Scarlet Devils Blue Knights
Scarlet Devils and Blue Knights
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Sports Law Blog
What makes Sports Law so interesting is how society plays out its neuroses through the microcosm of sports. Just look at the controversies involving two college sports teams: the Rutgers Women Hoopsters and the Duke Lacrossers.
When the Duke story first broke, the liberal media was quick to assume their guilt as an inevitable byproduct of privilege and indulgence. These were rich white spoiled jocks, the story went, and the law and its protectors should deal with their behavior in the harshest terms. We all learned eventually the facts were quite different and the real villain turned out to be the Arm of the Law who thought these sportsmen were an easy mark who could advance his career. The case has now been dismissed.
Next we have Mr. Imus who didn’t think at all because it was so easy to make a sophomoric racist joke about a predominantly African-American team.
Neither attack proved so easy and may likely end the careers of the attackers.
What have we learned?
First, when real life events enter the sports bubble, they are typically blown out of proportion.
Second, and more importantly, sportsmen and women are not all of a type. While they may work wondrously as a team during the game, off the field they are individuals, often as different from one another and from the stereotype as can be imagined. Both the Duke men and Rutgers women turned out to be accomplished and articulate, deserving of dignity not ridicule.
Most athletes, even the Pros rich in income and adulation, don’t want to be either made examples of or coddled; nor do they deserve such disparate treatment when they are out of the park.