ESPN’s Pat Forde took it upon himself to show how America’s top professional sports organizations are under fire. The story is a great piece to enlighten people on the controversies surrounding the NBA, the NFL, and MLB, and how the commissioners of each have to resolve the controversies. My problem doesn’t lay within the article itself, but more of how the controversies are being spun as “other people’s faults”.
First, and in a very particular order, is Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner having to save his league from its list of felonious players? In this off-season, we have had Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, and Tank Johnson have a dance with Johnny Law. Now Michael Vick, star of the Atlanta Falcons, is heading into court to discuss his favorite past-time, dog fights! The media is feeding on this delicious situation, reporting how the players’ personal lives are so messed up that they interfere with NFL regulations. The problem is that media are not asking for seconds, by which I mean they do not report the problems as a whole. The players can’t play in the pre-season? Oh, stop the torture. For smaller crimes, people are sent to prison. These guys get a slap on the wrist from their employer, and that’s news? What about the inaccuracies of our judicial system?
Secondly, and I love this one, is Bud Selig having to unwillingly watch Barry Bonds break the homerun recor?. We all know Bonds has a track record (track marks) with “chemistry”. So the media still criticize Bonds without turning the spotlight onto Selig. The whole steroid case broke out years ago. Selig had every opportunity to end Bonds’s career and set precedent for the rest of the league. Why do we find fault with something only at the climax of a situation? Let’s turn the spotlight back onto Selig’s past decision making rather than Bonds’s date with homerun destiny, even if it’s drug-induced.
And I have saved the best for last (I do not like the NBA). Tom Donaghy, veteran ref, betting extraordinaire and recent addition to FBI probing has caused concern for the NBA, and David Stern. The media are too busy wondering what this does to the NBA, than to ask the real questions. You cannot have the head of an organization not know what’s going on for all this time. How long has the NBA been corrupt? How many calls were made, or not made, by bad refs? Let’s ask Stern how he never knew about these rogue refs in the first place. Stern is praying the media do not turn their attention to him because he’s as guilty of corrupting the league as the refs that call a bad game.
The media are so intent on covering the controversies that they aren’t looking into what’s really wrong, and that’s the head honchos. — Andrew E. Smith