Tag Archives: Fair Play

Sportsmanship US style: It was 74-17 at halftime. Then the score got out of hand.

Coach Brenda Frese of Maryland, pictured in 2015, said of the 129-point blowout, “Tonight was a really good tuneup for us.” | Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Coach Brenda Frese of Maryland, pictured in 2015, said of the 129-point blowout, “Tonight was a really good tuneup for us.” | Mike Carlson/Getty Images

(November 3) – If you gambled on women’s college basketball on Wednesday night, and you had Bluefield State plus 128, you lost.

Maryland, the No. 6 team in the country, won its preseason game against Bluefield State, a small historically black college in West Virginia, 146-17. Continue reading

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NFL: A sports cartel without balls or integrity

By TONY SEED

USdollarsHalvedExempt from the rule of law by U.S. federal legislation, the powerful sports cartels rule their domain by exception. Once again the US National Football League (NFL) is investigating itself for dirty tricks. The articulate Seattle player, Richard Sherman, denounced it openly, i.e., without fear of fine, declaring that “it looks like a conflict of interest.”

For the past three years, the NFL has faced one “moral crisis” after the other involving organized fraud, collusion, violence and cheating of the health and safety of its players, constituting a credibility crisis that is part and parcel of the overall crisis of the American economic and political system and its institutions, with economic crisis at the base.

The latest crisis: Did the New England Patriots intentionally deflate the footballs used in the first half in the AFC Championship game on January 18 to gain an unfair competitive advantage? Continue reading

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Ethics: Turning balls into strikes with subtlest of motions and cheating into a science

US professional sports has raised cheating – the conscious violation of the laws of the game – into a system, as the following article by AP published earlier this year on baseball catchers demonstrates by negative example. Of their ability to frame a ball thrown outside the strike zone as a strike, AP comments, “Technically, it is an attempt to cheat, an ingrained and artful baseball deception as old as the neighbourhood play at second base.” 

The basic approach promoted is American pragmatism – any means to the end, the end justifies the means, winning is everything / the only thing, and everything goes. Success becomes the criteria of the private sport empires to discard basic norms of modern sport such as a level playing field. Such concepts as “selling the catch” (baseball, football) and “the good foul” or even “the good hard foul” (basketball) have become official and introduced into the everyday vocabulary of competition to degrade the culture of sport, athletes and humanity. It is little wonder that hooligan behaviour is rampant and the “major leagues” are mired in an unprecedented moral crisis.– Tony Seed

Rays catcher Jose Molina is considered the gold standard for framing pitches, which can help bring several extra wins | Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Rays catcher Jose Molina is considered the gold standard for framing pitches, which can help bring several extra wins | Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

AP (March 22) WASHINGTON — It was a crucial pitch in a game in the early 1990s. A fastball. Away.

When the ball hit Randy Knorr’s mitt, Knorr, a Toronto Blue Jays catcher, moved it back over the strike zone.

The umpire called it a ball.

“Fifty thousand fans in the stands are booing,” Knorr said. “I knew it was a ball. I was just trying to bring it back over. And he smacked me in the back of the head and said: ‘Don’t ever do that to me again. You know that was a ball, and now you made everybody in the stadium think it was a strike.’ ”

At that moment, at least, Knorr was no Jose Molina. Continue reading

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UEFA adopts code of conduct on match-fixing. Ha ha ha.

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One essential fact is missing from the following report from Play the Game: the need to adopt a code on match-fixing necessarily arises from the fact that professional football matches in Europe – and only in Europe – have been and are being fixed.

(Sept. 19) – A code of conduct on match-fixing, setting out principles for safeguarding the integrity of football has been approved by the UEFA Executive Committee after consultations with a number of stakeholders including the professional footballers’ federation.

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Sochi 2014: Respect for one’s opponent in sport (1)

Sochi thumbnailWhat is the real match, the real contest here? Is the Olympic spirit manifested in Sochi or is it something relegated to the distant past? The whole pragmatic, unprincipled “winning is everything” approach embodied by the “Own the Podium” program of the Harper government and the corporate monopoly sponsors of the Canadian Olympic Committee is incompatible with the high ideals of sport and the modern spirit of friendship and mutual respect between peoples and their athletes. These ideals are manifested in some of the most indelible Olympic memories that have nothing to do with medals and victories. One of those moments happened a few days ago when a Swiss gold medalist waited at the finish line of a cross-country ski race for 28 minutes to shake hands with the skier from Peru who came in last, as pictured below. 

Respect for one’s opponent in competition is a well-known norm and one of the high ideals of sportsmanship. This human-cntred ethos has been assaulted from all sides by commercialized, professional sport, with its basis in the fetish of capitalist competition. The big sports monopolies, such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), stage the arena to promote blind, mind-numbing support for the “home team” as “our team.”

LA Galaxy David Beckham is covered in streamers handed out by management as he prepares to take a corner kick against Toronto FC during the first half of their quarter-final CONCACAF Champions League soccer match at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on March 7, 2012

LA Galaxy David Beckham is covered in streamers handed out by management as he prepares to take a corner kick against Toronto FC during the first half of their quarter-final CONCACAF Champions League soccer match at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on March 7, 2012

Fans at the Air Canada Centre are organized to disrupt opposing players when they take foul shots, or incited to boo basketball or hockey players who have been either traded away by MLSE or signed with another franchise. The sports media sets the table with a “debate” as to why the athlete should be vilified. This hooligan behaviour is astounding. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: Friendship first

SOME of the most indelible Olympic memories have nothing to do with medals and medal counts, podiums or world records. One of those moments happened Tuesday when Russian competitor Anton Gafarov took a spill during a tricky turn in his cross-country sprint semifinal. What followed is a defeat for the self-serving “winning is everything, the only thing” spirit proclaimed by the rich countries at the Games, which have become an unscrupulous commercialized bazaar, where everything is promoted, bought and sold. It gives hope that humanity will someday remedy the disappearance of the amateur spirit and the highest sporting ideals in world sport. Here’s how it went down.

Anton Gafarov crashed hard halfway through the race:

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.51.47 PM Continue reading

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Israeli football, racism and politics: The ugly side of the beautiful game

palestine_indestructible_by_latuff2The so-called globalization of sports by big monopolies and the sports cartels (leagues, associations) has self-serving aims. Along with striving for domination of the global market, including control over human talent, these include the justification of the unjustifiable, from the racist and fascist South African regime in the 1970s and 1980s to Zionist Israel and the Bahrein and Emirate dictatorships today. Israel’s increasing integration into European competitions, despite its refusal to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, its violation of human rights and its illegal occupation of Historic Palestine, including illegal settlements in the West Bank, is contrary to the highest ideals of amateur sport. It should be met with international opposition of the kind faced by apartheid South Africa, writes JONATHAN COOK* from Nazareth – though not at the expense of the struggle of the Palestinian people themselves for their inalienable rights. – Tony Seed

[April 25, 2013] A DOZEN Palestinian teenagers from the West Bank village of Bilin stride forth in FC Barcelona jerseys, looking no different from thousands of other fans of one of the world’s leading football clubs. But moments later, in the shadow of the oppressive concrete wall, the group remove their shirts and drape them over razor wire the Israeli army has uncoiled around the village. The youngsters then set fire to the jerseys.

This protest, captured earlier this month on a YouTube video, is one of many by Palestinians and their international supporters as they step up their opposition to Israel’s increasing integration into world football, at a cost, say Palestinians, to their own sporting ambitions. Continue reading

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