Athletes & Media

westbrook

The athletes vs media topic is viewed as a very controversial. There’s a number of articles that speak on the issue, but majority of those articles are pretty biased focusing mainly on taking the side of the athlete. In the article, Athletes Vs The Media, Ryan Gayle spoke on the shaky relationships of the two parties and how it was easy it was to accept how the athletes responded to the treatment. He brings up two well known athletes, Marshawn Lynch and Rasheed Wallace, explaining how they handled the situation after getting fined when failing to fulfill their obligation to speak to the the media. So many athletes refuse to give the media something to write about because they most often misconstrue their words just to get a good story. Gayle closes out his article by clearly stating his claim that athletes shouldn’t be obligated to speak to the media if they are uncomfortable doing so.

There are other articles that make a point on both sides of the controversy but also lean more toward the media side of things. In another article also titled Athletes vs. the Media, the author speaks on a significant amount of reporters scrutinizing athletes causing society to have a strong dislike for them. One athlete hit a really good point, on why we need an athlete to talk in order to write about him. He meant that a good story can be written primarily from his time on the field/court and not in front of a bunch of microphones. The author concluded his article by explaining that not every reporter is out to ruin someones life.

Both arguments were spot-on while clearly expressing both views. The authors each took a stand and were passionate about their viewpoint. Reading the two articles help to understand that there’s a 50/50 split between athletes and the media. All athletes aren’t victims and all reporters aren’t out to ruin lives. Going into this topic, I was pretty biased because I thought the athletes weren’t being treated right but I never thought about the media’s approach. I look forward into looking further into the matter to uncover the truth on both viewpoints.

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Media vs. Athletes

  This blog mainly focuses on professional athletes and the effect that not only social media, but also general media has on athletes. There’s a big issue in the pro athlete world, where once an individual signs that contract to be apart of a team, they automatically lose their right to privacy. Most organizations or programs say that their athletes have to speak to the press. It seems like everyone is just sitting by waiting for them to say/do something even slightly wrong. Once the media finds that ammunition, they fire off continues rounds until they can get their point across. On a weekly basis we see videos of athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. . . being bombarded by the media on legal issues, their personal lives or current situations. Overtime, these athletes catch on to the “little game” that the media plays, in order to meet their quota.

Look at players like Russell Westbrook and Marshawn Lynch, who basically don’t speak to the media in attempt to avoid their statements being misconstrued. Can we blame the reporters? In our current day and age, it’s what the people want. That’s entertainment  and they have to meet a quota. At the end of the day, both the athletes and the media have to produce in order to get that check at the end of the week.

MLB Salary Cap

My topic is salary caps in professional sports, but focusing more on baseball. Baseball is the only one of the four major sports (basketball, football, hockey, baseball) that does not implement a salary cap. Instead of a salary cap, Major League Baseball (MLB) implements a luxury tax. This tax only applies to teams that have a payroll of over 189 million dollars, and the tax rate is 17.5% for the first offense. Each consecutive offense results in a higher tax rate and after four consecutive offenses, the tax rate goes up to 50%. The main difference between a luxury tax and a salary cap is their degree of restriction. Simply, a salary cap does not allow a payroll to exceed its limit, while a luxury tax does.

It is usually the Yankees and the Dodgers who have the highest payrolls.

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A main problem with this is that the luxury tax has not increased with the overall revenue of the sport. This is not stopping big market teams from ruling free agency because those teams still have more money to spend despite having to pay this tax. This year, the Dodgers will set an MLB record of 43.6 million dollars in luxury tax, but for the dodgers, that amount of money is not going to force them to decrease their payroll. The Yankees had the second highest luxury tax last season at 26.1 million dollars. But after these two teams there is a huge cap, the Red Sox had the third highest luxury tax at 1.8 million dollars. The Yankees and Dodgers are always in contention because of their deep pockets and it makes it more difficult for smaller market teams to be successful.

PED’s in Sports and Competitions

My topic is about the use of drugs in ways that are not naturalized and used to gain unfair advantages.  The range of drugs and ways the drugs can be used to gain unfair advantages are countless.  Originally for healing the wounded, like steroids reducing swelling, people quickly learned the benefits for more than just healing.  In body building, the competition that holds the biggest, baddest, and most defined guys is Mr. Olympia.  In this competition many of the men, if not all, have done anabolic steroids or growth hormones.  In most cases the contestants only used them towards the end of their training and closer to competition, but still they used them.  One of the most famous title holders was Arnold Schwarzenegger, he never heard of PEDs before he came to America, and even still only used them for refinement.  There are multiple ways they can be used and I agree that they are beneficial to the hurt and injured but in the wrong ways they can lead to serious injury, pain, and unfair advantages.

The love of the game or competition should be dedication enough to make the athletes work harder for what they want.  The athletes who cheat, ruin the spirit of the game and give kids a false sense of guidance and what is naturally achievable.  Children often have dreams and aspirations of what athlete or person they look up to but often do not fully understand their background.  For example, if a parent likes the Mets, the child often likes the Mets, if a parent likes the Patriots, the child will most likely like the Patriots.  When we look up to a sports legend or a role model, we see what they look like and their fame, not what they hide such as drug use or poor decisions.  If you take a look at big body builders and dream about becoming built, you see that you can be influenced into working out.  Everyone sees the end goal but no one wants to take the journey there, they do not see the countless amount of hours, day after day, year after year that it took to even start seeing results.  So they look for a cheat; a solution is introduced, get bigger in half the time, steroids or HGH they will get you bigger faster, but no one sees the downside.  The only person you are cheating and selling short is yourself, the painful consequences and suffering is not worth being abnormally large.mr-olympia-2015-review-1050x583

Instant Replay Synthesis

In the article “MLB Completely Misusing Instant Replay” by Phil Mushnick, Mushnick poses question “do you want to watch baseball like this for the rest of your lives” This way being with instant replay. The article mainly talks about how minimal use of instant replay is good like when the play is clearly blown. For instances like “neighborhood play” when the shortstop appears to touch the bag but misses slightly, it is unnecessary. http://nypost.com/2014/04/26/mlb-completely-misusing-instant-replay/. The article “Major League Baseball is Making an Error With Instant Replay” by Seth Swirsky, discusses reasons for why replay kills the sport such as:

Lou Piniella,  Mark Wegner

  • “Baseballs a game of inches”
  • “Controversy makes the sport”
  • “Technology shouldn’t be taking over the sport”
  • “Part of the fun is seeing Arguments”
  • “There is no need to make sure every call is 100% right”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-swirsky/major-league-baseball-is-_b_3777347.html

The topic in which I chose to discuss is how Instant Replay in baseball. This is a huge problem in my opinion is the sport of baseball. If you look at statistics baseball has lost a substantial amount of viewers. If Major League Baseball takes the opinions of these writers into consideration then the proper changes could be made to fix the problem. If they minimize the the use of instant replay and bring back the option to argue the call and not necessarily overturn it then baseball might be able to gain its viewers back.june-2-2010-armando-galarraga-the-imperfect-game

Steroids and Pro Sports

Whats so wrong with steroids use? Is it a question of ethics or character? Perhaps it is because it is widely looked at as “cheating”, so a professional or amateur athlete can gain some sort of advantage? So let me ask you this, if EVERYONE is doing it could it be considered “cheating”? If the playing field only had PED( Performance Enhanced Drug) Using athletes than who would and would not have the advantage? No one would. The fact of the matter is that most athletes are already on the “juice”, even though it is still illegal. This creates a huge discrepancy in trying to determine who is and who is not on steroids.

Dr. Carise ( a substance abuse expert), said that in 2005 about 80% of athletes in Major League Baseball were using or had used steroids and other forms of PED’s. The MLB has a strict ban on steroids and frequently test’s, so is it the testing that is skewed or is the problem that the only time we hear about steroid use is when it is a very famous player. Dr Carise wrote “But if steroids in one form or another have been around this long and have always been prevalent, why all the sudden fuss? It might be wise to consider some different strategies. For example, maybe we should simply form another baseball league, one that wouldn’t play in the current National or American Leagues, but a separate one, where the teams would not be tested for performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids” ( Carise 1). This way the athletes can choose if they want to compete with other athletes on steroids or if they just want to be in the “Natural” league. This would be a big plus for fans as well, in the hypothetical situation that a “Steroid league” was formed; fans would be able to choose if they want to watch natural or enhanced athletes.

Another interesting thing to think about when thinking about legalizing steroids is, if they are banned and the majority of athletes still use them are they really banned? Or do professional athletes just lose sleep at night wondering when their next drug test will be. Steroid testing has been put in place for almost every physical professional sport, yet it has proved to be ineffective in stopping athlete’s. So why not legalize them? Every attempt to keep an even playing field, in the past has failed. It seems as though the only way to guarantee an even playing field would be to allow each athlete to choose. The field is not even in any pro sport and something needs to be done about that sports journalist Chris Smith says , “Athletes are going to take steroids and turn to doping regardless of the rules. Drug use in cycling is seemingly as old as the sport itself, and baseball players have tried to cut corners wherever possible, whether it be with spit balls, corked bats, stimulants or steroids. It doesn’t justify the actions of Armstrong, Cabrera or Colon – they knew the rules and chose to break them – but the current system has continually failed to establish a level playing field for the world’s most talented athletes. (Smith 1). Both authors would agree that people and athletes will use steroids regardless, why not cater to both parties in order to make sporting events more even for everyone.

Work Cited

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deni-carise/baseball-and-steroids-wha_b_3887380.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2012/08/24/why-its-time-to-legalize-steroids-in-professional-sports/

First Blog Post: Research Proposal

My topic i will be discussing during my Comp II class is going to be about the progression of the National Football League, through the good and bad images that it promotes on itself. The NFL seems to have its good and bad moments when it comes to the publicity that it receives. One day you could be reading about how one player is making a difference for underprivileged youth, while others are being arrested for drug possessions, violent acts towards others, and showboating on and off the field. The NFL in my eyes is a lot different from its roots and it has changed for the better and for the worse in specified areas.

The reason that i am so interested in this topic is because football has always been a big part of my life since i was introduced to the sport at the early age of 7. When i was younger, I would always remember waking up on Sundays waking up to the pure exciment of watching my team play and hopefully writing a tally in the “W” column. Football to me is something i look forward to watching and i know many can agree with me. Exploring both sides of the cherished organization will most definitely be something that will interest me throughout the research process.

http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/01/nfl-goodell-rice-peterson-hardy-snyder

 

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