Sports Law Blog
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Friday, February 01, 2008
Blue and White?
To say this is an interesting time for the field of Sports Law is a bit of an understatement.
Now we learn Major League Baseball in its never-ending quest to taint its own product has been sending investigators out into the south to inquire whether neighbors and acquaintances of umpires know whether the men in blue have ever donned the white robes of the KKK.
This is so wrong on so many levels. As someone who watched 150 odd games last season, I can attest that at no time did I ever think any umpiring decision was racially motivated. Could the powers that be have seen anything else that could have led them to suspect such foul play?
And why just southern umpires? Does Baseball believe an umpire from Kentucky is more likely to be a racist than an umpire from Massachusetts? As Lamell McMorris, a spokesman for the World Umpires Association, aptly put it: “To try to link our umpires to the Ku Klux Klan is highly offensive. It is essentially defaming the umpires in their communities by conducting a very strange and poorly executed investigation. It resembles kind of secret police in some kind of despotic nation.”
The main offense here, as I have repeated often in this forum, is treating those in major league sports differently than the way we treat those in any other profession or the way we would ever want to be treated ourselves. Whether it is subjecting them to blood and urine tests, creating a system where entry level employees have no say in where or for whom they will work, prosecuting them for crimes which would otherwise go unprosecuted, or conducting highly offensive background checks in their neighborhoods, those in professional sports seem not only to receive tremendous compensation for their excellence but to pay plenty for it.
-- Posted by Alan C. Milstein @ Comments (6) -- Post a Comment 2/01/2008 06:11:00 PM --