FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Real Solution to Scumbag Sports Owners

by

Enough is enough, sports fans.

It’s been known for decades that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a racist jerk. Ditto Daniel Snyder, the owner of that professional football team in our nation’s capital whose current horrific anti-indigenous team name is a global embarrassment.

But these guys are the tip of the iceberg. The real question is: Why are these teams owned by individuals at all? Why do we allow our precious sports clubs to be the playthings of a bunch of wealthy degenerates?

Why aren’t the football, baseball, basketball, hockey and other major sports franchises so many of us so passionately love and support not owned by the communities that give them their life? Why is our nation powerless to remove the racist logo from a public stadium just down the street from the White House and Congress?

 

 

 

There’s a model out there that does work. It’s called the Green Bay Packers (a team of which I’m proud owner of two shares).

 

There are plenty of flaws in the setup, but when snow covers the field, the community comes out to shovel it off. And though the NFL owners have specifically banned any more teams from being publicly owned, the Packers have done just fine at the highest levels of competition.

It’s time to use the Packer green and gold as a starter model for all franchise ownership.

Some of the millionaires and billionaires who now own these teams are obviously decent, tolerant, open-minded people. Many are more than that—competent, committed, good at their jobs, even genuinely humble and community minded.

But there’s a reason Sterling can be possessed of “a plantation mentality” and get away with it all these years. Likewise the various owners of the football team in Washington.

The real issue is not the quality or lack thereof of the current custodians of the front office. These teams are plantations.

Like so much else under the laws of today’s Gilded Age America, our sports franchises are public assets that we have allowed to be owned by private rich people. That is, to vastly understate the case, wrong, wrong, wrong.

However nice or otherwise they might be, these owners have been gouging out public subsidies for stadiums, tax breaks and too much else over the decades. How else does a franchise like the Clippers leap in value from $12 million when Sterling bought it in 1981 to $575 million today?

It’s time to take these teams back. We are the rightful owners, not the latest random robber baron to want his or her very own courtside seats, where the players, coaches, fans and broadcasters can kiss the owner’s ring. Not the latest temporarily solvent corporation that wants to stick its logo in our faces while talented young men and women play their hearts out.

The Fifth Amendment says the public has the right to take property with “just compensation.” It’s called “eminent domain.” Let’s use it to condemn all these franchises, buy out their “owners” and have the teams run by the cities, counties and/or states in which they reside, and to which they rightfully belong.

Management should be coordinated in partnership with the unions of the players. And the Donald Sterlings and Daniel Snyders will be relegated to the trash heap of our sports history.

It’s the only way. See you in the publicly owned bleachers, cheering on our teams.

Harvey Wasserman roots for the Celtics, Red Sox, Packers and Blue Jackets, but he is part owner only of the Packers and wants that to change.

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail