Campaigns/Elections

Sports and Election 2008

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USA Today asked the three remaining major-party candidates how they feel about Title IX and about performance enhancing drugs.

Refreshingly, all three said neither steroids nor gender participation are any of the government's business, and that, being private entities, sports organizations should be free to set their own rules free of meddling from the federal government or grandstanding congressmen.

Just kidding. All three favor using the federal government to bend pro and amateur sports to their liking.

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  1. “Refreshingly, all three said neither steroids nor gender participation are any of the government’s business, and that, being private entities, sports organizations should be free to set their own rules free of meddling from the federal government or grandstanding congressmen.”

    Weird, that had me fooled for a second.

  2. “Weird, that had me fooled for a second.
    Me too.

  3. Just kidding.

    Yeah, Balko, that wasn’t funny. You really got my hopes up.

  4. Add me to the list of suckers took in…

    Damn it

  5. Me too. I’m so na?ve.

  6. I can’t believe you suckers fell for that!

    The Feds are now going to apply Title IX bs to science and engineering! I hope the flaws and errors kill us all before we experience “comparable worth”.

  7. “being private entities, sports organizations should be free to set their own rules free of meddling from the federal government or grandstanding congressmen.”

    I kind of agree, the kind of being thrown in because many of these private sports organizations, like MLB or the NCAA also get special exemptions and goodies from state and federal governments. If the government then makes them do x to keep goodie y then I don’t see much of a problem with that. That’s different than just telling them you must do x.

    Title IX only applies to colleges that get federal goodies (money) if I remember correctly.

  8. I can’t believe anyone got from “refreshingly” to “any of the governments business” without realizing it was a put on.

  9. It’s all a pander. I can see McCain hammering the steroid issue, Hillary maybe giving a damn about Title IX, and Obama not doing much on either issue.

  10. It’s all a pander. I can see McCain hammering the steroid issue, Hillary maybe giving a damn about Title IX, and Obama not doing much on either issue.

    Cause Obama is all about legalizin’ the herb, and goin’ on the gold standard and gettin’ us out of Iraq, man. He is like a black Ron Paul.

  11. Kerry howley out of context quote:

    Title IX help create a culture where a broader range of interests could be engendered and cultivated

    I think that means she thinks it is good, like the 3 leading POTUScandidates.

  12. Maybe the government should address the issue of politicians on speed before it branches out telling every other organization how to run their business.

  13. Govt regulation of sports, at the fed level, I don’t think it’s a ‘pander’ by McCain; it’s something he actually believes in. (Which of course doesn’t make it any of his business or any justification for his medling)

    I recall his appeared years ago (circa spring 2001?) on either Dennis Miller’s (HBO) show, or one of Bob Costas’s, talking about how we must ‘do something’ about boxing.

  14. Good Job Mr. Balko

    I double-taked like the forementioned. Nice short-term illusion to remind us that the wicked are always up to no good.

  15. Kolohe
    John Mccain tried to ban the UFC and other MMA fighting. He called it “human cockfighting” (like that is a BAD thing?)He co-sponsored a lot of the animal rights laws too.

    Why does John McCain hate American Sporting traditions?

  16. I was watching some show on Bloomberg this morning, and one of the commentators was suggesting George Mitchell as Obama’s VP. The same George Mitchell, one supposes, who spent millions whitewashing investigating baseball.

  17. Actually, that sounded like I give a hoot if professional (or wannabe-pro) athletes use performance enhancing drugs. I don’t.

  18. Politicians are such hypocrites about Sport. They just love the medal winners, the national anthems and the crowds waiving those national flags and whooping. They will put serious money into this pointless behaviour and love their photos to be taken next to triumphant patriots.

    But people who use drugs to play a part in those ‘victories’ are very very bad (unless they don’t get caught).

  19. Between this and his usual weekend-spoiling posts on police brutality, I am now certain that Radley was the kid who took delight in telling other kids that there was no Santa Claus…

  20. According to Wikipedia there are 70 female reps (16%) and 16 female Senators. If Congressmen like Brian Baird are so worried about gender equality why doesn’t he back a woman to fill his seat in the next election?

  21. Obama didn’t explicitly call for government intervention… that may be the only progress we can hope for.

  22. Rob,

    Exactly my point. McCain has shown he’s willing to intervene in sports, Hillary will intervene in anything, but on these two topics I’m just not scared of Obama.

    If anything, I’m really hoping Obama’s Chicago economists make their way to D.C. with him. A pledge to that effect would go a long way in getting libertarians on board.

  23. Suckers! I enjoyed a good chuckle reading this.

    I’ll admit that I had the advantage of having read Howard Cosell’s book, which mentioned McCain’s love of regulating boxing, so I didn’t have to reason out the candidates’ positions at the speed of reading. I only had to recall the dissonant fact.

    I love watching some women’s sports and generally like the changed attitudes that have come from Title IX, but I think its critics have a valid point about men inherently liking sports more. Also, I haven’t seen anyone make a case that spending equality or program equality (or whatever Title IX mandates) is a public good. If it’s about giving students what they want from higher education organizations, vouchers would have solved the this issue more fairly and the whole problem more generally.

  24. Aarrgg! the this issue = this issue

    Also, while I plan to vote Libertarian as usual this year, I harbor a slight preference for Obama over McCain. It’s not because I think he will be better on this issue than McCain. They both love a government solution solution to most any problem and they both see themselves as some sort of grandiose leaders. And when can we stop hearing about Hillary? She’s done.

  25. If it wasn’t for Title IX we’d never have league syncronized swimming.

  26. I hate to repeat myself, but doesn’t Title IX only apply to schools that recieve federal money?

    If private company A gives money to charity B and conditions that giving on charity B not discriminating in its hiring,, then what’s wrong with that? The charity could just refuse the money.

    SO methinks there is something more than “libertarian principles” at stake here.

    As to MLB one of the reasons why politicians intervene so much (other than the obvious granstanding factors) is that MLB has been granted several exemptions and exceptions in the law over the years. It’s hard for MLB to complain when they seek out rent-seeking and then have the grantors of rent-seeking start demanding something back.

    These issues seem to play well as red meat to the “faithful” though. Grrr, government making schools give us much training space to women and men! Stupid government, no one likes women’s gymnastics like good ol’ football!

    But jesus, stop and read a little before you start frothing at the mouth. It’s sad to see folks played so badly…

    BTW-SIV has the better argument, for a libertarian the areas where a government actor calls for the outright banning of a sporting event are really outside of principle (like MMA or UFC [cockfighting I would think of as less of a sporting event than animal abuse, thankfully a majority of Americans have similarly evolved that]) sentiment over time])

  27. You folks do understand that applying Title IX to science will be the worst thing the government has ever done. Screw sports, that’s just entertainment! Screwing with science via funding was bad enough, but applying Title IX will kill the golden goose.

    Please, oh please, China, liberalize a bit and I’ll come a runnin’! The West has lost its collective mind!

  28. MNG –

    The only exemption MLB enjoys is its antitrust exemption.

    And antitrust laws shouldn’t exist, so the proper answer to “We have exempted you from our law which shouldn’t exist, so now you owe us a favor” is “Go fuck yourself”.

  29. TMG,

    The first problem with your argument is that the federal government isnt a private company. There are things a private company can do that the government shouldnt be allowed to do.

    Also, while the schools could not accept the money (and someone needs to post the quote from the Brown (I think) prez at the start of federal aid, he was prophetic) the bigger problem is that the feds shouldnt be offering it to begin with.

    It is sorta like the roads/drinking age issue. If we took away the federal governments power to fund roads, then they would lose the power to manipulate drinking age laws too. (Okay, they would try via some other method, but you get the point).

  30. Fluffy,

    And antitrust laws shouldn’t exist, so the proper answer to “We have exempted you from our law which shouldn’t exist, so now you owe us a favor” is “Go fuck yourself”.

    You beat me to it. Probably said it better than I would have too.

  31. Mr. Nice Guy,

    The TMG in my post 2 up from here is a typo for MNG apparently.

  32. Those poor helpless little girls; without title IX, they could never have successfully kicked a ball. Why, prior to intervention from the federal government, women were denied education, and kept chained to their masters’ stoves.

  33. Refreshingly, all three said…

    Damnit. I’ve never fallen for that before. You got me today.

  34. Politicians are such hypocrites about Sport. They just love the medal winners, the national anthems and the crowds waiving those national flags and whooping. They will put serious money into this pointless behaviour and love their photos to be taken next to triumphant patriots.

    But people who use drugs to play a part in those ‘victories’ are very very bad (unless they don’t get caught).

    People tend to be hypocrites about Sport actually.

    Canadians bragged about their “great contryman” Ben Johnson until he got caught using steroids. Then he became a “fucking Jamaican” (or another name I won’t write out).

  35. Mr. Nice Guy,
    Regarding MLB’s exemptions and exceptions, I’m afraid you, like most people, are completely ignorant of the situation as it stands today. The reserve clause, which bound players to a team for life, is gone. Pay attention everybody, as a result of the collective bargaining agreement reached between MLB and the MLBPA, there is no reserve clause. Without checking on it, I’ll bet if you google baseball free agency rules you can find the specifics. To the best of my knowledge, the only benefit MLB gets over any other professional league is that a majority of owners can block a team relocation. That’s it. All that is left is that when the Washington Nationals start failing in the marketplace (they will, trust me) the owners have to approve the franchise relocation (they will, trust me).

  36. And congress should just get the hell out of regulating and threatening pro sports over illegal performance enhancing drugs. I was a teenager (it’s for the children!!! The athletes are role models!!!) once upon o time, and I didn’t have athletic crap hanging on the walls in my room. I did have a Pink Floyd, a Johnny Cash, and a Rolling Stones poster.

    For those with impressionable, stupid, easily led teenagers out there in ReasonLand, does your 14 year old spend more time listening to music or watching sports? Rumor has it that some of these music entertainers have taken illegal substances to help their performances. Are Warner Brothers, Electra, Columbia, et al, going to have to do drug testing on these teenage role models?

    Give me a fuckin’ break. Athletes are entertainers just like Britney Spears (relexive gag goes here) and any movie star. Prince Charles Barkley said it best in a NIke ad,

    “I am not a role model. . . parents should be role models.”

    Meanwhile, Blackwater Inc, just got it’s State Department security contract renewed. There’s food riots happening in impoverished nations, while the United States is paying corn growers to harm the environment, increase global warming emissions and raise global food prices.

    John McCain in particular can kiss my royal American ass for his infantile preoccupation with the sports portion of the world entertainment industry.

  37. To the best of my knowledge, the only benefit MLB gets over any other professional league is that a majority of owners can block a team relocation.

    I’m pretty sure that’s true in the NBA, as well. Dunno about the NFL. Don’t care about the NHL, or whatever they call paid soccer these days.

  38. I’m pretty sure that’s true in the NBA, as well. Dunno about the NFL. Don’t care about the NHL, or whatever they call paid soccer these days.

    I’ll check out the NBA, but Al Davis had no problem saying fuck you to the rest of the NFL. Except for the original six, all NHL teams are looking to relocate. 😉

  39. HAHA! I almost spit a mouthful of soda onto my lap.

  40. I’m a follower of women’s football, and some, perhaps many, of its backers are hoping the colleges start playing so they’ll have more of a practiced talent pool of graduates to draw on.

  41. I was fooled for a secound. We all believe what we want to I guess, but the federal government should leave pro-sports alone and that also means no giving them cheap land or other deals.

  42. yeah,I can’t help laughing,but something we should think about it.

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