Preface: I cover the big three US sports: football, basketball & baseball– as well as NASCAR, because I live in Florida. This gives a fair cross-section of American athletics & values. Sports are king in Florida. Republican governor Ron DeSantis has declared its facilities are available to any league or event series that needs a venue. UFC & WWE events have already been held in Florida, as lockdown restrictions were lifted. Everyone knows DeSantis is Trump’s puppet in Florida, and Trump wants sports, because they are essential to his survival.
The back-to-work campaign is a bi-partisan propaganda offensive designed to lure & coerce workers to operate under unsafe coronavirus conditions– permanently. Neither political party has done anything significant to see that an adequate number of tests are being done to isolate hotspots, to break the chains of infection. Getting sports leagues, circuits & tours going again, is part of this deep-state campaign to make us feel safe about working again.
The NBA & collegiate hoops were the first to shut down, and have their respective seasons cancelled. The NBA is still currently trying to work out a play-off model the players will accept, but apparently it’s hopeless. The NBA players got most of their seasons’ salary, so they are good, and mostly unwilling to risk their health, and that of their families. That’s the player chatter I read. October is a long way off, but the question already hangs– will there be a 2020-21 NBA season? What about free agency? Signing bonuses to draft picks? Etc…??
Final edit: On June 5, 2020, it was announced by ESPN that the NBA will return, to be played at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex located outside of Orlando, FL. Star players were forced to give in to the sponsors & ownership. It will be a disaster for all the reasons I’ve discussed.
As for college hoops, what do you do about eligibility, since March Madness never happened? Will the universities even be open by fall? This quickly bleeds into college football. As far as the NFL & NCAAF go, there is no way to ‘social distance’ these games. Football is where two sides with 11 players each, line up and smash each other in the mouth to impose their will-to-win. Only one side can be victorious, unless it’s a tie.
American football starts with training camp, and practices on a field where young men go chest-to-chest in the hot sun. With an unchecked COVID-19 pandemic still raging through its first wave, every team’s training camp will have coronavirus infections by the second or third week.
This has probably already happened in NASCAR. The angle for the owners of all these sports operations is to keep tight control of information, so no news of athletes testing positive gets to the media & public. The ‘protocols’ being set in place are to keep athletes, trainers, coaches, staff & all other workers tight-lipped, and in-the-dark as to the whole truth. This safety model also applies to auto workers, meat packers, Amazon hub workers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, etc. There’s trillions for Wall Street, but nothing for worker safety, or those 40 million workers thrown out of work since mid-March.
The truth is ugly, and well as scary, because it’s real. But big business owners don’t care, because it’s not their lives that are being put at risk, and they got their bailout money already. But, these moguls need these leagues to operate, otherwise all their profits will disappear, and they will go bankrupt. Just like that. That’s the ‘labor value of athletes in sports’ by Karl Marx.
Here’s another observation from a fan turned sportswriter. Getting these traveling circuses operational again, without fans in attendance, is a loser. Television is being turned off by everyone, and streaming is very easy to walk (or click) away from. People have to be there, and show interest (by paying money to attend), otherwise it just isn’t the same.
For instance, I watched Kevin Harvick (pic above) in his video interview after he won the initial comeback race for NASCAR at Darlington, and he was shocked at the joylessness of it all. No fans cheering. No celebration with teammates. Just an interview with masks on for those watching ‘live’ on television (or streaming later), and then go home. If athletes don’t get to enjoy the win, what’s the point– besides money?
Major League Baseball was the sport that never got started, so they occupy a unique position. Since COVID-19 shut everything down in March, baseball never got through its spring training, meaning only one or two player paychecks went out in full before the shutdown. MLB players get paid bi-weekly during the season. So in professional baseball, we have athletes who were ready to go, signed to guaranteed contracts, but aren’t allowed to play.
Like everything else, it’s going to come down to money. Here’s the pay scale MLB ownership proposed, and the MLBPA rejected: Player salaries at $563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%; $1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%; $5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%; $10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%; $20,000,001 and up paid at 20%.
There is no way MLB superstars are taking a prorated 80% pay cut, as these are the players with the strongest union support. Furthermore, the logistics of playing baseball are impossible. The players & owners are too far apart. There will be no MLB in 2020, and the ‘guaranteed’ contracts of all the MLB players is going to be a HUGE fight. Look for it to end up in court.
Also, many minor league players have been cut off from their paychecks, and are about to be unemployed permanently, as MLB is scaling back the minor leagues to save money. The Oakland A’s have already stopped paying their minor league stipends.
An unidentified white male broke a window to ex-Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith’s vehicle, so he beat his ass, and then let him run away. My thoughts on that, are that if someone broke the window to my vehicle in front of me, I’d do the same as J.R. Smith– as any man would. The problem is that police don’t serve & protect the public, so people are now taking the law into their own hands. America (and everywhere else) is about to break out into civil war– workers vs rich people. The cops & military are the stormtroopers for the ruling class.
I recommend that you don’t rely on icons & celebrities. Stop all hero worship. When I see stars from the past posting muddled & reactionary thoughts, I feel an urge to expose them. They preach peace & equality, just don’t take away their mansions & status. The problem is capitalism, and Michael Jordan is a capitalist. So is LeBron James, and anyone else paid over $20M a year. So don’t expect any substance from them, as they’re all pawns of the Clinton-Obama Democrats.
Blowback is a bitch. And it comes quicker & harder than ever– with global warming, COVID-19, and everything else we have going on. So don’t be talkin’ all gangsta, when you don’t know the situation & circumstances. It just feeds ignorance & hate. Black Lives Matter is toxic black racialism, the same way Blue Lives Matter is sick white supremacy. Everyone with an ‘authorized’ media voice takes one reactionary side, or the other, but they are all losers.
The only way to defeat Nazis is to reject identity politics in all forms. Democratic party leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton & Barrack Obama are black Nazis, along with OJ Simpson, Bill Cosby & Kanye West. They conspire with white Nazis such as Bill & Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden & Donald Trump to unleash police violence and COVID-19 upon us.
You never hear sports celebrities speak like this, because they can’t. The sponsors have them all by their gonads & bankbooks, so they can only issue timid blather– that feeds either into the Democratic or Republican party. As if Joe Biden will save us! This isn’t leadership, it’s a celebrity pacification campaign, and we are the targets. We deal with the realities, while they sit it out in their mansions, private islands & yachts.
If you aren’t out in the streets, talking to real people, and seeing what’s really going in your area, then you are useless in this process. You are letting others tell you how to think & act, because they are so good at dunking basketballs & throwing touchdowns. Some may think that’s the pinnacle of human achievement, but it isn’t.
There are far more important activities than professional sports, and none of these games are essential to our economy. We can get along without them for a time, until we resolve all these issues of class inequality & violence. Sports never take precedence over class politics, and in a revolutionary period such as now, they lose much of their social significance. That’s an unreported sports truth you need to know, during the coronavirus shutdown.