Posts Tagged ‘football’

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Special mention

April 16, 2014 marketvalue

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Answer (according to Kathleen Madigan):

College football’s “Norma Rae” moment joins other recent pay-related episodes. First was the proposal to raise the federal minimum wage. Next came the White House’s directive to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay. Employees who currently work extra hours for free will soon get paid for their time.

Add in interns and citizen journalists that perform duties for free and a trend is evident: The U.S. economy may be the richest in the world, but sections of it depend on cheap or free labor.

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Peter Sung Ohr, the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, ruled today that Northwestern University football players are employees of the school and are therefore entitled to a union election.

The stunning decision has the potential to alter dramatically the world of big-time college sports in which the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the universities strike the deals and set the rules, exerting control over the activities of the players known as “student athletes.”

But now they are employees, too, according to the NLRB decision, which will be appealed.

In siding with the union, Ohr said the football players primarily have an economic relationship with the university, which controls and directs their daily activities and compensates them in the form of scholarships.

“The record makes clear that the Employer’s scholarship players are identified and recruited in the first instance because of their football prowess and not because of their academic achievement in high school,” Ohr wrote.

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It’s the start of a new season, with a new manager and lots of football to watch in the months ahead.

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Special mention

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OK, it may not be the Iron Lady’s most infamous legacy (that honor goes to the attack on the miners, the privatizing of public enterprises, and the extreme monetarism of macroeconomic policy), but the role of Thatcherism in undermining British football—during the Hillsborough disaster and through cuts to after-school sports funding—should not be forgotten.

It certainly hasn’t been by Liverpool fans.

 

Another response to the appointment of self-professed-fascist-but-not-racist Paolo di Canio as the new manager of Sunderland Football Club.

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The Durham Miners’ Association has criticized Sunderland Football Club for appointing Paolo Di Canio as its new manager and demanded that a banner that has been on loan to the club for 15 years is returned.

Dave Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, said in a letter to the club that the decision to appoint Di Canio was an insult to those from north-east England who fought and died fighting fascism.

Hopper was a miner for 27 years at Wearmouth colliery, which was on the site where the Stadium of Light stands. He said: “We are not prepared to have a banner in the ground where that man is one of the leading protagonists.

“The club professes to be a community club but when you look at the man they have appointed it is certainly not going to do the community much good. It is going to be an encouragement to all these rightwing groups that are already running about here – the EDL and BNP. What sort of message is that sending to the community?”

Wearmouth colliery closed in 1993. Work began on Sunderland’s new stadium in May 1996, opening in July 1997. Since then the Wearmouth Colliery banner has been displayed just inside the main entrance to the ground.

The letter demanding its return was sent as Di Canio held his first press conference at the club. The 44-year-old – who admitted in a 2005 interview with an Italian news agency to being “a fascist, but not a racist” – refused to expand on his political views during the briefing.

He said: “I don’t want to talk any more about politics for one reason because I’m not in the House[es] of Parliament, I’m not a political person, I will talk about only football.”

A spokesperson for Sunderland football club said: “The club has not had any direct contact from The Durham Miners Association as yet, but naturally we would welcome the opportunity to talk to them.”

Di Canio’s previous political statements have led to the resignation of the club’s vice-chairman, David Miliband, the departing Labour MP for South Shields and a former foreign secretary.

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No, not the kind of football that is killing its own players.

I’m referring to the other game of football—the one where a Europol investigation found that nearly 700 matches were fixed.

And I’m referring to the banks, like Barclays and UBS, that have admitted to fixing Libor.

In both cases, an organized crime syndicate was operating behind the scenes, fixing the outcomes, and betting on the results. And in both cases, a few arrests will take place and the game will go on as if nothing had happened—until the next scandal erupts.

So, to answer my question: there is no real difference—except that one really is a beautiful game for players and fans alike (and thus is worth cleaning up), while the other is just a game to suck up as much of society’s surplus as possible (and thus become so big they can’t be allowed to fail).

danwasserman

Special mention

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon matt-bors-ND