|Posted by paul on September 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM|
I'm calling on the NBA players to go on strike. Lol. I know no one is gonna listen, but I'm calling just the same.
Hear me out, Celtics fans. I don't want to lose this season any more than you do. I love this team. I don't think I've ever been so excited about a season. I was just now looking at the ESPN top five, and thinking about how sweet it is going to be to wipe those smirks off those hyped-up faces. Oh my goodness is it going to be sweet to celebrate number 18 in June!!!
But life isn't just about sports. There are bigger issues, and they crop up in the sports world just as they do in every other walk of life. Sometimes people have to set selfish concerns, and separating differences, aside for a while. A good place to start would be the differences between basketball players and hockey players. It may be that no two sports are further apart socially, in some ways at least, but the players in those two sports have a HUGE thing in common. The Lockout.
This week’s confirmation that there will be another NHL lockout is a perfect example. Watching hockey, in arenas or on television, is a leisure-time activity for an overwhelming number of Canadians. During the NHL playoffs, hockey functions as almost a religion, as those who enter its realm treat its symbolic plot as an inextricable part of the national culture. ...
Having seen major profit growth over the past five years, the cartel of team owners wants to impose a tighter cap on player salaries, knowing that without such an agreement between the owners, each will continue offering higher and higher salaries to individual players in order to attract the biggest names to their franchise. Essentially, then, the billionaires who own professional hockey teams are afraid that a free market in player salaries will cut into their profits. At some level, of course, they are right. Under the current collective agreement, the players receive some 57 per cent of the revenues generated by the NHL. The owners want to push that number down to 47 per cent, splitting the extra 10 per cent of the NHL’s nearly $3-billion in annual revenues between the 30 owners.
The players, on the other hand, insist that people come to watch them. That it is their bodies on the line when they drop down to block a 100 mph slap-shot, that it is their careers that can be suddenly cut short by one errant elbow on the ice. That it is their lives that have been committed to putting on a ferocious display of hockey skill night after night, since the time that they were young kids. That it is their careers that end after, on average, five and a half pro seasons, and that they have few marketable skills when that time comes, leaving most of them to try to live on whatever they made in their short careers.
My God, how obvious do the owners have to make it that they are in collusion, not only within each sport, but from sport to sport? Why don't the players recognize that they can't possibly hold their own against such a pack of voracious wolves unless they themselves work on this problem collectively? Well, obviously part of the reason they don't recognize this is that Don Sterni and Billy 'Don King' Hunter seem to work in collusion to fool the (basketball) players. Another reason is that many athletes are essentially trained by the way they are treated in their formative years to be incredibly self-centered, if not monstrously self-centered. Still, together, the basketball players and hockey players could effectively shut down winter sports, and bring the owners to the table. I think that would be a good thing, even though I would miss the games a lot. The players involved would suffer, but they could win a battle that would benefit future generations of players, as well as workers in general.
What is at stake here affects all of us, and as much as I want to see what promises to be one of the greatest Celtics seasons ever, I want to see justice and fairness in society, and in the workplace, a lot more.
“Stop the madness,” indeed ...