Tag Archives: football

Political Correctness Delusions #2: The U.S. Military Naming Its Helicopters After Native American Tribes Is A Slur

Military Helicopters 0088

The scourge of political correctness causes many kinds of damage, but the most ominous is that it intentionally greases a steep slippery slope. The effort to constrain private and public expression according to an endlessly versatile definition of “offensiveness”  is a desirable weapon for political activists, grievance bullies, censorious and debate-challenged advocates, weenies, and busybodies. Once one specious argument for strangling another small sliver of free speech succeeds, usually after capitulation in the face of relentless vilification and hounding aided and abetted by the press, this ugly and anti-American faction of the progressive movement just moves on to another target. The process  will never end, although it will get more oppressive, restrictive and absurd. That is, it will never end until a backlash and an outbreak of rationality stops it in its tracks.

The Patent Office’s politically motivated (and doomed) attack on the Washington Redskins was an example of political correctness at its worst, and sure enough, here comes another deluded censor with a related and even sillier grievance. Simon Waxman wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed for the Washington Post arguing that the military’s use of Native American names and works on its helicopters and weaponry is a “slur.” Why, you ask? Because the white man cheated and defeated the Indians using superior fire power, that’s why. Yeah, sure, we pretend to honor their bravery now, but that’s just to salve our guilty consciences.  He blathers…

The message carried by the word Apache emblazoned on one of history’s great fighting machines is that the Americans overcame an opponent so powerful and true that we are proud to adopt its name. They tested our mettle, and we proved stronger, so don’t mess with us. In whatever measure it is tribute to the dead, it is in greater measure a boost to our national sense of superiority. And this message of superiority is shared not just with U.S. citizens but with those of the 14 nations whose governments buy the Apache helicopters we sell. It is shared, too, with those who hear the whir of an Apache overhead or find its guns trained on them. Noam Chomsky has clarified the moral stakes in provocative, instructive terms: “We might react differently if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes ‘Jew’ and ‘Gypsy.’ ”

Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Sports, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Five Ethics Observations On The Redskins Trademark Decision

Washington-Redskins

1. Several commenters predicted that the ruling of the U.S. Patent Office cancelling the registered trademark of the Washington Redskins would warrant a “Kaboom!” here, the Ethics Alarms designation reserved for occurrences or statements so outrageous that they make my head explode. Please. Even pre-weakened by previous cranial fireworks, my head isn’t that unstable. The decision was neither a major surprise, nor was it as momentous as the ignoramuses in the media, social media, and Harry Reid pronounced it to be.  (More on the decision here.) The Redskins retain their federal trademark registrations until all appeals have been exhausted, and that process could take years. The registrations will be canceled only if the team loses all appeals, and if I were owner Dan Snyder, I would appeal up to the Supreme Court if I had to. This should be done not to preserve the Redskins name, which is archaic and at this point more trouble than its worth, but to beat back the forces of government censorship of thought and words, of which the anti-Redskins campaign is a significant, if relatively trivial, part.

2. Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins, not a fan of the name, beat me to a column about what is really troubling about the decision, as she wrote… Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Marketing and Advertising, Race, Rights, Sports, U.S. Society

If I Say Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) Behaved Like A Thug, Does That Mean I’m Claiming He’s Black?

To be clear from the start: Rep. Michael Grimm threatened a reporter last night for doing his job. He behaved like a thug, which is to say that he behaved as a “ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, or criminal” might behave, which is unacceptable for any law-abiding citizen, and outrageous for an elected representative. NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto had the audacity to ask the Congressman a direct question at the State of the Union address relating not to the speech, but to the Congressman’s fundraising, which is the object of an FBI probe. Grimm refused to answer the question, then cornered the reporter (on camera, though he did not know it, and said ominously , in an excellent soto voce imitation of Michael Corleone telling Fredo that he knows he betrayed him…

“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony.’”

As the shocked reporter tried to sputter out a defense, Michael…that’s Grimm, not Corleone…continued,

“No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Race

Unethical Essay Of The Month: “Richard Sherman And The Plight Of The Conquering Negro” By Greg Sherman

In case you missed it, being one of the Americans who has decided not to subsidize young men permanently crippling their brains to slake our blood-lust, the NFC Championship game yielded an instant classic moment.  Star Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman first mocked San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree, whom he had just bested, then set a new high for post-game jerkdom when he screamed into the camera during a post-game interview,

“I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me. [...] Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.”

I understand that the player was excited and jacked-up over his play and his team’s victory, and I assumed that once he calmed down, he would regret bombarding poor Erin Andrews with a macho rant when she asked a straightforward question. Nonetheless, when you act like that on national television, you are going to get criticized no matter who you are or what the justification. (Sherman apologized later.) Ah, but if you are in the white guilt and race-baiting business, even such an open-and-shut case as this becomes fodder for dark pronouncements about America’s racist culture. And so it was that over at the sports site Deadspin, Greg Howard announced that Sherman’s foolishness wasn’t being mocked far and wide because it was rude, arrogant, uncalled for and certifiably strange, but because he is black.

Wrote Howard, in part: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Etiquette and manners, Journalism & Media, Race, Sports, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Hero: Dallas Cowboys Back-up Quarterback-For-A-Day Jon Kitna

Quarterback Kitna, soon to be risking his brain for his high school.

Quarterback Kitna, soon to be risking his brain for his high school.

The Dallas Cowboys raised eyebrows in the sports world last week by making the desperation move of signing NFL veteran-turned-high school math teacher Jon Kitna, 41, to briefly abandon his retirement to help solve their quarterback crisis against the Philadelphia Eagles today. Since retiring from the Cowboys, Kitna, who played quarterback for 15 seasons with four NFL teams, has been teaching math and coaching football at Lincoln High School in his native Tacoma, Washington. Kitna, who retired after the 2011 season, will earn about $53,000 for the day’s work, which, the Cowboys hope, will consist of sitting on the sidelines as insurance against its replacement for Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, being injured like Romo was last week.

Now Kitna has announced that he will be donating his entire NFL check to the high school.

Yes, it’s true: Kitna is well-set financially, like most former pro athletes of recent vintage and long tenure. He is estimated to have about 12 million dollars as his nest egg. Nevertheless, this is a generous and unexpected act of generosity.

Now let’s all hope he doesn’t have to go onto the field, take a snap, get a concussion, and end up mentally disabled for the rest of his life.

For that is the risk he is being paid to take.

________________________________

Pointer: Daily Caller

Facts and Graphic: Dallas News

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

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Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Heroes, Health and Medicine, Public Service, Philanthropy, Charity, Sports

Ethics Dunce: Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Dez Bryant

Bryant quits

The NFL appears to be having a collective values breakdown. First the Miami Dolphins lose two players in an alleged bullying scandal, and last Sunday, star Cowboy wide receiver Dez Bryant walked off the field with more than a minute left to play in the game. After Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw the last of his two second-half interceptions to virtually ensure a humiliating come-back defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, cameras followed Bryant as he left his team for the locker room with 1:21 remaining on the clock. Later, he apologized and explained his actions by tweeting:

“I walked back to the locker room because I was emotional…it had nothing to do with my teammates we had it…We fought and didn’t finish”

Oh. What?

That’s no explanation. To reporters, he said that he didn’t want the cameras catching him crying. On the professionalism scale, this is minus 1000. He’s emotional? So what? Suck it up! He doesn’t like to lose? Who does? He couldn’t take it any more? Tough—he’s paid to take it, and damn well too. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Dunces, Professions, Sports

Ethics Quiz: Awarding An Accused Rapist The Heisman Trophy

jameis2Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was cool, collected and funny delivering the “Top Ten” on David Letterman last night, but to me, the hijinks seemed out of sync with reality, fairness and justice somehow.

The 19 year-old-Florida State University star quarterback became the youngest Heisman Trophy winner ever when he was named college football’s most outstanding player Saturday night in New York. He is also the youngest accused rapist to be awarded the Heisman.

That award  symbolizes football’s ongoing ethics problem. The pro game’s brutal, uber-macho and “the ends justify the means” culture that has players maiming each other as the crowd cheers and multiple felons on the field in most games has reached into the lower reaches of football, with both colleges and high schools breeding arrogant, entitled jerks who get special treatment through their pampered academic careers and too often emerge from from the football machine as polished sociopaths. The Penn State horror story was a symptom of this. Is Winston’s award another?

It hasn’t been featured in many of the exultant stories about the Heisman winner, but a year ago, on December 7, he was accused of rape by an FSU co-ed. Last week the prosecutors—just in time for the Heisman!—declared that they had not found enough evidence to convict him, which means that they did not have enough evidence to ethically prosecute him. The accuser’s attorney, Patricia Carroll, immediately condemned the decision and the  investigation that led to it, detailing multiple irregularities in the the handling of evidence and testimony. Writes Slate’s legal reporter Emily Bazelon: Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Rights, Sports

Ethics Hero: Major League Baseball

homeplate collisionsAt least one major league sport cares about its players’ health more than it does about highlight films.

Today Major League Baseball announced that it will be banning collisions at home plate, one of the most exciting plays in baseball, and one of the most dangerous. The violent and unpredictable convergence of large human bodies created when runner and ball arrive at home plate nearly simultaneously as a catcher positions his body to receive a throw while blocking access to the plate have decided games and championships, but wrecked careers and, quite possibly, brains. Football’s frightening record of player dementia prompted baseball to check its records, and there was tell-tale evidence that concussions take their toll on ex-catchers as well.

Last season, for the first time, baseball required players suffering concussions to stay on a special disabled list until they were cleared to play after a head examination. The new ban represents more progress.

The rules change will probably take this form, according to ESPN: Continue reading

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The T-Rex Escapes: Lessons Of The Washington Redskins’ Nepotism

I can’t exactly say, like Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malacolm in “Jurassic Park,” that I hate being right all the time…in part because I’m not. It sure is frustrating, however, to see an ethics crisis looming, write about it once, then twice, and still see so many people surprised when it arrives like an angry T-Rex. Thus today, I began the morning by pounding my head against the wall to read in the Washington Post sports section a column by Jason Reid with the headline, “Mike Shanahan, by hiring his son Kyle, has created an untenable situation.” Wait, what year is this? Shanahan, the coach of the Washington Redskins, that team with the name that we’re not supposed to say, hired his son Kyle as the team’s offensive coordinator many moons ago, in 2010. It was a terrible idea at the time, an example of classic nepotism that created an immediate risk of exactly what is occurring now, and perhaps the certainty of it, if the situation endured long enough.

Last season, when the Redskins swept to the NFC East Championship behind thrilling rookie QB Robert Griffin III, the ethics-challenged sports fandom here (Washington, D.C., remember) cited the success as proof that nepotism is an ethics boogie man, nothing more. This was pure consequentialism. As I concluded my post on the topic last January,

“This is rank consequentialism in its worst form. Nepotism is an unethical way to run any staff, company, team, business or government, unfair, inherently conflicted, irresponsible, dangerous and corrupting. It should be recognized as such from the beginning, and rejected, not retroactively justified if it “works.”I’m sure there were and are non-relatives of the Redskins coach who could have devised a successful offense with RG3 taking the hikes. The ethical thing to do was to find them and give one of them the job. The Redskins coach’s nepotism is just as unethical in 2013 as it was in 2012, 2011, and 2010.”

In “Jurassic Park,” the same day that chaotician Malcolm warns that the dinosaur park is so complex that a fatal loss of control is inevitable, the systems break down and he gets nearly gets eaten. The same year I wrote those words, ten months later, it’s Mike Shanahan on the menu as Jason Reid wrote these: Continue reading

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Ethics Dunces: NFL Football Fans

FOOTBALL FANSIn response to a question in a newly released CNN poll, a majority of football fans responded that the fact that the NFL intentionally withheld from its players evidence that repeated  concussions were inevitable despite the supposed protection provided by equipment, and that this would lead in many cases to devastating premature cognitive damage to players which would leave them disabled, depressed, violent, demented and/or suicidal until their early deaths didn’t trouble them at all, as long as they got their weekly Sunday football fix.

All right, that’s unfair. The results actually just showed that only 36% of respondents think that the NFL’s handling of the concussion issue has caused them to view the pro football league less favorably. No, on second thought, it’s not unfair at all.

I’m sure the NFL honchos who are determined to keep their billion dollar profit machine purring away, powered by the game’s consumption of the minds and bodies of young men lured by a short-term bonanza of fame and bucks, are whooping it up in their park Avenue suites. Yup, they did it! They have successfully converted much of America into crass, blood-thirsty sadists who are only different in degree from the Romans who cheered on Nero’s various bloodsports. Continue reading

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