Archive - September 2016
- Column: Preller Suspension InadequateSeptember 29, 2016
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller can’t seem to distinguish between ethical and unethical behavior. It recently came to light that Preller instructed his medical staff to maintain two sets of records on Padres players, one that was submitted to Major League Baseball and made available to all clubs per MLB rules, and one that was used for internal purposes only. The clear intent was to deceive his fellow GMs and obtain an advantage over them in trades. After a number of teams complained that they were not receiving accurate medical information on Padres players, MLB initiated an investigation. After reviewing the facts, the League slapped Preller with a 30-day suspension without pay for failing to provide the Red Sox with complete medical records prior to the consummation of a trade in July.
- Column: Females Coaches in Major League SportsSeptember 22, 2016
The NFL season kicked off in the usual fashion, a number of close games, a few upsets, a touch of controversy, and a New England Patriots win, even without future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Tom Terrific was home with his supermodel wife, Gisele serving his Deflategate suspension. And in addition to a new Patriots quarterback, there were some other new faces along the sidelines and in the league office. At the end of last season, the Buffalo Bills hired the NFL’s first fulltime female coach, Kathryn Smith. Smith had worked for Bills’ coach Rex Ryan for seven years, first with the Jets and for the past two seasons in Buffalo, although not as a fulltime coach. At the end of the 2015 season, Ryan offered her the position of Quality Control-Special Teams.
- Column: US Soccer Releases Hope SoloSeptember 15, 2016
At what point is a superstar athlete more trouble than they’re worth? The treatment of Hope Solo, the former goalie for the U.S. national soccer team, may provide an answer. In case you haven’t been following Solo’s saga, here’s a quick primer. After her team’s shocking loss to Sweden in last month’s Rio Olympics, Solo went off on her opponents. She accused them of being a “bunch of cowards” for playing defensively and claimed that the best team didn’t win the match. If the goal of playing a sport is to win, on the former point Solo is dead wrong. Smart teams with good coaching use whatever legal and ethical tactics are appropriate given the circumstances. If playing a defensive game increases the chances of winning, and surviving, then it is sound strategy and every team should embrace it. Solo conceded as much in follow up comments.
- Column: The Many Facets of Colin Kaepernick's ProtestSeptember 8, 2016
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem as a form of protest against our country’s treatment of black people has sparked outrage, sprinkled with a small dose of support. In this view, neither is justified. In some circles, Kaepernick is being compared to Muhammad Ali, which is perhaps the greatest outrage in this entire controversy. The key difference – there are many others - between Kaepernick and Ali is the level of sacrifice each made by protesting injustice as they saw it in this country. In 2014, Kaepernick signed a 6-year, $114 million contract with the 49ers that included a $12 million signing bonus and $61 million in guaranteed salary. By engaging in a sit-down – now a kneel-down - protest, he forfeited none of his $73 million in guaranteed money.
- Column: What We Can Learn From The Ryan Lochte AffairSeptember 1, 2016
If you thought the Rio Olympic Games morphed into the Ryan Lochte saga, you can be forgiven. Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist in swimming - six gold, three silver and three bronze – created a firestorm that took on a life of its own, one that seemingly won’t die. By now, it’s hard to find an American who can’t recount the circumstances that gave rise to the controversy. Lochte and fellow Olympian Jimmy Feigen claimed they, along with U.S. swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were robbed at gunpoint on the night of August 14 during a night on the town in Rio. The perpetrators, according to Lochte, were Rio police.