I caught some news today. News and I aren't always on friendly terms. Sometimes it upsets me and I give it a time out.
Apparently players of this game, what's it called again, Hockey? Odd name for a sport. The first recorded use of hockey in text was when the King of England banned it in a proclamation. That's an auspicious beginning.
Anyway, these hockey players are wanting more of the profits created when they use their skills and sacrifice skating their bodies around while guiding and slapping pucks with sticks, and beating on one another. I understand other sports professionals have made like demands to gain more share from the revenue stream. Naturally, the teams, the league, and the owners are fighting this. They didn't spend all this money on a team for fun, you know.
Money is a big part of pro sports. Here we embark on the debate and ruminations about whether it's a sport or a business. You can think over those differences for yourself. I'll wait.
Lots of things have been decided in the pro sports businesses over the decades. Socialist ideas like revenue sharing for television deals have been established to help smaller markets. So have ideas like minimum wages so the players can make something from bruising their minds and bodies, salary caps so the wealthiest teams and owners just can't go out and buy the best players by offering them each a billion dollar deal to bring home a trophy and reflected glory. The whole idea is to create parity.
Definition of PARITY1: the quality or state of being equal or equivalent2a : equivalence of a commodity price expressed in one currency to its price expressed in anotherb : equality of purchasing power established by law between different kinds of money at a given ratio
It's sort of intriguing and amusing that these pro sports business, with nothing in mind but to make money and profit from entertaining folks by creating rivalries and shows, would see that money can create an unequal playing field and thus, must be capped and controlled. If it's not, they fear, the show will be damaged.
Yet, you know, we're loathe to do the same for politics. Money, Scalia decreed as part of the Supremes' ruling, is equal to free speech. Thus, secret and unlimited spending is allowed in politics while it's not allowed in pro sports.
Of course, we're talking about sacred beliefs here, free speech. And all will sputter with grave indignation that you can equate sports salary caps and revenue sharing plans with the most fundamental values America, indeed, human civilization, hold dear: freedom of expression.
Cynical me may well answer, no, what we hold dearest is cash, and it's not fair of us to tell those with the most how they may spend it. So let's pause a moment and consider that: money = free speech = America's fundamental freedom.
That's why I'm waiting for some sport business owner to take their league and its agreement to court, accusing their organizations of infringing on their fundamental right to freedom of speech by limiting how much they can spend on salaries. It'd be an interesting suit.
I'm betting on the money.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com