Although I have rooted for the Seattle Supersonics for a few years now, I don’t take this stand based on any loyalty to this, or any other team. I am willing to admit I was one of the millions of American men raise playing team sports. As young boys we learned about sacrificing one’s self for the greater good of the team. Men raised playing team sports have put this principle to the test as they donned uniforms and defended this country with their blood in this and the previous century.
The sports field has long been the great equalizer. Boys who were from questionable backgrounds, or who lacked the pedigree for inherited respect in the community have been able to gain favor through athletic excellence. The dream of sporting achievement is open to all, while the avenue of academic success is not for everyone. Even the path of academic scholarship is not known to all, but the chance for athletic success knows few limitations.
Because competition reveals the truth, it is noble. Prejudices and favoritism must yield to superior talent and desire. All that could be subjective must give way to factual outcome. It is for these reasons that sports should be conducted as more than a business proposition.
I would have thought a commissioner would be the mediator between players and owners, between greed and fairness. Alas, David Stern exists for one reason, to make money for owners. I am as much of a capitalist as the next guy. Yet is there nothing noble about sports anymore.
Must we shun all that is good about sports to become a professional? If this is all about money, why ban performance enhancing drugs? Do we ban them in the name of fairness? What is fair about stealing tradition in the name of money?
I understand owning a professional sports team is a business. My understanding is that the definition of a profession is when it is self regulating. CPA’s, Lawyers, Doctors are all professions because they have organizations that monitor them and ensure they follow rules. I would think professional sports team ownership would likewise follow some rules. It appears to me they follow only their pocketbooks.