MLB punished Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for casino greeting. Most MLB teams have casino sponsors.
For decades, the NCAA maintained that paying players would damage university athletics while generating billions from their unpaid labor. Booster groups help recruit elite players.
The PGA Tour joined LIV Golf despite its Saudi Arabian financiers’ human rights abuses, following a long-standing sports tradition of duplicity.
Some occurrences scare.
The world’s greatest golfers competed for the most coveted prizes on the PGA Tour, the premier pro circuit. LIV Golf, financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, offered nine-figure sums to Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to join a new circuit with team play and 54-hole events, threatening that.
Last year, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan questioned players, “Have you ever had to apologize for being a PGA Tour member?”
After hearing from players who had just found they would be partners with the government they had opposed, Monahan told reporters, “I recognize that people are going to call me a hypocrite. Accept their judgements. Changes occur.”
Like many sports pooh-bahs, Monahan changed when he got to wet the tour’s beak in Saudi billions.
“One justification to going for the money is that sports shouldn’t be about politics. “But the leagues can’t have it both ways,” said Brooklyn and NYU sports law expert Jodi Balsam.
Balsam claimed that baseball removed its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta due to a Georgia voting law but continues to conduct business in other, more difficult nations like China. “No ideological decision is principled. All pandering.”
Ironically, LIV sued the PGA Tour for monopolizing competition. On Tuesday, LIV and the PGA Tour created “a golf monolith” to rule players, sponsors, and fans.
“Nowhere to play,” she said. This will build a behemoth that can control their upstream and downstream interactions. Golf kings will rule.
Not just golf.
— Two years ago, the women’s professional tennis circuit departed China when Grand Slam doubles winner Peng Shuai disappeared after claiming a high-ranking government official raped her on social media. In April, the tour said it will return this season with at least six concerts in China, relinquishing its demands for a meeting with Peng and an open investigation of her sexual assault charges.
— Other leagues struggle to balance China’s 1 billion-person market with its religious and democratic restraints. Beijing hosted the Olympics last year amid Uyghur genocide charges.
— Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and years-long doping controversy have made the IOC seem insincere. Disallow the flag and anthem for specific athletes.
Qatar hosted the World Cup as “sportswashing” to hide its human rights abuses. Saudi Arabia wanted LIV Golf to be like the World Cup and 2022 Olympics for Qatar and China.
– Contact sports leagues must balance fan appeal with brain damage from concussions. “There is no higher priority than player safety,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said before adding a 17th game and boosting the Thursday night schedule that necessitates players to play on short rest.