Comment Of The Day: “DeSantis, The NHL, And The Duty To Confront”

We don’t get much hockey ethics on Ethics Alarms, and it is one of the sports i don’t pay much attention tp despite going to a high school that was considered a hockey power in the ice-crazy Boston area. Arthur in Maine, another, more typical New Englander, does know the sport, and in this Comment of the Day on the post, “DeSantis, The NHL, And The Duty To Confront,” he gives us valuable perspective on why hockey, perhaps more than most sports, has a legitimate need to seek more “diversity.”

Incidentally, I couldn’t name the teams affiliated with more than half those logos. I bet Arthur could identify them all.


I have rather mixed feelings on this one… because as baseball and the Red Sox are to you, Jack, hockey and the Bruins are to me.

Hockey was the only team sport I played growing up (and I was terrible at it). But I did love it. At the time, you basically stood no chance of advancing in the game if you weren’t Canadian, preferably Quebecois. That’s largely because only Canada had made the investment into developing young players, starting around age four and moving up with organized league play from there. (Apropos of nothing, the first black player to reach the NHL was Canadian Willie O’Ree, who played for the Bruins in 1958 and again in 1961, though most of his long career was spent in the minors).

Let me stipulate that as a matter of both law and ethics, I consider DeSantis to be on very firm ground here. But it’s also worth noting that hockey has made a long and concerted effort to bring more people into the fold. It arguably started when Europeans and Russians were recognized as terrific players (those nations had development programs) and started receiving NHL contracts. Although the players are still mostly white, black players are no longer a curiosity and have proven some of the best players in the past decade (most of them are Canadian by birth). Today, there are practicing Muslims and players of Asian heritage in the league. Any player who has the skills and the heart to play at the NHL level has a shot at a contract (side note: some European players have a little trouble adjusting to the NHL game, because although North American rinks are roughly the same length as European ones, they’re considerably narrower).

It goes beyond that. In addition to active youth hockey programs all over the northern hemisphere, there’s remarkable development of girls’ and womens’ hockey as well, with serious collegiate programs, world championships and Olympic competition. There are programs for paraplegics and amputees. All in all, hockey as a sport – and it’s been an international effort – has become far more diverse and inclusive, and that process started long before any of the current wokeness. One could argue that it’s merely because this is good for business. I have a friend with two girls in middle school, both of whom are extremely active (and reasonably talented) players. Both know there’s no chance they’ll ever play in the NHL, but that doesn’t stop them from playing their hearts out now (and screaming their heads off when Dad takes them up to see the Bruins, where he lays out big $$ for tickets, refreshments and fooferaw – and that doesn’t touch what he pays each year for equipment and ice time for his girls).

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.

Discrimination By Any Other Name

Colleges and universities have become masterful at the sophistry of claiming that their discrimination isn’t discrimination, not really. A new example from Berkeley is very close to the line.

The Berkeley Law chapter of Law Students for Justice in Palestine announced over the summer that it had altered its bylaws to prohibit “speakers that have expressed and continued to hold views or host/sponsor/promote events in support of Zionism, the apartheid state of Israel and the occupation of Palestine.” Eight other student groups adopted similar bans. In response, two lawyers filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights claiming that the ban amounts to antisemitic discrimination. DOE is investigating.

The lawyers, Arsen Ostrovsky and Gabriel Groisman, argue,

The student groups at Berkeley Law are being willfully deceptive. Rather than simply exclude Jewish speakers, they exclude speakers who have expressed and continue to hold views in support of Zionism. Zionism refers to the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and liberation in their ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel. It is not merely a “viewpoint” as the Dean suggests, but rather something that has for millennia formed an integral and indispensable part of Jewish identity. A rejection of those who identify as Zionists, which is a vast, overwhelming majority of Jews, is therefore no different to excluding anyone else on the basis of their faith, shared ancestry or national origin. And Title VI of the Civil Rights Act specifically states that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in … any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title VI also provides protection from discrimination on the basis of shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics.

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Judge Ho Strikes Again! Is His Yale Law School Ban Unfair Discrimination Or Justly Utilitarian?

I could have easily made Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals an Ethics Hero for the second time in 2022, and maybe I should. (The first time was in February, when he tossed his planned speech at Georgetown University Law Center to chastise the school for its treatment of Professor Illya Shapiro, who dared to utter an opinion that was insufficiently supportive of “diversity” as greater value to the Supreme Court than actual legal acumen. This time his principled stand has more metaphorical teeth, but we should at least consider its ethical validity.

In Judge Ho’s keynote address to the Kentucky Chapters Conference of the Federalist Society—you know, the fascists—- the judge deplored speakers being shouted down and censored at law schools across the country. Then, after singling out Yale Law School as being particularly hostile to non-compliant viewpoints and determined to engage in ideological indoctrination rather than legal education, he announced that he would no longer be hiring law clerks with Yale Law degrees, saying, “Starting today, I will no longer hire law clerks from Yale Law School. And I hope that other judges will join me as well. I certainly reserve the right to add other schools in the future. But my sincere hope is that I won’t have to.” Continue reading

It is Apparently “Bizarro World Race Ethics Day” On Ethics Alarms: The BIPOC Only Debate Tournament

There goes my head. I find this story incredible. Northeastern and Boston College co-hosted a debate tournament last Fall restricted to students who “do not identify as white.”

Here is the announcement, tracked down by Campus Reform (hence the logo in the background):

Analysis: What the hell?

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Tuesday Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 7/19/2022: Harvard, Redheads, Uvalde, Bad House Guests And More

A lot of people find images like this, and the motto, offensive, presumably because of the association with Ronald Reagan, who brilliantly appropriated optimistic patriotism as a conservative value in response to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” vision of the nation. Being negatively triggered by one’s own flag and expressions of pride and enthusiasm regarding the nation it represents is not a healthy state of mind, and therefore it is unethical conduct to actively promote such an attitude…which we now see being done every day.

1. It may be unethical, but Harvard at least has gall…In April, Harvard University set out to exceed its previous record for virtue signaling, committing $100 million to “redress its ties to slavery” after a report concluded that slavery played an “integral” role in shaping the University. This is the Cambridge version of reparations, and the flagrant act of misusing donated non-profit funds wasn’t even controversial. The whole board signed on without dissent, which shows how Borg-like the Harvard leadership is. “Diversity” of thought when wokeness is at issue is not welcome. In this month’s alumni magazine, amusingly, Harvard begs for contributions to keep the magazine operating at a high level (it is an excellent alumni magazine), as if  tossing away 100 million dollars on non-educational matters didn’t make the appeal ridiculous. As one contrarian alum noted in a letter to the editor, if Harvard can give away all that money to assuage its conscience about supporting and benefiting long ago from a legal and predominant practice that had gone on for centuries, “it doesn’t need mine.”

In other damning news from Old Ivy, the Harvard  web site calls Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard,  currently pending before the Supreme Court, as a “politically motivated lawsuit.”  That’s the case in which Asian-American students allege that Harvard discriminates against them (like it discriminates against whites) in its admissions policies.  The web site states, “Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group in its admission processes.” This is pure “it isn’t what it is” gaslighting. One can argue that affirmative action, which is the real issue  in the case, should continue and that it passes ethical standards via utilitarian balancing, but it cannot be denied that  the practice isn’t discrimination. The statement is a lie. Continue reading

The No-White Men Allowed MBA Programs: An Ethics Inquiry

I was considering making this an ethics quiz, but it would be too easy: of course graduate programs that practice gender and racial discrimination in admission are unethical, though the dead-ethics alarms administrators who approve such monstrosities apparently don’t think so. Thus this is an inquiry into who, what, when, and why, all addressing the question of how this could happen?

Perhaps I should rephrase that slightly: How the hell could this happen?

Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, operated a franchise owner training and business degree program at two universities, the University of Louisville (where Jack Marshall Sr. attended college until he transferred) and Howard University. The Yum! Franchise Accelerator MBA was limited, according to its materials, to “underrepresented people of color and women.” Following a federal investigation, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education announced in a letter last week that the two universities had agreed to make the “Yum! Franchise Accelerator Fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.”

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid discrimination on the basis of race at institutions that receive federal funding. Did the two institutions miss it? It was in all the papers. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 forbids discrimination on the basis of sex. This, I thought, was also rather well-publicized. Not enough, apparently.

And yet here we are, or were.

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First Vice-Presidents And Supreme Court Justices, And Now NFL Offensive Assistant Coaches

The NFL’s near-complete dearth of ethics alarms is approaching comedic levels, if such a thing could be funny. This week the league that makes billions by paying young men to get a brain disease commanded all 32 NFL teams to hire a minority offensive assistant coach for the 2022 season, as, you’ve got it, another phase of the league’s “diversity” efforts.

The coach can be “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority,” according to the policy adopted by NFL owners during their annual meeting, and will be paid from a league-wide fund. That’s because they will all be tokens, you see, hired for PR purposes and to avoid lawsuits, so they really aren’t team hires. The new minority coaches “must work closely with the head coach and the offensive staff, with the goal of increasing minority participation in the pool of offensive coaches” that eventually produces the most sought-after candidates for head-coaching positions. In other words, they must receive remedial training because they would not have been hired based on their experience or demonstrated skills.

“It’s a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions,” said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, the chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. “We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].” A quota, he means.

And that’s what counts, not putting the best football team on the field. Or something.

In addition to the offensive assistant coach mandate, the new policies in “diversity” also added women to the language of the Rooney Rule at all levels. It will now read that women and/or people of color can satisfy the old Rooney Rule requirement to interview two external minorities for top positions, including head coach. Women are not required to be interviewed, but they are now included in the fulfillment process. It is possible that a team could interview two white women for an open head coach position to satisfy the Rooney Rule, and then make a hire without ever interviewing a person of color.

Why no “differently-abled” coaches? How about blind coaches? Gay coaches? Mentally ill coaches? Little people. Non-English speakers. Mentally-challenged. Surely a trans assistant coach would be historic. Can Lia Thomas play football? Continue reading

Good Start, Binghamton U….Now Fire Her.

Binghamton University (NY) Professor Ana Maria Candela’s Introduction to Sociology syllabus originally stated that white students had to wait for “non-white folks” to talk before speaking up or asking questions, according to the syllabus.

In another charming section, Candela’s syllabus also included a quote from Chinese dictator Mao Zedong: “No investigation, no right to speak,” which she interprets benignly to mean, “Don’t speak until you know something.” I question the wisdom of quoting a Communist despot extolling “investigation,” but OK. Candela’s rules on class participation, however, embraced “progressive stacking,” which conditions “students’ participation and speaking based on their race and gender.” Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Fat-Shaming Or Legitimate Criticism?

Belgian health

That’s Maggie De Block, the Belgian Minister of Health from October 2014 to October 2020. She is currently serving as a member of the World Health Organization’s Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development.

For some reason her photograph came to the attention of social media over the weekend, and she is being made the target of considerable mockery (though she is being incorrectly labeled as Belgium’s current Minister of Health). At 59, she is estimated to weigh between 350 and 400 pounds.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz to begin a busy week is…

Is it fair to criticize her for her weight when she is in a position involved with health promotion and policy?

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