General Sports

The Government’s Involvement with Sports Today

I am growing very tired of reading or hearing about the national government being involved in today’s world of sports.  In no way should it be the government’s responsibility to resolve the issues that different athletes, teams and sports leagues experience.  There are far more important issues in this country that require the attention of our government, rather than sports. By Michael C. Smith

Since I was a child my prospective on sports has always remained the same, sports are a way to escape the reality of the “real world” for a few hours and relax.  Even now when I turn on a game, everything weighing on my mind seems to disappear, and the only concern I have is hoping that the team I am rooting comes out with the victory.  I was always under the assumption that sports were something that our government should never, or would ever interfere with.  Though today, it is rare to turn to Sportscenter, ESPN News and the NFL Network without hearing a story about an athlete or team being investigated or questioned by government officials for wrong doing.

I believe the government’s priorities are really out of place.  Rules broken by athletes and sports teams should be handled by their respective league commissioner, not the federal government.  The Rodger Clemens Congressional hearing should never have taken place.  It was a 4 hour and 40 minute circus of back and forth banter, with the Republicans trying to destroy the character of Brian McNamee, while the Democrats were trying to do the same to Clemens.  When it was finally over, it only created more questions about Clemens’s credibility.  The upcoming Barry Bonds trial will solve nothing.  If Bonds is found guilty what does it accomplish? It will not be a major shock to 90% of baseball fans, just confirming what they already know about Bond’s steroid use throughout his playing career.  Both of these issues should have been settled by Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig.  Why does our government concern themselves with these matters?  There are so many problems in this country like war, global warming and gasoline price inflation, just to name a few. The government has wasted too many taxpayer dollars and too much time on insignificant matters involving sports.  

Just this week, it was announced that the government is going to open an investigation of former USC basketball player, O.J. Mayo, for possibly receiving money and housing from a sports agency while still in college.  The NCAA and USC should be handling this.  It should be their responsibility.  The government getting involved means more money wasted, along with time.  Also this week, more tapes were presented to National Football League Commissioner Rodger Goodell.  The tapes provide additional evidence of the New England Patriots video-recording of the opposing coaches on the sidelines.  Goodell fined Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, $500,000 and the Patriots organization $750,000, back in September.  In addition to the fines, the Patriots were forced to forfeit their first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.  Later in the week, Goodell met with Senator Arlen Spector, to discuss these new tapes.  Spector reportedly requested that an investigation of the Patriots should take place.  I do not see the reasoning behind Spector’s request; it was already proven that the Patriots were guilty and they were punished for it, so what purpose would a government investigation serve?

I do not believe that it is necessary for the federal government to devote so much time and money to trying to solve the various problems in today’s sports world.  Maybe people are losing sight of the fact that when it comes to sports, it’s just a game.  This country is fighting two wars and a declining economy among other things, and yet the government feels it’s more important to protect the integrity of a “game”.  

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