums, then who would pay for them???? Would ticketholders be willing to pay $500 for a regular season NFL game? Would you?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not simply blaming the players for getting every last cent they can get their greedy hands on. I’m saying that the system is rigged. The NFL (for example) is a monopoly. If your city doesn’t give its respective franchise everything it wants… then the respective franchise leaves town. In a free market system, professional sports franchises would likely be much less brazen.

    Allen, listen, my argument is fairly simple: if the NFL was not a monopoly, and taxpayers did not publicly finance $300 million stadiums, then there would be greater expenses and less income to pay players’ salaries. If the NFL privately financed its own stadiums (and we all know it has more than enough money to do so), then I couldn’t care less about how much Peyton Manning, Nate Clements, or Calvin Johnson make (it would be closer to true supply and demand economics). Hell, pay JaMarcus Russell $100 million a year for all I care… but don’t ask me to pay a higher sales taxe rate to fund JaMarcus Russell’s workplace. If the Oakland Raiders can afford to pay JaMarcus Russell $100 million a year AND afford to privately fund the team’s own stadium, then I won’t care much about players’ salaries. But when I — the lowly taxpayer who rarely ever attends live sports events — is asked to fund new stadiums due to increased costs (i.e., exponential labor costs), then I have every right to be upset about the outrageous amount of money professional athletes make.

  81. Sweet Jones Says:

    Indy Fan,

    You do realize these owners always have the option of simply selling these money-hemorrhaging franchises, no?

  82. IndyFan

    I would add, too, that you have it backwards – it is not players’ salaries that drive owners desire for a new stadium. It’s owners’ desire to make evermore profit. You’re right that the NFL is a near-legal monopoly – I said that in the piece. But, the idea that the owners are reacting to players’ salaries is simply wrong and the NFL salary cap makes that obvious. Players’ salaries, in the aggregate, are directly tied to the league’s revenues. I almost never hear anyone actually “defend” the money players make. My point is that SO much more time is spent complaining about players’ salaries than owners’ profits, despite the enormity of the latter. This idea that players are greedy while owners are just trying to cover costs is exactly what’s wrong with sports journalism – it fails to grasp the true situation. And, as Sweet Jones says, in the comment above, the owners would sell if owning a team weren’t such a lucrative proposition.

  83. J, great piece. What I would like to add is people shouldn’t worry about what other people make. Talk radio and some ignorant fans actually think a player should give back his money if he’s hurt and can no longer play at the same level. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. To add to your point J, the owners aren’t risking bodily injury. When I hear jealous fans talk like this it makes me sick. If we are hurt on our jobs we receive compensation that may come in the form of a law suit or disability. If a player breaks his neck of tears up his knees they can’t sue the team or the league. If the play in the nfl they are just ass out cut. So I say these atheletes should get their money and people should mind their own business!

    How bout Tiger this dude never says anything in the media then has the nerve to talk about MV being contrite. If I hear that word one more time I’m going to scream. There is nothing honest about this country and I’m tired of people acting like they have never told a lie.

  84. Jweiler,

    I’m not arguing with the point that the owners are greedy… I said exactly that in my posting. To suggest that I am leaving owners off the hook would be completely misleading about my point. My point was that the NFL, the owners, AND the Players Association are guilty of bilking the public out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Please follow me here… I’m not per se complaining about players’ salaries being too large as compared to the average per capita income of an American citizen. I am coplaining that the players and fans should realize that the players have some culpability to, as there is NO DOUBT that the largest expense in the NFL is players’ salaries. Listen, my argument is that the owners SHOULD PAY for the stadium that each of their respective teams play in, but the amortization of a $300 Million stadium will seriously cut into NFL team profits.

    Again, the argument is that if the owners WOULD pay for their own stadiums, then there would be less money for $80 Million player contracts (like Nate Clements’). If the NFL salary cap is determined by overall league profits (and not just revenues) then players salaries would have to reflect the additional team expense of financing their own stadium.

    As I pointed out previously, only a small percentage of fans have the financial resources to afford NFL or NBA season tickets… and or those few, even fewer have season tickets that are even available (some popular teams may have decade long waiting lists for season tickets). So why should I (just as a taxpayer in general) have to pay and finance Nate Clements stadium (his workplace)? He’s making $10 Million a year, so why doesn’t the NFL do something like charging an excise tax on players’ salaries in order to build a “stadium fund.” The average NFL player certainly has more than adequate financial resources to contribute to such a fund… and we all no that without the stadiums that the players wouldn’t have a way to make those fat contracts. No stadiums = no owners = no teams = no $80 Million player contracts. I’m a football fan, but as far as I’m concerned, those rich owners and players can fund their own damn stadiums or just shove the entire sport up their collective asses. If it was up to me, there would be NO public financing of professional sports teams… then we’d see the true “market adjusted” wage for a professional athlete.

  85. IndyFan –

    You simply don’t understand the economics of how this works. I can’t break it down for you, but you’re so far off with your assessment and your prescriptions that its a wonder you can find your way to work in the morning. Pardon the hyperbole, but you’ve simply got to do the research on this one.

    I know that you and Boney and Elliott don’t like facts and shit like that, so I’ll spare you.

    The very idea of suggesting that players pay for stadiums they don’t own – using payments from non-guaranteed contracts…that’s some really laughable shit. Git it together.

  86. Paul,
    Being contrite = scream Toby, dont look in the eyes, be much obliged, shuffle yo feet….

  87. Thank you Temple.

    Seriously, players should pay for some shit they don’t own, just because that’s where they go to work and make money?

    That is just dumb. No other employee in America pays the rent on the building where they work, nobody.

    And players drive up the cost of doing business? Uh no. As another poster noted, the overall salary cap is a percentage of league revenue. So if league revenue falls, player salaries fall. The simple fact is that newer stadiums offer more money-making opportunities for NFL owners so they can have larger profits. And since the contribute to politicians, those politicians build them more stadiums.

    To blame players for the construction of stadiums is an amazing distortion of reality. Wow, it’s the player’s fault that the politicians and owners decided to build something to make them money? That’s just amazing.

  88. Miranda
    Good stuff.

  89. T3,

    You wrote:
    “You simply don’t understand the economics of how this works.”

    Could you possibly be any more presumptuous, arrogant, and condescending? Judging by your previous posts to others, I think it is a specialty of yours. Please don’t play that nonsense with me and please don’t explain to me what I do understand and don’t understand. I have plenty of formal economics and finance education, so I think I understand the economic part of this issue quite well.

    In addition, I don’t know where you come off stating that I don’t like facts. Temple, exactly what alleged facts of yours are you very arrogantly and presumptiously claiming that I do not like? Are you claiming that it is not a fact that taxpayers fund the hundred million dollar stadiums of a billion dollar industry called the “NFL?” Is it not an economic FACT that if a company has less profits, then it will have less money to pay its employees? Is it not a fact that in the real world, the public does not pay for a private company’s $300 Million building?

    Sure there are examples of tax abatements and other incentives that cities, counties, and states offer large companies in order for those companies to locate their manufacturing plants in their state… but that is often in return for hundreds if not thousands of good-paying jobs.

    T3, with your vast economic knowledge, pray tell how many good-paying jobs a $300 Million NFL stadium brings to a community. I’m sure the number of high-paying jobs are commensurate with the amount of money the community spends, right? I mean, that $300 Million couldn’t be used for other important public endeavors or as an incentive or abatement to lure other large US or foreign companies to locate there and create jobs.

    Hey T3, did you ever think that $300 Million might be better used to fund many cities’ crumbling infrastructure… instead of building stadiums for a for-profit league that can already easily afford them? Hey T3, since you enjoy facts so much, how about the recent Minnesota bridge collapse? Do you think that the city and state might have more money for infrastructure if it didn’t squander so much of it on professional sports stadiums for the ultra-rich? Did you know that the Minnesota Vikings were demanding a new stadium from the local city… but are delaying deferring their demands due to that “little infrastructure incident” where 12 people lost their lives and the nearby community lost a major brige that provided access to local residents’ jobs. I’m sure you were to busy being offended by me having the “audacity” to question an athletes right to an $80 Million contract to read this article about the quandary in Minnesota:

    The thorny ethical issue confronting you and many thousands of your fellow fans is how the state can finance even part of a new stadium when, as this newspaper’s editorial page pointed out after the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge, “There can be no doubt that today, the adequacy and safety of the rest of the state’s roads and bridges is Minnesota’s No. 1 public policy concern.”

    The article went on to say:

    Less than a week before the disaster, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told Star Tribune reporter Kevin Seifert, in response to a question of whether he saw any roadblocks to the proposed $929 million stadium project: “All I can tell you is that it’s very, very important as we see the cost of materials going up that we make sure we get this done as quickly as possible.”

    T3, in a state with so many deficient bridges, and defacto public safety issues, don’t you find something wrong with the fact that the NFL with all of its money would be asking the Minnesota taxpayers to build one of its franchises a stadium priced at almost $1 Billion???? And we all know about cost overruns… who knows what the final taxpayer tab would be. Oh T3, did you also realize that the Minnesota Vikings were “nice” enough to leave out the retractrable roof, which was estimated to add another $225 million to the almost $1 Billion price tag? Nice of them, don’t you think?

    Oh, and since you don’t believe that I base my comments in facts, maybe you should read this, too:

    There also is concern that the public is beginning to arch its eyebrows about support for professional sports facilities. The last test was in November, when Seattle voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 91, prohibiting the city from using tax dollars to subsidize a professional team unless the subsidy generates a certain amount of profit for the city. The Seattle Supersonics basketball team has threatened to move to Oklahoma City unless a new arena is built.

    “Overwhelmingly passed Initiative 91,” T3. The public is “overwhelmingly” telling these franchises that they and their respective communities have more pressing needs than building half-a-billion to a billion dollar facility for private sports franchises that can afford to pay their “employees” $10 million a year, and operate in in league that made over $6 Billion in revenue in 2005.

    The NFL is a defacto monopoly, and as such is not subject to the normal push and pull of normal market supply and demand. By the NFL not satisfying the demand for professional football teams, it has created an environment where an industry with over $6 Billion in revenues can threaten to leave a community that won’t cave to its demand to build a $1 Billion stadium. The sad reality is that some other city will be salivating at the chance to spend a billion or more to secure its own NFL franchise.

    Finally, T3, let me address your claim that players help pay for stadiums — in your opinion — is “really laughable shit.”

    Now when did I ever offer specifics about non-guaranteed contracts? Just because I suggested an excise/luxury tax on professional athletes that would be initiated by the athletes’ respective league (NFL taxes its players, the NBA taxes its players, the NHL taxes its players) doesn’t mean that I suggested that players be taxed on every single aspect of their contract. Non-guaranteed signing bonuses could be pro-rated for taxation, and if the player is forced to give something back (like in the Vick case), then the tax can be refunded by the league. That said, the league could choose to only tax the salary portion of the contract and not the bonus. So what if the damn contract isn’t guaranteed? What does that really have to do with the idea that the players need these stadiums or THEY DON’T HAVE A JOB? T3, you can consider it something akin to a union due. I think a good formula would be the ownership contributes 80% of cost and players kick in 20% from this “excise tax.” Or, T3, are you more comfortable with the guy making $5.75 at Wendy’s paying an extra 1% in sales tax plus a number of other “hidden taxes” for this stadium? Is it so offensive to think that someone so rich might be expected to shoulder some of the burden of a $1 Billion dollar stadium (I was using $300 Million as an example, but it appears prices have gone up on stadiums)? The truth is, T3, who really cares if the owners pay 100% for the stadiums and the players don’t contribute anything… the point is that if the sports franchises had to pay for their own stadiums then there would be less money to pay the athletes. In addition to that T3, I think if the owners and players had to pay for their own stadiums, the alleged life expectancy of a new stadium would probably increase by a couple decades.

    BTW, T3, do you even want to get into the issue of what sports teams consider “paying” for their share? You are aware that some cities actually consider increased tax revenue as payment for the team’s share of the stadium… even though it’s only a “guesstimate” as to how much a new stadium is responsible for increased revenue. You probably don’t want to discuss that.

  90. T3, here’s a citation on that Minnesota article, but since you seem to know everything, I’m sure you won’t bother to look at it:

    http://www.startribune.com/113/story/1368806.html

  91. IndyFan:

    First off – I should say we have considerable points of confluence. There is considerable agreement between your most recent post and my own positions. In fact, I believe you expended considerable energy unnecessarily defending positions which I only indirectly assailed. I fundamentally disagree with your notion that players should contribute to the development of stadiums…my reasons are outlined below – and I read your posted article re: Minny.

    Here is the issue in a nutshell (selected from the article):

    “Missing from the discussion so far is an add-on to a Hennepin County sales tax, which the Legislature passed last year enabling construction of a new baseball stadium, leaving in its wake an opposition miffed because voters were denied a referendum on the tax.”

    The citizens of a county or state are REMOVED from the process of determining municipal expenditures and concessions. This is no different than what happened when Modell left Cleveland or when George S. decided he needed a new park. That is the primary and irreducible point in all of this.

    Players are labor and their contracts are owned by private individuals or corporations owning franchises. My strident opposition to your comments above was entirely about the notion of players contributing their salaries to the construction of stadiums. In what would simply amount to an appropriation of funds from labor, your preposterous idea has to be soundly deconstructed for you to see your folly.

    If your beef is with greedy owners, man up and don’t be a byatch about taking money from players whose PERFORMANCE has generated the added revenues across the league through the television contracts. Not a single new television deal has been struck because an owner negotiated a new stadium or decided to change uniforms or invested in a fancy new water cooler or training table. Not one. The added revenues which accrue to professional sports has resulted from the increasing attractiveness of the game to American and international AUDIENCES with an insatiable appetite for GAMES and MERCHANDISE. With all your financial and business knowledge, none of this is part of your critique of where the league now sits. It’s curious, but not surprising. This is germane and critical to my objection raised above.

    Labor productivity has generated increased profits – and your solution is to TAX LABOR. Who are you? Are you OUT of your mind? Seriously…what’s up?? Should your delusional paradigm be extended to all labor – like hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants? Should they give back a few pennies to make sure there are enough slots in Parking Section 234388A? Players are NOT owners. Players DO NOT negotiate deals with municipalities…they do not negotiate television deals with networks or team merchandising deals. Owners require stadiums in the same way that new tech firms require office space…are you seriously suggesting that Silicon Valley go into give back mode so folks can pay rent?

    The issue is the PROCESS by which owners negotiate PUBLIC SPACE with ELECTED OFFICIALS entrusted with protecting the PUBLIC GOOD. This is not a money problem. This is a process problem. If the owners cannot afford to negotiate solid, good faith deals with municipalities they should either move or sell the damn franchise. If the elected officials betray the public trust and negotiate a deal which robs the city/county/state of its ability to build bridges or schools, they should go to jail.

    From where I sit, your economic analysis misses the point because it assumes that the amounts of capital held by owners is not relevant. The conversation BEGINS and ENDS with how much capital the OWNER has – it’s where the NFL begins its conversation with potential owners….”How much $$$ do you have??”

    Municipalities which hinge their futures on professional sports franchises are playing a dangerous game. It is not a fundamentally sound practice and each time they engage in this practice, they forego opportunities to develop organic viable enterprises that could lead to a more comprehensive resurrection of blighted communities. (I believe you agree with this point.) NFL teams certainly provide jobs – but the best of those jobs seldom if ever go the neediest residents of any given community…

    And you, you, you want to take money from the players – a group who, as a class, come from the poooooorest elements of this society. Not a chance!

    ———————

    I assume you live in the Midwest. I certainly recognize that this phenomenon of team relocation has hit the midwest hardest. Chicago does not have to worry about this – but Cleveland did – and Cincinnati could and Minnesota might. Everyone wants to be in Miami or Las Vegas. The solution, however, to a strong league is not to siphon INFRASTRUCTURE dollars from labor. Can you imagine that balance sheet at the end of the year. You’d get laughed off the street. The solution today is what it was when American politicians allowed the export of the national manufacturing base – put those bastards in jail. This is a suckers bet and the only winners will be the league that wants to do the same thing to you that manufacturers did to your grandparents and parents…

    That’s why you had to go to school to study finance in the first place – so your ass could get a job in something other than manufacturing…and that’s why you’re Indyfan because you love your roots and you’re pissed about what has happened, but it’s too late. The good news is that it’s not your fault. The bad news is that it’s not the players’ fault either – and you can’t have their money.

  92. Thank you Temple, like the dude in Malcolm said ” Get your Muthafuckin hands outta my pocket ” They earned that money every broken bone, scraping against their knees, beginings of Deminta and every other hurt, You remind me when I used to work part- time working Hockey Games (I got to see the lighting win the Stanley Cup)and these white sports fans would say everytime you told them they could not sit in a particular row or harass people, “I pay your FUCKIN SALARY” I would say is your name on my paycheck? so the players are not repsonsible for the new monstrosity being builted with your tax dollars but that’s the price for Super Bowl memories.

  93. E.D.:

    There is a common theme here. When complications arise (which may or may not have anything to do with Black folks), abridging the rights and freedoms of BLACK folks has often become the only “viable solution” in America.

    The country actually began on this very premise. The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, but the Constitution was not ratified for another 13 years in large part because Northern whites and Southern whites could not resolve questions of proportional representation for states. The solution was the notorious Three Fifths Compromise. Whites deemed that slaves be counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of calculating population and determining political power.

    The same thing happened 100 years later with the Hayes-Tilden Compromise. Samuel Tilden (D-NY) wins the popular election over Rutherford B. Hayes (R-Oh), but cedes the presidency to Hayes. The quid pro quo is that Southern Democrats WIN the removal of union troops from the South. The result was the end of Reconstruction, the end of Black political power in the South, the rise of the Klan under the leadership of Nathan Bedford Forrest (namesake of Forrest Gump), and the rest was history.

    These are just examples of states rights cases which impacted the formation of the nation.

    The question of mobile capital and the rights of capital/property rights vs. the individual freedoms of Black folk has also been on display for centuries. The Dred Scott Case was one such example.

    I have always maintained that Americans, by and large, are not nearly as pro-capitalist as they purport to be. Sports franchise relocation is a perfect example of what happens when the rights of capital are unfettered. Firms can negotiate with municipalities on terms that favor capital – at the expense of the municipality. If you’re a true blue, dyed in the wool, freedom-loving All-American, how can you have beef with your favorite team bouncing to another town? You sound like a real pussy. If you were ’bout it-’bout it, you’d get your CASH together like Jay-Z and bring the team to Brooklyn. The Nets new location couldn’t be any closer to the Marcy Projects if God himself planted them down.

    The notion of proscribing Black rights is so easy for some people because they’re Founding Fathers did it to create and preserve the nation. My founding fathers were people like Richard Allen, Martin Delany, Harriet Tubman, and Anna Julia Cooper. We’ve been fighting tooth and nail for forty decades. I have to do what I have to do – and they have to do what they have to do…but they don’t get to also proclaim themselves “capitalists” while advocating for pathetic half-measures which miss the root of the problem. Git ya money up, byatch!

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