Tag Archives: football

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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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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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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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Dunces, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Sports

Ethics Dunce, Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Division: The Alabama State Marching Band

Trayvon-band-tribute

The worst ethics train wreck within memory is slowly coasting to a halt, but there are still some who are determined to jump on board. The latest passengers are the members of the Alabama State Marching Band, who somehow felt that a salute to “Trayvon” was appropriate half-time fare at a college football game.

It  isn’t.  The band is abusing its position, visibility and responsibilities by using the half-time show for political commentary, even if the commentary is ignorant, incoherent, and vague. Football fans do not come to games to have their faces rubbed in racially divisive controversies, and the band has no business inflicting its views, whatever they may think they are, on a captive audience.

The university can’t trust a band that would do something like this, and should suspend its performances for the next game or so to make the point, lest future fields feature “BOMB SYRIA,” ” YAY ABORTION” or “LEGALIZE METH.”

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Facts and Graphic: AL.com

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Race, Sports, U.S. Society

Don’t Blame The Lawyers: The Ethical, Unethical, NFL Settlement

Watch your heads!

Watch your heads!

When is a $765 million dollar law suit settlement “chump change”?  This is when, reading the reactions to the NFL’s announcement last week of its agreement with former players who sued the league over crippling  concussion injuries sustained while playing professional football:

  • It is inadequate when half of that will be ladled out over seventeen years, and all of it will be reduced by the lawyer’s fees, to be determined but unlikely to be less than a third.  That means that each former player (or his heirs and family) will get, at most, $114, 000 or so.
  • It is inadequate when the league paying the damages will split the payment among its 32 franchises, making each responsible for paying $24 million over 20 years, which comes to about $1.2 million a year. Remember that projected NFL revenues this season are $10 billion, and the NFL gets more than $40 billion on top of that through 2022, thanks to media rights.

In other words, chump change.

Or, if you prefer, “I gave my brain, mind and health to the NFL, and all I got was this lousy settlement.” Continue reading

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