DeSantis, The NHL, And The Duty To Confront (Link Fixed!)

When corporations, organizations, institutions or professions show that they don’t have functioning ethics alarms, it is incumbent upon those of us who do to sound those alarms for them. Loudly. Forcefully. In a timely fashion. That is the only way to preserve and strengthen an ethical culture.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just demonstrated how this is done. Let’s pay attention, shall we?

The National Hockey League, like all of the professional sports keen to pander to what it sees as predominant social trends if it will mean better media coverage, announced that it will hold a job fair called  “Pathway to Hockey Summit” on February 2 during its 2023 All Star Game festivities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The idea was to cater to and seeks to attract “diverse job seekers who are pursuing careers in hockey.” Naturally, the whitest of all sports decided that to virtue-signal properly and suck up to the Diversity Equity Inclusion Nazis, that meant that white men need not apply, well, except veterans. They were okay.

“Participants must be 18 years of age or older, based in the U.S., and identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability. Veterans are also welcome and encouraged to attend,” the published event description stated.

Ah, but it was a Florida event, and Florida is governed by a mean, tough, white guy who insists that anyone under his watch must follow the Constitution. That’s Governor Ron DeSantis, whom the mainstream media is recently painting as “worse than Trump.” The governor’s press secretary released a public statement saying,

“Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida, and we do not abide by the woke notion that discrimination should be overlooked if applied in a politically popular manner or against a politically unpopular demographic. We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity….[the NHL must] “immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 ‘Pathway to Hockey’ summit.”

And, of course, the limitations on the event were discrimination, though the kind that progressive revolutionaries, Marxists and Democrats believe is good discrimination—you know, like Harvard’s discrimination against white and Asian-American college applicants. Good, I tell you! But like most pandering businesses, organizations, institutions and professions, the National Hockey League can only move the metaphorical cultural needle in unethical directions if nobody pays attention and the majority of Americans shrug and decide, “Ah, so what? We have bigger problems.” At least, these blights on society and deniers of core American values are only inclined to take the risk if they are sure they can get away with it without paying a substantial price.

And thus it was that, faced with someone who was clearly not about to ignore their unethical conduct or let them get away with it, the National Hockey League immediately backed down. They didn’t even try to defend their discriminatory event. They were only sucking up to bigots for cash and compliments because they thought it would be easy. It’s not as if they thought it was right: the cynical, self-serving, none-too bright people who run the NHL, like the cynical, self-serving none-too bright people who run most things, unfortunately, don’t care about what is right and usually can’t figure out what that is without some forceful guidance anyway.

In a laughably dishonest statement,  the NHL has announced that the “original wording of the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate.” “The Pathway to Hockey Summit is an informational and networking event designed to encourage all individuals to consider a career in our game – and, in particular, alert those who might not be familiar with hockey to the opportunities it offers,”  the NHL now says, after  deleting the original event posting last night. The job fair is open to anyone ages 18 and older.

That’s what they always intended, they say. If you believe that, did you know that hockey pucks taste like licorice?

The United States is in the dangerous cultural state it is now in because the public ignored ethics rot and powerful influences against our nation’s foundational principles in education, politics, journalism, academia, entertainment, and literature while those influences took hold over many decades. We left it to others to deal with, and the others we trusted were weak, apathetic and corrupt themselves. It is a principle of ethics that each of us has a duty to confront and oppose unethical actors when we can. It may be too late, and we may have waited too long.

We’ll never know unless we try, however.

Oh, NOW Football Is Too Violent?

Kurt Streeter, the New York Times’ uber-woke, progressive sports columnist, had the nerve to post a column this week headlined, “We’re All Complicit in the N.F.L.’s Violent Spectacle.” Uh-uh, no sir, not me, baby. I have always found pro football repulsive and barbaric, and for many years have worked here and elsewhere to ensure that the NFL is accountable for crippling and killing its players for profit, which is what it does. A single player for unknown reasons goes into cardiac arrest mid-game this week, and suddenly people are discovering what a sick,  unethical sport professional football is? “My prayer, aside from seeing Hamlin leave that Cincinnati hospital able to live a fruitful, productive life, is that we never watch a single snap of an N.F.L. game the same way again,” Streeter intones. Oh Kurt, you’re so sensitive. You won’t watch it the “same way,” but you’ll keep earning money covering it, won’t you? Continue reading

Stop Making Me Defend The National Football League!

In a new low for reflex race-baiting, Daily Beast columnist Ernest Owens, a reliable progressive hysteric, accused the NFL of being racist because the league took more than an hour to suspend and postpone yesterday’s Monday Night Football game after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle.  Hamlin, 24, went into cardiac arrest on the field and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

“One would have thought the game would have immediately been cut short. After such a drastic shift in energy and spirit, surely the game would be called without a doubt,” Owens wrote. “It would take an hour after Hamlin was first administered CPR for the NFL to officially postpone the game after first attempting to suspend it. Yes, after all of the chaos, the league thought it was practical to have the traumatized players continue to play….It would be one thing if Monday’s incident was a rare drop of the ball from the NFL, Instead, it’s another reminder of how incompetent this multibillion-dollar institution has been to its players, who are mostly Black.”

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING! There it is! The obligatory race-baiting! Hamlin is black, so the time it took to make a decision to end and postpone a nationally televised football following his medical emergency must have been motivated by racism, even though no NFL game had ever been suspended and postponed following an injury no matter how serious. The only games that have ever been cancelled and rescheduled at all since 1930 involved player strikes, and those games had not begun. One would think that a white player’s injury had previously caused a game suspension in the past for Owens to even suspect that NFL officials took too long to make their decision because of race.

No, he’s just a shameless, race-baiting asshole. It’s as simple as that. Continue reading

An Ethics Incompleteness Principle Challenge: The Mutant Kid

Jeremiah Johnson, a 12-year-old running back from Fort Worth, Texas, is already 5-foot-11 and weighs 198 pounds. He has facial hair (the tattoo is fake—he just wanted to look older), and all of his photos look photoshopped, but that’s a real child in that picture.

Dallas Dragons Elite Academy (DEA) team won the 2022 Youth National Championships in Miami—big surprise there—and he was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the division, which is even less of a surprise.

The ethics conundrum is: what do you do about a mutant like Jeremiah?

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Ethics Hero: Colorado Avalanche Defenseman Cale Makar

I bet this doesn’t become a trend.

During the Colorado Avalanche–New York Islanders game last night in the first period, Avalanche star defenseman Cale Makar had the puck behind his team’s net while being pursued by Islanders forward Mathew Barzal. Makar fell, and looked like that Barzal tripped Makar, so a penalty was called, which would give Colorado a one-player  advantage. But when the referee blew his whistle, Makar  waved at him to indicate it wasn’t a penalty after all.  After briefly conferring the referees retracted the penalty.

This literally never happens in hockey, nor basketball, nor pro football, not Major League Baseball. A player telling a referee or umpire that a call benefiting his team was wrong? That’s not how the professional sports roll. The assumption is that eventually the bad calls even out. If you don’t accept gifts, your team will suffer in the long run.

Barzal’s reaction:  “I honestly didn’t even know he waved it off until I saw it after. I thought the ref just made the call but, yeah, good sportsmanship on his part, not taking that. I don’t know if I would have done the same, to be honest with you.” Continue reading

When Officials And Institutions Unethically Engage In Ideological Bullying

The news  was that former college soccer player Kiersten Hening could proceed in her First Amendment lawsuit against Virginia Tech soccer coach Charles “Chugger” Adair. [Full disclosure: I have a reflexive bias against anyone who sports the nickname “Chugger.”] She alleges that he benched her after subjecting her to a vicious dressing down in front of the team, for her refusal to support the Black Lives Matter-dictated kneeling gesture supported by him and most of her teammates in 2020. Hening and two teammates declined to kneel during the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Unity Statement, which was read on stadium loudspeakers prior to the season opener against the University of Virginia in September 2020. 

The court ruled that the lawsuit’s claims are worthy of being decided by a jury, declining a motion for summary judgment filed by the coach. Continue reading

Ethics Heroes: The Baseball Hall of Fame Era Committee

A new 16-member committee was charged with voting on the Hall of Fame membership cases of eight select players who had failed to acquire the necessary number of votes in their years on the main Hall ballots, which are cast by, ugh, baseball’s sportswriters. The results of their deliberations were announced yesterday: of the seven, only one, former Blue Jays first baseman Fred McGriff received the required twelve votes. He is deserving beyond a doubt, but the bigger story and even better news from an ethics perspective is that Barry Bonds, the King of the Steroid Cheats, the game’s career and single season record-holder in home runs, was rejected again. Also seeing their otherwise Hall-worthy career achievements rejected were Bond’s fellow PED-tarnished colleagues Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro, both of whom, like Bonds, received few votes from the committee members.

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Baseball Super-Agent Scott Boras Has Another Super-Conflict And There Is No Excuse For It

Eleven years ago, Ethics Alarms began a post about baseball agents in general and Scott Boras in particular engaging in a flaming conflict of interest that harmed their player clients this way…

Baseball’s super-agent Scott Boras has his annual off-season conflict of interest problem, and as usual, neither Major League Baseball, nor the Players’ Union, nor the legal profession, not his trusting but foolish clients seem to care. Nevertheless, he is operating under circumstances that make it impossible for him to be fair to his clients.

I could have written that paragraph today. Nothing has changed. Literally nothing: as baseball general managers get ready for the 2022 winter meetings where, among other things, they huddle with player agents and sign players to mind-blowing contracts, the unethical tolerance of players agents indulging in and profiting from a classic conflict of interest continues without protest or reform.

I may be the only one who cares about the issue. I first wrote about it here, on a baseball website. I carried on my campaign to Ethics Alarms, discussing the issue in 2010, 2011 (that’s where the linked quote above comes from), 2014, 2019, and in 2019 again,  There is no publication or website that has covered the issue and thoroughly as this one, and the unethical nature of the practice is irrefutable. I might as well be shouting in outer space, where no one can hear you scream. Continue reading

Surely…SURELY…The American Public Will Eventually Stop Tolerating This. Right?


The increasingly unjust, unfair, harmful pandering to pseudo-transgender opportunists has got to eventually trigger a massive awakening in which Americans say, “Wait…what are we doing? This is crazy! Why have we allowed this to go on this long? Or at all?”

In the most recent debacle, Seattle Academy’s Aspen Hoffman, ranked 72nd in boys’ track as a freshman, transitioned to female, sort of, as a sophomore, was allowed to compete as girl, and suddenly started winning races.

Hoffman finished first in the 5,000 meter race, and broke Seattle Academy’s girls’ record with a time that would have achieved 48th place in the boys’ division. This is Barry Bonds-level cheating. It also shows how California derangement is infectious: both Washington and Oregon have lost their grip on reality, rationality, responsibility and ethics. When are their citizens going to stop being weenies and stop the madness? It’s their duty as citizens, after all.

Fifteen years ago, Washington state’s guidelines for transgender athletes held that male athletes had to undergo surgery and two years of hormone therapy before they could compete as females. Four years ago, the surgery mandate was lifted and only“documented testosterone suppression therapy” was required. Then, in 2021 as The Great Stupid raged, the state ruled that transgender athletes only had to “consistently express” a gender. Well, yes, that seems reasonable as far as it goes. You don’t want athletes saying, “I’m male!” “I’m female!” “I’m male!” “I’m female!” between races like Faye Dunaway between slaps in “Chinatown.” But then there’s the other matter—biological males have a huge advantage.

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If It’s Any Consolation, Pete, If Ethics Alarms Had An Ethics Dunce Hall Of Fame, You’d Be The First One In…

Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time career hit leader, is also one of the most outrageous creeps ever to play the game, which is just as remarkable an accomplishment when one considers competition like Cap Anson, Hal Chase, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. The amazing thing is that Pistol Pete keeps adding to his jerk resume even now, and he’s 81 years old.

Rose was my very first American Ethics Dunce when the now inactive Ethics Scoreboard debuted in January of 2004. I wrote then,

Pete Rose now admits he bet on baseball (after ten years of lying about it) but says that his bets (always in favor of his team, never against it, he says) as manager of the Cincinnati Reds never effected his management decisions, and thus he did not harm the integrity of the game. He feels he should be let back into the game as a manager.

A couple of things, Pete:

1) Even if this were true, fans of the game cannot put their faith in the outcome of games when they know that those who help determine the outcome might be motivated by their wagers. This is the reason that we call “the appearance of impropriety” an ethical problem.

2) Presumably you did not bet on the Reds when a key player was sitting out, or when your starting pitcher wasn’t feeling good. Right? Or are we supposed to believe that you bet large amounts of money while already in debt to bookies in circumstances when you thought you would lose? So every time you didn’t bet on the Reds, you were sending information to the bookies, and it affected their odds on the game. Got it?

3) You say you never bet against the Reds. You used to say you never bet on baseball. You’re a liar. Why should anyone believe you now?

Later, the Scoreboard made Pete the first (and so far only) Ethics Dunce Emeritus after he admitted that in fact he did bet on every Reds game as a manager. (I really need to add Bill Clinton to the Ethics Dunce Emeritus ranks, among others. Remind me.) Continue reading