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Old 09-12-2002, 10:06 AM   #1
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Interesting editorial about sports

From espn.com's page 2

A new perspective in sports? Hardly
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Throughout the nation, we will solemnly reflect on how Sept. 11 profoundly changed us and forced us to re-evaluate our priorities.
Meanwhile ...
As Barry Bonds circled the bases after hitting No. 73, the battle over his record home run ball was just beginning.The fan who initially caught and then lost Barry Bonds' 73rd home run in a mad crush is suing the fan who wound up with it, demanding the return of the ball allegedly worth $1 million to $2 million. In a Sports Illustrated story, the parties drew parallels to Japanese internment camps and Nazi labor camps.
Meanwhile ...
The fan who caught Bonds' 600th home run allegedly reneged on his pregame verbal promise to split the proceeds from the baseball's sale with friends. Those same friends filed a lawsuit against him to get their cut.
Meanwhile ...
Ted Williams' children are fighting over whether the Hall of Famer's body should be frozen or cremated. The children also have sued each other over the possession of 2,000 bats autographed by the late player.
Meanwhile ...
Hootie Johnson and the members of Augusta National aren't extending any goodwill toward women.Augusta National chairperson Hootie Johnson said that The Masters will cut all sponsors and have the tournament broadcast without commercials rather than accept women members into the exclusive golf club.
Meanwhile ...
Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader sent a letter to David Stern three months ago demanding that the NBA commissioner review the officiating in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
Meanwhile ...
Just days after his team lost on the final play of a game at Michigan after having too many players on the field following the timeout he called, Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel received a six-year contract extension worth almost $12 million. Even so, Neuheisel would not categorically guarantee that he will remain with the Huskies for the entire contract.
Meanwhile ...
You've got to worry about a nation of TV viewers that would flock to see Tonya Harding fight Paula Jones.After signing a $75 million contract last year, Randy Moss dogged it on the field and told reporters he plays only when he wants to play. The league fined him $25,000 for three taunting incidents, and the team fined him $15,000 for verbally abusing team sponsors. Heading into this season, he was still telling reporters he'll still do what he wants.
Meanwhile ...
Fans paid $54.95 to watch convicted rapist Mike Tyson fight Lennox Lewis in June, but the highest ratings for boxing were when an estimated 15.5 million viewers tuned in to watch "celebrity" matches among such has-beens as Danny Partridge, Greg Brady and Tonya Harding.
Meanwhile ...
Just months after re-acquiring the stadium naming rights from ethically and financially bankrupt Enron, the Houston Astros re-sold them to a juice company for more than $100 million. Despite the recession, the Houston Texans opened their first season in a stadium named for an energy company that is paying $10 million a year for 30 years for the honor. And back in April, one collector paid $10,000 for bubble gum that Luis Gonzalez chewed and spat on the dugout floor.
Meanwhile ...
Our playing fields have featured hundreds of ceremonies to reflect on the tragedies ... but that doesn't mean we've changed.After arguing all summer, baseball's owners and players went to the very last minute, before finally agreeing to a new contract that slightly alters the way the parties divide up the league's $3.5 billion annual revenues. The agreement avoided another season-threatening strike by players earning an average of $2.4 million in a sport that is considered the National Pastime and is frequently described by baseball commissioner Bud Selig as "a social institution."
Meanwhile ...
With the season still intact there will be a moment of silence for Sept. 11 at all baseball games tonight. Aside from such occasional moments, the world of sports is remarkably unchanged one year after the attacks.
The question is whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at cuffscaple@hotmail.com.
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Old 09-12-2002, 10:40 AM   #2
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The examples in this article are about profesional sports or preofesional contracts, and as any other profesional aspect of life its about money, architects, lawyers, doctors still charge for tehir services, maybe we as society still expect from sportsmen, that in fact earn their living playing a game, to be more like heroes, I dunno if its good or bad, I guess is just a sign of our times.

On the other hand it comes to my mind some cases where profesional sports step up, in England some weeks ago 2 girls were dissapeared, both wearing Manchester United jerseys with Beckham's number 7 on it, the commitment of Beckham, Manchester United and the whole football community in helping to bring back this girls home, and eventually their show of support when the girls were found dead can't be overlooked.
In Germany the past month the floods caused a terrible loss in many parts of Saxony and Baviera, for instance Bayern Munich gave the complete gate of their lqualification game for the champions league at home to help, arranged a charity game in one of the damaged comunities, also the players themselves made a contribution from their pockets. This raised a total of 400,000 euros, I don't know if its a big or small quantity, but it shows that in many places this superstars are not that far from the people, and their needs.
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Old 09-12-2002, 11:44 AM   #3
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Re: Interesting editorial about sports

Not to start a fight, but I don't see the big deal about AT LEAST the following observation:

Quote:
Originally posted by popkidu2
Meanwhile ...
Hootie Johnson and the members of Augusta National aren't extending any goodwill toward women. Augusta National chairperson Hootie Johnson said that The Masters will cut all sponsors and have the tournament broadcast without commercials rather than accept women members into the exclusive golf club.
I ask, so what? Doesn't a private organization - like Augusta National - have the right to determine its membership?

I quote (emphasis mine):


FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION (link)

BY WALTER E. WILLIAMS
SEPTEMBER 3, 2002

Do Americans really cherish freedom of association? Are there any justifiable restrictions on freedom of association? In my book, any restriction on one's right to associate freely with anyone he pleases, on mutually agreeable terms, is both offensive and a gross violation of human rights. Let's think about it, starting with a couple of examples from the past.

In 1958, two Virginia residents -- Mr. Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman -- traveled to Washington, D.C., to marry. Upon return to Virginia, they were charged with and found guilty of violation of Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Loving vs. Virginia, held that laws banning interracial marriages violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The couple's conviction was reversed. Aside from Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws having violated the Constitution, it also violated the basic human right of freedom of association.

Let's now ask whether Virginia's laws would have been more acceptable if instead of banning interracial marriages, it mandated interracial marriages? I'd find such a law just as offensive, and for the same reason: It would violate freedom of association.

There's another case we might look at. H.L. Mencken, writing in the Nov. 9, 1948, Baltimore Evening Sun, brought to light that the City's Park Board had a regulation forbidding white and black citizens from playing tennis with each other in public parks. Today, most Americans, I suspect would find such a regulation an offensive attack on freedom of association. I imagine that most would find it just as offensive if the regulation had required blacks and whites to play tennis with one another. It would also violate freedom of association.

While Americans would agree there should be freedom of association in the specific cases of marriage and tennis, what about freedom of association as a general principle? Suppose men formed a club, a professional association or any other private association, and women wanted to be members. Is there any case for forcing them to admit women? Or, what if it were white men who formed a private association -- is there any case for forcing them to admit blacks to membership? The same question can be asked in reverse: What if it were women or blacks who formed an association. Should they be forced to admit men or whites? Wouldn't forced membership in any of these cases violate freedom of association?

What if you wanted to deal with me, but I didn't want to deal with you?

You say: "I'm stuck with that one, Williams. What do you mean?"

Suppose I'm looking to hire an employee. You show up for the job, but I don't want to deal with you. My reasons might be that you're white, you're a Catholic, you're ugly, you're a woman or anything else about you that I find objectionable. Should I be forced to hire you?

You say, "Williams, that's illegal employment discrimination." You're right, but it still has to do with freedom of association -- and either you're for or against freedom of association as a general principle.

You might argue that I should hire or deal with the first qualified person who comes along. In terms of freedom of association, that's nonsense. After all, would you say I should marry the first qualified women who comes along or play tennis with the first qualified person, or should I be free to marry or play tennis with people I like?

The bottom line is that the true test of one's commitment to freedom of association doesn't come when he allows people to associate in ways he approves. The true test of that commitment comes when he allows people to be free to voluntarily associate in ways he deems despicable. Forced association is not freedom of association.

COPYRIGHT 2002 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

To find out more about Walter Williams, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.


Freedom of assembly isn't just a right, it's a right explictly protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: I don't see how Hootie Johnson defending his Constitutionally protected right dishonors the memory of those who died on 9/11/01.

Bubba
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Old 09-12-2002, 08:41 PM   #4
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Bubba,

While I didn't expect to have this tangent, you picked up on an interesting topic.

Lets run with it!

I'm kindof split on this issue w/ Augusta.

First, I entirely believe in the right of a private organization to choose it's members, no matter how retarded it may be (see Boy Scouts of America IMO).

However, when the private organization, in this case, Augusta, inserts itself into the public forum, is when it becomes contentious (see Boy Scouts of America again).

I think both organizations are in the right. IMO, single-sex organizations are fine. The fact that Augusta is a good old boys club that is still living in the 1950's doesn't bother me. The fact that they host a major golf championship doesn't matter to me. If people have an issue, they should take it up with the PGA. Don't force Augusta to change who they are, make the PGA select a new site for the Masters.

And on a side-note, if you have a problem with BSA, create a new organization. Don't force them to change. While I find their policies abhorrent, it is THEIR choice. I'm just waiting for someone to sue the KKK to admit non-whites or change their mission....

When did we become so kookoo??????
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:21 PM   #5
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I have seen women and blacks and many others crusade againist either all-men groups or all-white groups.

But where i live we have a place called Spa_Lady, its a health centre i bet if there was a all man spa or a all whites spa there would be all hell but becasue their women they (((deserve it)))
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Old 09-12-2002, 10:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, and I'm glad to see you're not mad that this kinda changing the topic of your thread, PopKid.

Quote:
Originally posted by popkidu2
However, when the private organization, in this case, Augusta, inserts itself into the public forum, is when it becomes contentious (see Boy Scouts of America again).
I agree that the debate is occurring largely because Augusta is publically well-known, but that still doesn't help the case of those who want to force women into the organization: after all, it's a publically recognizable private organization - NOT a public organization. It's not publically funded (i.e., funded through taxes), so there shouldn't be any sort of equal opportunity requirements.

(Even the publically funded organizations like the US military should perhaps be free to be exclusive, to a degree. It should certainly have the right to refuse those who don't pass physicals, etc. If it can further make the case that the inclusion of people of a certain sex, sexual orientation, or whatever significantly affects the ability of the military to operate, it shouldn't be required to admit them at the expense of their mission.)

(Does the VFW recieve any federal funding? If it does, should IT be required to admit draft-dodgers?)

Anyway, I personally have no problem with the Boy Scouts of America's decision to exclude homosexual scoutmasters. Given the recent scandals within the Catholic Church, one could conclude that the BSA did the right thing in taking politically incorrect measures to ensure the safety of its underage members.

But I digress - and I have no intention to lead this into yet another argument about homosexuality.

I think that, for those who actually bring the debate to the principles behind it, this is a conflict between the rights of a group to determine its membership (freedom of assembly) and the rights of an individual to join whatever group it wants.

I don't think such an individual right exists. You're free to speak, but no one's required to listen. You're free to ask to join, but no organization is required to admit you.

I haven't heard a compelling argument to the contrary, and I think those at Augusta should be applauded for having the (golf) balls to stick to their principles - however offensive or politically correct they may be.

Bubba
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Old 09-12-2002, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by popkidu2
I think both organizations are in the right. IMO, single-sex organizations are fine. The fact that Augusta is a good old boys club that is still living in the 1950's doesn't bother me. The fact that they host a major golf championship doesn't matter to me. If people have an issue, they should take it up with the PGA. Don't force Augusta to change who they are, make the PGA select a new site for the Masters.
Popkiddie, hopefully you know enough about Golf to realise that this (the moving of the Masters venue) could never happen. For a start, the tournament isn't run by the PGA or the PGA Tour - its run completely by the Club, hence all the little things that make it different from any other major, like the tv coverage, restricted sponsorship, no corporate tents on the course etc. If you move the Masters, its no longer the Masters, simple as that. To say that this issue should be taken up with the PGA Tour is naive, as they really can't do much about it, sure they could pressure Augusta, but do you really think they'd be able to achieve anything thru this? 'The Men of the Masters' hold all the cards, eg. the venue itself. Golfers hold Augusta National in such high regard that they'd probably play there even if the PGA Tour forbade them from doing so.

As for women at Augusta, there are usually more women playing the course on any given day than there are men, as the wives, partners and guests of the members, which strikes me as more than a little ironic. My view of the situation is that both organisations are in the wrong to an extent. Hootie Johnson has actually been one of the more liberal minded and proactive Chairmen that Augusta National has ever had, presiding over sweeping course changes and extension of the tv coverage among other things. However, when he received (private) enquiries in writing from Martha Burk, his reaction was to go to the press with an angry tone, saying 'we are not going to be forced into change at the point of the bayonet!' so inflaming the situation well beyond what it could have been. This bloodyminded approach was matched by Burk when she suggested that she could force a change in the Masters venue by pressuring sponsors and telecaster CBS, which, as I've already said, is hopelessly naive and an attitude that reaks of ignorance about the game of Golf. The heavy handedness of both sides has meant that a possible resolution is now miles away.

I do believe that Augusta should allow for female members, heck, I even believe that there should be a Women's Masters Tournament at Augusta! I'd love to see Sorenstam, Webb and the rest trying to handle those greens.

I don't really see why one should defend to the death the 'Constitutional right' to discriminate against anyone when it comes to a sports club. I might be politically correct in saying this (heaven forbid!), but this rule strikes me as just being dumb. An even older and more exclusive old boy's club, the Marylebone Cricket Club in London (owners of Lords cricket ground, the home of cricket) changed their laws to include women members late in the 1990s, after about 200 years of exclusion. The world didn't end when they made their overdue change, so I don't think it will end if Augusta do likewise!
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Old 09-12-2002, 11:48 PM   #8
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wink

I see you "took care" of this thread nicely old boy

my problem is with the "green jacket," what about the yellow jacket? and we wonder why they're always trying to sting us??? years of exclusion at the hands of The Masters and their green jackets
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Old 09-13-2002, 12:59 AM   #9
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brettig,

Regardless of whether you or I think they should allow women to join, isn't it the club's decision?

Quote:
Originally posted by brettig
I don't really see why one should defend to the death the 'Constitutional right' to discriminate against anyone when it comes to a sports club. I might be politically correct in saying this (heaven forbid!), but this rule strikes me as just being dumb.
I can understand defending this, just on principle: the freedom to peaceably assemble (to, presumably, decide the composition of the assembled organization) IS a Constitutionally protected right - see the First Amendment. Sure, it may be dumb and politically incorrect, but don't they have the RIGHT to be dumb and politically incorrect?

In my opinion, freedom doesn't exist unless you're TRULY free to make your own decisions, right or wrong.

Certainly, those who disagree with Augusta are free to complain, free to urge sponsors to boycott, etc., etc. But the MOMENT this goes to a court, they will have gone too far.

(Read the Walter Williams article I posted earlier for an argument that's both more eloquent and complete.)

Bubba
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
In my opinion, freedom doesn't exist unless you're TRULY free to make your own decisions, right or wrong.

Bubba
Even if those decisions are to the direct detriment of the rights of others?

I agree it shouldn't go to court, but really, the group that made court proceedings a possibility was Augusta. By bringing Martha Burk's correspondence out into the open in such an indignant manner, they made it an issue. I believe Augusta ARE free to make their own decision, and if they do continue to exclude women it most probably won't affect them too adversely, just because of the way Golf is, and because of the central place the Masters holds in the game's folklore.

I do think, though, that sex discrimination really shouldn't be encouraged as an embodiment of the 'freedoms' of the US Constitution.
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:34 AM   #11
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Big Grin you wanted yellow? here's Australian Masters yellow

Quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer
my problem is with the "green jacket," what about the yellow jacket? and we wonder why they're always trying to sting us??? years of exclusion at the hands of The Masters and their green jackets


Don't forget the Green Pants for the runner up!
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Old 09-13-2002, 07:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by brettig
Even if those decisions are to the direct detriment of the rights of others?
Well, the idea of Rousseau's "Social Contract" does suggest that you can exercise your rights as long as such an exercise doesn't interfere with the rights of others. But I don't see how it applies here.

We all have the right to ASK for membership into an organization (and that's not in question here). We do not have the right to enter any organization we wish.

We have the right to ask for membership; the organization has the sole right of accepting or declining the request.

Relating back to the Williams article, I can ask any girl I want to marry me, but I do NOT have the right to COMPEL her to agree. I have the right to ask for membership to the VFW, but I do not have the right to FORCE them to accept me - the alternative is especially silly since I'm not a veteran.

Quote:
I agree it shouldn't go to court, but really, the group that made court proceedings a possibility was Augusta. By bringing Martha Burk's correspondence out into the open in such an indignant manner, they made it an issue. I believe Augusta ARE free to make their own decision, and if they do continue to exclude women it most probably won't affect them too adversely, just because of the way Golf is, and because of the central place the Masters holds in the game's folklore.
I simply don't know the details of the current situation, but it seems possible to me that the private letter could have been more a threat than a request or complaint. In such a case, Augusta may have been acting to pre-empt the follow-through of some threat or other.

And - between suits against the Boy Scouts of America and the Citadel, and considering the suit that forced the PGA to accept a player that was unwilling to comply with its rules about golf carts - I can understand if Augusta smelled an oncoming legal battle.

Quote:
I do think, though, that sex discrimination really shouldn't be encouraged as an embodiment of the 'freedoms' of the US Constitution.
I agree it shouldn't be encouraged, but it should be allowed as "par for the course" in terms of a private organization freely setting its own rules for membership.

As a final note, I'm not at all sure why you put quote-marks around "freedom," just as you did so for "Constitutional right." I doubt you're actually challenging the fact that we actually have rights or the fact that the Constitution protects many of those rights. I can only assume you're saying that we don't have the right to discriminate.

As terrible a thing as it is, I think we have the right to engage in discrimination. I do my best to judge another person by his character and not his race or sex, but I'm free to do otherwise. I'm certainly free to exclusively ask women of my own race for a date or marriage; I don't have to cross racial boundaries. I'm certainly free to express hateful, bigoted speech against people who aren't like me; that's what the First Amendment is there for. AND who I vote for can be influenced by race and sex: I can choose to vote for or against someone based on such superficial things, and the vote still counts as a full vote.

Do I not then, have the right to found an organization that allows in only a certain sex or race? If not, whose rights am I violating, and what specific rights are being trampled on?

Bubba
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Old 09-14-2002, 12:38 AM   #13
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has Coldplay been to the Australian Masters?
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Old 09-14-2002, 01:24 AM   #14
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I said Green pants, not Green Eyes, or even Green Sleeves for that matter.
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