Archive - May 2014
- Column: NFL May Feel Pain of Drug MisuseMay 25, 2014
You can file this one under “inevitable.” On May 20, eight former NFL players filed a class action lawsuit against the league alleging that teams provided them and the five hundred other players who have joined the suit with illegal drugs. According to the complaint, players were given the medications without prescriptions in order to permit them to play through injuries suffered on the field of play. Such conduct allegedly led to addiction and long-term medical complications, a number of which were detailed in the complaint.
- Column: Soccer Not Most Popular SportMay 19, 2014
The downside to a World Cup year - the 2014 tournament is scheduled to begin in Brazil in little more than three weeks - is listening to pundits predict that soccer is America’s future number one sport. It isn’t. That doesn’t mean the sport isn’t popular, on some levels. In a 2013 survey conducted by the National Federation of High School Associations, soccer was the fourth most popular and fastest growing sport among high school girls and fifth most popular among boys. However, figures compiled by the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body for all non-school based soccer leagues, show that youth soccer participation was flat between 2008 and 2012.
- Column: Michael Sam Makes HistoryMay 12, 2014
History is sometimes made suddenly, as it was on Saturday when the St. Louis Rams drafted Missouri’s Michael Sam with the 249th pick of the NFL draft. Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. Historic though the move was, there should be two caveats attached to it. One, Sam has yet to make the team, and two, even if he does, Sam will not be the first gay player in NFL history. A number of players have come out after their football careers were over and recently, several former NFL players confirmed that they had gay teammates during their playing days, even though the players’ sexuality was never made public.
- Column: Sterling Discipline About MoneyMay 4, 2014
The NBA – make that the world – has known for years that Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is a racist. As a slumlord he refused to rent to minorities because, in his words, “black tenants smell and attract vermin.” That opinion, uttered years ago, came to light when the federal government sued Sterling for housing discrimination. And yet no one in the NBA, least of all former commissioner David Stern, felt those comments warranted so much as a slap on the wrist. Fast forward to last month. Why were Sterling’s comments – made in September during a taped (at his request) conversation with his girlfriend/assistant - about blacks so revolting as to warrant a national firestorm that led to a $2.5 million fine, a lifetime ban from the NBA and the unprecedented effort by his fellow owners to remove him from the league? The answer can be summed up in one word: Money.