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[Sports Fandom] Is the NFL evil y/y?

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Posts

  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Atomika wrote: »
    Do you watch sports?

    Should you watch sports?

    - Cliff Lee pitched the equivalent of 24 full games last year and was paid $25 million. The city of Philadelphia has a teacher shortage of 1500, of which Lee alone could pay the median salary for 450 of them.

    This point has been dismissed several times throughout this thread (to summarize the counterarguments: "this is true for many rich people"; "the market sets the price"; "Communist!"), but I think those dismissals are not taking the context of the discussion into account. To say that Cliff Lee is paid $25 million per year while Philadelphia is missing at least the equivalent number of teachers (450) is another of way saying "society values Cliff Lee more than it values teachers." But the context of this statement is "Should we watch sports?"

    Ie., Atomika is suggesting that we, on an individual level, comprise that "society" which "values"; and if we wish that to change in the aggregate, we must change it on the individual level. The allocation of resources is a zero-sum game, so the question is whether we should get our revealed preference (Cliff Lee is more important than teachers) to match our generally stated preference (teachers are more important than Cliff Lee). The only way to do that is by physically changing things--for example, by skipping buying a season ticket to Lee's team and instead donating that money to a teacher advocacy group or a political campaign on the issue.

    The dismissals of the argument seem to me to be assuming certain conclusions ("society values these things the way it does") but not placing a judgment on those conclusions ("therefore we should allow it to function" or "therefore we should work to change society")--at least not one that comes with a coherent argument or justification. For example, the market also sets a price on sex slaves, health insurance, and cigarettes--should we accept those prices? Or should we combat, provide, tax, etc to change the relationship customers have to this market? What about the other way around, changing the customer relationships? (if the demand for sex slaves dries up, the price drops, and the practice ceases, right?)

    I doubt that Atomika is specifically talking about teachers, either. Her implication is that sports is overvalued in general by society, and that perhaps it is our duty to correct this imbalance in order to free up those resources to be used in places where they may do more good.

    Indeed.

    And another common rebuttal to this I see is, "If you take money away from the players, it just goes to the owners." And that's fallacious, because I'm not talking about giving less money to the players earning it, I'm talking about eschewing the whole system together. We wring our hands and say, "Oh well, it's the free market, that's how it goes," but that means we're collectively deciding that we're better off paying billions of dollars a year to oligarchs for the privilege of watching a completely purposeless exhibition of athletics, between teams of men with no connection to their city's populace or concern for its wellbeing, instead of insuring we have proper funding for critically vital infrastructural resources, like improvements to our educational systems, employment opportunities, and environment.

    We're saying, "Our capitalist system, as it currently stands, allows for impossibly disproportionate pay for people in sports fields while the things we need to ensure our future wither and die due to lack of funding, and that's okay by me."

    Hacksaw
  • ProfsProfs Registered User regular
    That argument's dumb because if you make that case against all sports, regardless of their particular virtues or flaws, you're making an argument against people spending money on leisure period. Not only is that a bad argument, it's a complete non-starter for the average person.

    Atlas in Chainsfrandelgearslipa5ehrenDeebasermcdermottCaptainNemoTofystedethKetar
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment. The people who produce whatever is the most popular form of entertainment in the country/world are going to make outsized amounts of money. Doesn't really matter if that's popular music, film, fiction writing, sports, etc. So under this moral rubric should we just cease consumption of popular entertainment? That's contrary to human nature and when it's removed, bad things (TM) tend to happen because some form of mass ideology (usually religion, historically) steps in.

    I also don't think ridiculous spending on sports as entertainment is incompatible with the kind of social-democratic state I think you (and I!) would like to see. For example, Germany is generally a pretty well run country. The current government is more conservative than ideal, but their default structures are so far to our left that it'd still be fine here as far as I'm concerned. Bayern Munich still makes something like 370 million euros in revenue.

    Government subsidies for sports are abhorrent though, and those should be ended as quickly as possible. Revoke the antitrust exemptions and stop giving billionaires free money for stadium projects.

    The issue with sports I have and make me think about my continued participation is shit like the Shane Morris incident which dominated my sporting week.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Zombie Hero
  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment.

    Sure it does. But you know what? Cockfighting used to be popular entertainment. As did unregulated boxing. Or hell, regular boxing. And public hangings. And turkey shoots.

    But we, as patrons with our mighty disposable incomes, can choose what stays popular and what slips away into history, and our collective morality can guide those decisions.

    Hacksaw
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Atomika wrote: »
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment.

    Sure it does. But you know what? Cockfighting used to be popular entertainment. As did unregulated boxing. Or hell, regular boxing. And public hangings. And turkey shoots.

    But we, as patrons with our mighty disposable incomes, can choose what stays popular and what slips away into history, and our collective morality can guide those decisions.

    And that I have no problem with. I'm saying the economic argument itself isn't a good one to justify boycotting sports. Considering football or hockey as overly dangerous to the well being of the people who are playing them, especially as amateurs, is perfectly legitimate. And the boxing comparison is a good one.

    EDIT: For example, guy on the Bills just fell over a blocker onto his head and possibly got a fairly serious neck injury covering a punt against Detroit. An "at least he has movement in his extremities" situation.

    enlightenedbum on
    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    Atomika wrote: »
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment.

    Sure it does. But you know what? Cockfighting used to be popular entertainment. As did unregulated boxing. Or hell, regular boxing. And public hangings. And turkey shoots.

    But we, as patrons with our mighty disposable incomes, can choose what stays popular and what slips away into history, and our collective morality can guide those decisions.

    And that I have no problem with. I'm saying the economic argument itself isn't a good one to justify boycotting sports. Considering football or hockey as overly dangerous to the well being of the people who are playing them, especially as amateurs, is perfectly legitimate. And the boxing comparison is a good one.

    I'm talking about little more than personal action in this thread, not legislative.

    I don't like the morality lapses I find it requires to regularly enjoy pro sports, so I'm not going to partake. Easy peasy.

    Hacksaw
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment. The people who produce whatever is the most popular form of entertainment in the country/world are going to make outsized amounts of money. Doesn't really matter if that's popular music, film, fiction writing, sports, etc. So under this moral rubric should we just cease consumption of popular entertainment? That's contrary to human nature and when it's removed, bad things (TM) tend to happen because some form of mass ideology (usually religion, historically) steps in.

    Yes we should get rid of all entertainment and only eat dry bread and drink water and read our bible each day.

    Arguing that the amount of money we spend on entertainment is too high is not the same as arguing that spending money on entertainment is wrong.

    AtomikamcdermottQuidThorn413HacksawMrVyngaard
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Atomika wrote: »
    Do you watch sports?

    Should you watch sports?

    - Cliff Lee pitched the equivalent of 24 full games last year and was paid $25 million. The city of Philadelphia has a teacher shortage of 1500, of which Lee alone could pay the median salary for 450 of them.

    This point has been dismissed several times throughout this thread (to summarize the counterarguments: "this is true for many rich people"; "the market sets the price"; "Communist!"), but I think those dismissals are not taking the context of the discussion into account. To say that Cliff Lee is paid $25 million per year while Philadelphia is missing at least the equivalent number of teachers (450) is another of way saying "society values Cliff Lee more than it values teachers." But the context of this statement is "Should we watch sports?"

    Ie., Atomika is suggesting that we, on an individual level, comprise that "society" which "values"; and if we wish that to change in the aggregate, we must change it on the individual level. The allocation of resources is a zero-sum game, so the question is whether we should get our revealed preference (Cliff Lee is more important than teachers) to match our generally stated preference (teachers are more important than Cliff Lee). The only way to do that is by physically changing things--for example, by skipping buying a season ticket to Lee's team and instead donating that money to a teacher advocacy group or a political campaign on the issue.

    The dismissals of the argument seem to me to be assuming certain conclusions ("society values these things the way it does") but not placing a judgment on those conclusions ("therefore we should allow it to function" or "therefore we should work to change society")--at least not one that comes with a coherent argument or justification. For example, the market also sets a price on sex slaves, health insurance, and cigarettes--should we accept those prices? Or should we combat, provide, tax, etc to change the relationship customers have to this market? What about the other way around, changing the customer relationships? (if the demand for sex slaves dries up, the price drops, and the practice ceases, right?)

    I doubt that Atomika is specifically talking about teachers, either. Her implication is that sports is overvalued in general by society, and that perhaps it is our duty to correct this imbalance in order to free up those resources to be used in places where they may do more good.

    You are missing an important point though of the rebuttals,specifically about actors.

    Yes, we value entertainment. It makes us feel good. We like feeling good. It's easier for us to value entertainment over a more vague "social good" that we might not really feel a noticeable impact from. I doubt I would notice if there were suddenly more teachers in Philadelphia. Hell, the people there might not even notice if they don't have kids or aren't a teacher themselves. Granted, it would positively affect things by raising the standard of living, but that's a hard benefit to point to and put your finger on.

    Also, and this is relevant to the notion of huge social change, but if I stop watching sports, it's not as though the salaries are going to plummet. I doubt that we can really mobilize the whole populace either. So what do we do? Nothing? Of course not. But perhaps we aren't the effective instruments of change. Perhaps the change has to come from the players and the teams themselves.

    It also bears mentioning that sports players of all kinds are generally huge charity enthusiasts. They donate money and time to a degree the common man does not. Granted, they have more to donate, so it's only right that they use that power well, but lets not pretend like Cliff Lee is just taking a bath in money and not doing some good with it. I know NFL players in particular are huge on local charities, especially for sick kids and underprivileged students. So it's not like our choices are 'give sports players huge salaries' or 'help the world' because doing the first accomplishes the second a lot of times. Now maybe they aren't using their charities effectively, but again, that's something that the players ought to change.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
    Harry Dresden
  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    Also, and this is relevant to the notion of huge social change, but if I stop watching sports, it's not as though the salaries are going to plummet. I doubt that we can really mobilize the whole populace either. So what do we do? Nothing? Of course not. But perhaps we aren't the effective instruments of change. Perhaps the change has to come from the players and the teams themselves.

    Do you stay home on voting day, muttering, "Gee, I hope whoever gets elected knows what they're doing?"

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    If we could do away with all the tax benefits and municipal/state funding that goes to professional athletics, and thereby reduce profits and higher end salaries for players just to keep that in line, I think that would be a great place to start.

    Professional athletes are closer to teachers than you think, in that some of their wages come from government benefits (through funding their stadiums, for example, or tax breaks) that really do just come out of everyone's pockets.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Astaereth wrote: »
    - Cliff Lee pitched the equivalent of 24 full games last year and was paid $25 million. The city of Philadelphia has a teacher shortage of 1500, of which Lee alone could pay the median salary for 450 of them.

    This point has been dismissed several times throughout this thread (to summarize the counterarguments: "this is true for many rich people"; "the market sets the price"; "Communist!"), but I think those dismissals are not taking the context of the discussion into account. To say that Cliff Lee is paid $25 million per year while Philadelphia is missing at least the equivalent number of teachers (450) is another of way saying "society values Cliff Lee more than it values teachers." But the context of this statement is "Should we watch sports?"

    You summarized incorrectly. It's not that it's true for many rich people, it's true for many top tier entertainers. The individuals that make up society value spending their disposable income on entertainment than bucking up to hire more teachers.

    You should watch sports if you enjoy watching sports. You should absolutely not tell people that watching sports is bad because the top talent gets paid a lot of money.

    Deebaser on
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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular

    It also bears mentioning that sports players of all kinds are generally huge charity enthusiasts. They donate money and time to a degree the common man does not. Granted, they have more to donate, so it's only right that they use that power well, but lets not pretend like Cliff Lee is just taking a bath in money and not doing some good with it. I know NFL players in particular are huge on local charities, especially for sick kids and underprivileged students. So it's not like our choices are 'give sports players huge salaries' or 'help the world' because doing the first accomplishes the second a lot of times. Now maybe they aren't using their charities effectively, but again, that's something that the players ought to change.

    On this front, I will say that several athletes run do-nothing charities that are just fronts to employ family/friends from their salary. Deadspin has done a series of articles about it over the years.

    But many of them also do a good job raising money for various causes, so I dunno.

  • DarklyreDarklyre Registered User regular
    Atomika wrote: »
    Also, and this is relevant to the notion of huge social change, but if I stop watching sports, it's not as though the salaries are going to plummet. I doubt that we can really mobilize the whole populace either. So what do we do? Nothing? Of course not. But perhaps we aren't the effective instruments of change. Perhaps the change has to come from the players and the teams themselves.

    Do you stay home on voting day, muttering, "Gee, I hope whoever gets elected knows what they're doing?"

    No, I stay at home on voting day, muttering "Gee, I hope whoever gets elected doesn't fuck things up too badly."

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment. The people who produce whatever is the most popular form of entertainment in the country/world are going to make outsized amounts of money. Doesn't really matter if that's popular music, film, fiction writing, sports, etc. So under this moral rubric should we just cease consumption of popular entertainment? That's contrary to human nature and when it's removed, bad things (TM) tend to happen because some form of mass ideology (usually religion, historically) steps in.

    Yes we should get rid of all entertainment and only eat dry bread and drink water and read our bible each day.

    Arguing that the amount of money we spend on entertainment is too high is not the same as arguing that spending money on entertainment is wrong.

    But how much does any individual actually spend? Is it just that the sports market is broad? Or does a sports fan spend more on sportsball than, say, a videogamer spends on The Vidja?

    Because looking at my shiny new XB1 and thinking about what I spent on PAX, those season tickets to the Sounders start to sound cheap. Hell, season tickets to the Seahawks probably run less than I've spent on gaming, and the average sports fan doesn't buy season tix.

    I'm just failing to see any moral superiority, on the economic front, for other entertainment spending.

  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment. The people who produce whatever is the most popular form of entertainment in the country/world are going to make outsized amounts of money. Doesn't really matter if that's popular music, film, fiction writing, sports, etc. So under this moral rubric should we just cease consumption of popular entertainment? That's contrary to human nature and when it's removed, bad things (TM) tend to happen because some form of mass ideology (usually religion, historically) steps in.

    Yes we should get rid of all entertainment and only eat dry bread and drink water and read our bible each day.

    Arguing that the amount of money we spend on entertainment is too high is not the same as arguing that spending money on entertainment is wrong.

    But how much does any individual actually spend? Is it just that the sports market is broad? Or does a sports fan spend more on sportsball than, say, a videogamer spends on The Vidja?

    Because looking at my shiny new XB1 and thinking about what I spent on PAX, those season tickets to the Sounders start to sound cheap. Hell, season tickets to the Seahawks probably run less than I've spent on gaming, and the average sports fan doesn't buy season tix.

    I'm just failing to see any moral superiority, on the economic front, for other entertainment spending.

    Is the national televised rights to playing vidja worth tens of billions of dollars?

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Atomika wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    My issue with the economic angle is that it basically applies to all popular entertainment. The people who produce whatever is the most popular form of entertainment in the country/world are going to make outsized amounts of money. Doesn't really matter if that's popular music, film, fiction writing, sports, etc. So under this moral rubric should we just cease consumption of popular entertainment? That's contrary to human nature and when it's removed, bad things (TM) tend to happen because some form of mass ideology (usually religion, historically) steps in.

    Yes we should get rid of all entertainment and only eat dry bread and drink water and read our bible each day.

    Arguing that the amount of money we spend on entertainment is too high is not the same as arguing that spending money on entertainment is wrong.

    But how much does any individual actually spend? Is it just that the sports market is broad? Or does a sports fan spend more on sportsball than, say, a videogamer spends on The Vidja?

    Because looking at my shiny new XB1 and thinking about what I spent on PAX, those season tickets to the Sounders start to sound cheap. Hell, season tickets to the Seahawks probably run less than I've spent on gaming, and the average sports fan doesn't buy season tix.

    I'm just failing to see any moral superiority, on the economic front, for other entertainment spending.

    Is the national televised rights to playing vidja worth tens of billions of dollars?

    No? So?

    I'll ask again, is the sports market broader, or do individual sports fans spend more?

    I'm not granting video games any moral superiority by virtue of being less popular, sorry. The grand I've spent this year between a console and PAX could still have been used to fund (in part) another teacher.

    Edit: Basically, unless I missed some evidence that was presented that the average American sports fan is actually spending significantly more on entertainment and luxuries than the average non-fan (controlled for relevant demographics), this feels like some kind of pseudo-elitist judgment of one form of entertainment over others. Can you show that the dollars spent on tickets and jerseys would, in a world without sports, be spent on teachers rather than boats and televisions? That the ad dollars generated by sports wouldn't shift to videogames or singing competitions?

    I'm skeptical.

    mcdermott on
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/11/us/new-jersey-football-abuse-scandal/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
    It may have been endured as an ugly rite of passage for rookie football players to ascend to the ranks of gridiron warriors, but when upperclassmen allegedly sexually hazed freshmen in a New Jersey high school locker room, it crossed a legal line.

    Seven of them now face charges as of Friday, and police have taken six into custody. Prosecutors are not naming them because they're juveniles.

    And at Sayreville War Memorial High School, proud of its state champion team's years of gridiron triumphs, shame has emptied the bleachers, silenced the cheers and snuffed out the floodlights. The superintendent has halted this year's football season, ostensibly assured of the allegations.

    "There were incidents of harassment, intimidation that took place on a pervasive level, in which the players knew, tolerated and in general accepted," Superintendent Richard Labbe said.

    It may have gone on for up to a year.

    This seems like the spot for this article.

    Atomika
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
    mcdermott
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.
    Now parents used to applauding their sons' conquests on the field are upset they have been benched for the duration.

    "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," a mother said at a school meeting to the roar of applause. Despondent players vented frustration over not being able to finish what they so confidently started.

    They are at odds with parents and players who broke the allegations. That group is less vocal and has declined to be interviewed on camera, afraid to voice grievances out loud.

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.
    Now parents used to applauding their sons' conquests on the field are upset they have been benched for the duration.

    "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," a mother said at a school meeting to the roar of applause. Despondent players vented frustration over not being able to finish what they so confidently started.

    They are at odds with parents and players who broke the allegations. That group is less vocal and has declined to be interviewed on camera, afraid to voice grievances out loud.

    I think it does depend on how things went down. Was the whole team involved in the hazing? Was it supported (or at least willfully ignored) by the coaching staff? Is there enough of a team left when you punish the aggressors and enablers to support the rest of the season?

    Reading the article it looks like somewhere between 3-7 people did this. High School Football usually has a roster of 40-60 players, only 11 of which need to be on the field.

    Shutting down the whole thing (and in turn possibly hurting the scholastic prospects of kids who played no part in this catastrophe) feels overboard to me.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
    ElvenshaeAngelHedgie
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.
    Now parents used to applauding their sons' conquests on the field are upset they have been benched for the duration.

    "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," a mother said at a school meeting to the roar of applause. Despondent players vented frustration over not being able to finish what they so confidently started.

    They are at odds with parents and players who broke the allegations. That group is less vocal and has declined to be interviewed on camera, afraid to voice grievances out loud.

    I think it does depend on how things went down. Was the whole team involved in the hazing? Was it supported (or at least willfully ignored) by the coaching staff? Is there enough of a team left when you punish the aggressors and enablers to support the rest of the season?

    Reading the article it looks like somewhere between 3-7 people did this. High School Football usually has a roster of 40-60 players, only 11 of which need to be on the field.

    Shutting down the whole thing (and in turn possibly hurting the scholastic prospects of kids who played no part in this catastrophe) feels overboard to me.

    it possibly went on for a year

    at some point even if you weren't a part of it you should have fucking spoke up. Joe Paterno

    the coach should have known what was going on in that locker room at all times

    and the families of the kids that were violated are afraid to voice their grievances out loud

    if that's not reason enough to shut the whole thing down then I'd like to hear what you think would be reason enough to shut the school's football program down

    AngelHedgie
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.
    Now parents used to applauding their sons' conquests on the field are upset they have been benched for the duration.

    "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," a mother said at a school meeting to the roar of applause. Despondent players vented frustration over not being able to finish what they so confidently started.

    They are at odds with parents and players who broke the allegations. That group is less vocal and has declined to be interviewed on camera, afraid to voice grievances out loud.

    I think it does depend on how things went down. Was the whole team involved in the hazing? Was it supported (or at least willfully ignored) by the coaching staff? Is there enough of a team left when you punish the aggressors and enablers to support the rest of the season?

    Reading the article it looks like somewhere between 3-7 people did this. High School Football usually has a roster of 40-60 players, only 11 of which need to be on the field.

    Shutting down the whole thing (and in turn possibly hurting the scholastic prospects of kids who played no part in this catastrophe) feels overboard to me.

    it possibly went on for a year

    at some point even if you weren't a part of it you should have fucking spoke up. Joe Paterno

    the coach should have known what was going on in that locker room at all times

    and the families of the kids that were violated are afraid to voice their grievances out loud

    if that's not reason enough to shut the whole thing down then I'd like to hear what you think would be reason enough to shut the school's football program down

    This has not a single echo of the Joe Paterno situation, at least with the data we currently have. Paterno had people come to him and tell him shit was going on, and he half-assed the response at best, and intentionally swept it under the rug at worst.

    High School kids do all manner of fucked up things that the teachers and staff remain blissfully unaware of. Ascribing omniscience to coaches, and expecting them to be 100% aware of what goes on in the locker rooms strikes me an impossible ideal. There are, as I said, 40-60 dudes on these teams, coaches have other shit to do...

    If evidence comes out to the contrary - if the coaches knew and looked away because they wanted that trophy, or if students went to teachers and said what was up and the teachers told them it would be taken care of and did absolutely nothing... THEN we can start talking Penn State.

    As a final aside, when Penn State's shit went south, all the athletes were given a free transferral of their scholarships to other NCAA institutions, since they were not responsible for this and therefore shouldn't be punished. This allowed their forward progress both scholastically and (potentially) professionally to continue. You can't really do that with public schools. By shutting down the High School football team, you may be denying anywhere from 5-10 full-ride scholarships a year, especially from a successful program.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
    Harry Dresden
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    Though sports are clearly the backdrop, the actual problem there seems to be hazing. Which does not only exist in sports, but rather in almost all young fraternal orders. It's organized bullying/indoctrination and its disgusting... but this could just as easily been about a college frat gone overboard or a drum corp or a ROTC group.
    Now parents used to applauding their sons' conquests on the field are upset they have been benched for the duration.

    "I've never seen so much dedication out of my son, and I want him to play the rest of this season," a mother said at a school meeting to the roar of applause. Despondent players vented frustration over not being able to finish what they so confidently started.

    They are at odds with parents and players who broke the allegations. That group is less vocal and has declined to be interviewed on camera, afraid to voice grievances out loud.

    I think it does depend on how things went down. Was the whole team involved in the hazing? Was it supported (or at least willfully ignored) by the coaching staff? Is there enough of a team left when you punish the aggressors and enablers to support the rest of the season?

    Reading the article it looks like somewhere between 3-7 people did this. High School Football usually has a roster of 40-60 players, only 11 of which need to be on the field.

    Shutting down the whole thing (and in turn possibly hurting the scholastic prospects of kids who played no part in this catastrophe) feels overboard to me.

    it possibly went on for a year

    at some point even if you weren't a part of it you should have fucking spoke up. Joe Paterno

    the coach should have known what was going on in that locker room at all times

    and the families of the kids that were violated are afraid to voice their grievances out loud

    if that's not reason enough to shut the whole thing down then I'd like to hear what you think would be reason enough to shut the school's football program down

    This has not a single echo of the Joe Paterno situation, at least with the data we currently have. Paterno had people come to him and tell him shit was going on, and he half-assed the response at best, and intentionally swept it under the rug at worst.

    High School kids do all manner of fucked up things that the teachers and staff remain blissfully unaware of. Ascribing omniscience to coaches, and expecting them to be 100% aware of what goes on in the locker rooms strikes me an impossible ideal. There are, as I said, 40-60 dudes on these teams, coaches have other shit to do...

    If evidence comes out to the contrary - if the coaches knew and looked away because they wanted that trophy, or if students went to teachers and said what was up and the teachers told them it would be taken care of and did absolutely nothing... THEN we can start talking Penn State.

    As a final aside, when Penn State's shit went south, all the athletes were given a free transferral of their scholarships to other NCAA institutions, since they were not responsible for this and therefore shouldn't be punished. This allowed their forward progress both scholastically and (potentially) professionally to continue. You can't really do that with public schools. By shutting down the High School football team, you may be denying anywhere from 5-10 full-ride scholarships a year, especially from a successful program.
    Cloistered in the dressing room, older players allegedly flipped off the lights, and filled the room with jeers as they accosted and sexually harassed their younger targets.

    They penetrated at least one of them, prosecutors allege.

    Officials have not disclosed details, but a Sports Illustrated article indicated that it likely did not involve intercourse.

    Three are accused of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration.

    One of the three, plus four more players face counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy, aggravated criminal sexual contact, hazing and riot for allegedly participating in the attack of other victims, Middlesex County prosecutors said.

    I'm not ascribing omniscience to the coaches.

    But boy I wonder what they thought was going on when the lights got flipped out and all the noise started.

    The fact that some players won't get a free ride to college on a football scholarship? Oh well. Maybe focus on something outside of football and the one in ten thousand chance you can make a career out of it.

    And yeah, 40-60 players on a highschool football team. And not one of them spoke up.

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Trace wrote: »
    The fact that some players won't get a free ride to college on a football scholarship? Oh well. Maybe focus on something outside of football and the one in ten thousand chance you can make a career out of it.

    This is the fucked up part of your thought process here.

    Many thousands of kids every year get scholarships from football. This provides them with an education beyond what they may have been able to afford.

    Yeah, there are PROBLEMS with how the institutions monetize the student athletes (which is a whole other conversation) but it doesn't change the fact that the program gives a higher education to thousands of people every year that otherwise may not have been able to afford it without crippling debt or (more likely) not going at all.

    The real choke point happens from college to pro (where thousands every year quickly turns into a couple hundred), but if you get 4 years of higher education, you are better equipped for the real world than if you stopped at High School.

    Punishing and potentially ruining the lives of people who are innocent of any wrongdoing because "fuck sports culture" feels like a massive overreaction.

    And if these 6-7 kids were as big a pack of assholes as it looks like they were, fear of reprisal could have been just as strong a motivator for the rest of the team as it was/is for the family or victims. "I didn't say anything because I knew I would be next" is a shitty thing to possibly punish a high school kid for life for.

    I'd say fire the coach for poor supervisory skills if this stuff happened at a time he was able to notice it while fast tracking the hiring of a new coach, remove the kids who did the crimes from the team and have the parents start a locker room monitor program where someone HAS to be outside the locker room at all times that a student is in there and it is a locked room otherwise.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
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  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    The fact that some players won't get a free ride to college on a football scholarship? Oh well. Maybe focus on something outside of football and the one in ten thousand chance you can make a career out of it.

    This is the fucked up part of your thought process here.

    Many thousands of kids every year get scholarships from football. This provides them with an education beyond what they may have been able to afford.

    Yeah, there are PROBLEMS with how the institutions monetize the student athletes (which is a whole other conversation) but it doesn't change the fact that the program gives a higher education to thousands of people every year that otherwise may not have been able to afford it without crippling debt or (more likely) not going at all.

    The real choke point happens from college to pro (where thousands every year quickly turns into a couple hundred), but if you get 4 years of higher education, you are better equipped for the real world than if you stopped at High School.

    Punishing and potentially ruining the lives of people who are innocent of any wrongdoing because "fuck sports culture" feels like a massive overreaction.

    And if these 6-7 kids were as big a pack of assholes as it looks like they were, fear of reprisal could have been just as strong a motivator for the rest of the team as it was/is for the family or victims. "I didn't say anything because I knew I would be next" is a shitty thing to possibly punish a high school kid for life for.

    I'd say fire the coach for poor supervisory skills if this stuff happened at a time he was able to notice it while fast tracking the hiring of a new coach, remove the kids who did the crimes from the team and have the parents start a locker room monitor program where someone HAS to be outside the locker room at all times that a student is in there and it is a locked room otherwise.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/
    As a graduate student at UNC-Greensboro, Willingham researched the reading levels of 183 UNC-Chapel Hill athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012. She found that 60% read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. Between 8% and 10% read below a third-grade level.

    I don't know if there are nation wide figures for that sort of thing.

    But it looks like they're not even being given a -basic- education in highschool to understand the higher education they'll get in college.

    And I'll bet those 6-7 kids are the ones that had scholarships.

    Tinkles
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    UNC Chapel Hill had a kind of notorious scandal re: academics so that's possibly not the best example.

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    Elvenshae
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    UNC Chapel Hill had a kind of notorious scandal re: academics so that's possibly not the best example.

    it's incredibly hard to find any stats regarding this sort of thing.
    The NCAA admits that almost 30 athletes in sports that make revenue for schools were accepted in 2012 with very low scores -- below 700 on the SAT composite, where the national average is 1000. That's a small percentage of about 5,700 revenue-sport athletes.

    However, the NCAA did not share raw data. The U.S. Department of Education does not track statistics on the topic, nor do the conferences.

    In fact, CNN only found one person in addition to Willingham who has ever collected data on the topic. University of Oklahoma professor Gerald Gurney found that about 10% of revenue-sport athletes there were reading below a fourth-grade level.

    So, after consulting with several academic experts, CNN filed public records requests and concluded that what Willingham found at UNC and Gurney found at Oklahoma is also happening elsewhere.

    The data CNN collected is based on the SAT and ACT entrance exam scores of athletes playing the revenue sports: football and basketball.

    In some cases, where that information was not available, CNN then asked for aptitude test scores administered after the athlete was accepted by the university.

    Based on data from those requests and dozens of interviews, a CNN investigation revealed that most schools have between 7% and 18% of revenue sport athletes who are reading at an elementary school level. Some had even higher percentages of below-threshold athletes.

    According to those academic experts, the threshold for being college-literate is a score of 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test. On the ACT, that threshold is 16.

    Many student-athletes scored in the 200s and 300s on the SAT critical reading test -- a threshold that experts told us was an elementary reading level and too low for college classes. The lowest score possible on that part of the SAT is 200, and the national average is 500.

    On the ACT, we found some students scoring in the single digits, when the highest possible score is 36 and the national average is 20. In most cases, the team average ACT reading score was in the high teens.

    "It is in many ways immoral for the university to even admit that student," said Dr. Richard M. Southall, director of the College Sport Research Institute and a professor at the University of South Carolina.

    From the same article.

    mcdermottAtomika
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Atomika wrote: »
    Also, and this is relevant to the notion of huge social change, but if I stop watching sports, it's not as though the salaries are going to plummet. I doubt that we can really mobilize the whole populace either. So what do we do? Nothing? Of course not. But perhaps we aren't the effective instruments of change. Perhaps the change has to come from the players and the teams themselves.

    Do you stay home on voting day, muttering, "Gee, I hope whoever gets elected knows what they're doing?"

    Yes.

    Because I advocate not doing anything. As I clearly state in your quoted section.

    Of course not. Because I am the instrument of change there. I have the power, so to speak.

    However, my patronage might not affect some of the issues that exist in professional sports. I think that doesn't mean I should do nothing, but I think that the idea that if I simply turn off the TV I have effected change is mistaken. I think that we certainly should make our voices heard, but I'm not sure if the solution is just "stop watching sports."

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Profs wrote: »
    That argument's dumb because if you make that case against all sports, regardless of their particular virtues or flaws, you're making an argument against people spending money on leisure period. Not only is that a bad argument, it's a complete non-starter for the average person.

    There is a difference between a bad argument, and an argument people dislike.

    AtomikaMrVyngaardshryke
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    - Professional athletes are up to 55% more likely to commit domestic violence than the national average.

    ...Should we expect anything else? I mean, part of the draw of a contact sport is, "You get to go out into that field / onto that rink and bash someone's head in, no questions asked, no charges filed. It's part of the game, bro,"

    That's going to attract people that are more violent than average, regardless of the sports' impact on player behavior.


    Personally, just from an entertainment standpoint, I don't get why people watch 'pro' sports after it's been repeatedly exposed as an arena where the most rampant cheater wins. Pump your guys full of ;roids, pay off the ref, pay off the inspectors, take home the cup. Such talent, so athlete. Wow.

    EDIT: Well, unless it's soccer. Then you don't even have to pay off the ref to just cheat your way to a win.

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    Tinkles
  • AtomikaAtomika A goddamn giant valkyrie with amazing makeup game Registered User regular
    Cracked's new article on the myriad crimes of the modern NFL.


    Saddening, but not surprising. I didn't know about the Breast Cancer thing before.

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