Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

NFL pounds New Orleans Saints for paying bounties for maiming opponents. Will the NBA, NHL, NCAA, FIFA be inspired?

March 21, 2012


I used to be a boxing fan. Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta were boyhood heroes, and the highlight of my week was the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, telecasting fights every Friday night. The program was top-rated until more and more fans—eventually including me—gradually came to understand that the object of the game was to cause brain damage, hopefully temporary but occasionally permanent and cumulative, as happened to thousands, most famously Muhammad Ali.

I became an even bigger pro football fan, until being turned off by the violence—not the inherent violence of the game, but the intentional maiming of marquee players like Brett Favre, DeSean Jackson, and Tony Romo.

It was no surprise when earlier this month the NFL disclosed that the New Orleans Saints had paid bounties for injuring opposing players, with extra money for “cart-offs” –when the injured player had to be carried off the field in a motorized gurney.

But today there was a surprise—a welcome one: the league came down with crushing punishments for the practice: Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who apparently initiated the practice) was banned indefinitely (more…)


LeBron James Ethics

July 13, 2010

LeBron James is a wonderful athlete, this year’s Most Valuable Player in the NBA. Some like to compare him to Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan or Jerry West. Only problem is, MJ won six championships, Kobe five, and West one. LeBron: so far zip. He’s getting old in terms of basketball mileage and wants to be on a championship team, maybe challenge the others’ numbers, before it’s too late.

So James, who had become a free agent after playing out his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, agreed to leave for the Miami Heat, a team already with two superstars, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, that looks like a better bet to win it all. LeBron is leaving his home state and the team he’s played for all his seven seasons in the pros.

While James is a free agent, both legally and ethically, and free to go wherever he gets the best deal, ethics doesn’t allow him to ignore the feelings of the fans who worshipped him for years. The very foundation of ethics is the ability to imagine yourself in others’ circumstances. It’s the Golden Rule.

The ethical thing for James to have done, having decided to leave Cleveland for greener pastures, was to be considerate of the fans’ feelings. He owed them, not a life sentence with the Cavs, but a gentle let-down. Perhaps a news conference as soon as he made his decision, in which he could say something nice about the Cavs’ fans. (more…)