Nicolas L: Alright, it is possibly a factor, but it is certainly down the list a bit.
Cory H.: I heard an argument made yesterday on an MVN.com radio show that horse racing isn't altogether different from dog fighting, but since it's a "white man's sport," there's no stink being made. Granted, you can poke tons of holes in that ... but, you can still relate it, however tangentially, to race.
Nicolas L: Yes, like horses aren't intentionally trained to kill other horses (though that might be a good draw for the derby).
Tuffy: Actually, I'm not terribly interested where this falls on the Shock Value Media Scale of importance (below young white women in danger and above bridge collapses)...
Tuffy: What does this do to other athletes with interests and hobbies even slightly outside the norm? Vick was unique on the field but hardly so off it.
Nicolas L: Depends on what the league commissioners consider outside the norm (which seems to be anything other than sitting at home knitting)
Cory H.: It means contract law might be a nice post-grad concentration .
Tuffy: League commissioners don't act in a vacuum. They work in the interests of owners that work in the interests of sponsors. Athletes also answer to sponsors. When Kevin Durant was left Team USA this week, do we think it had to do with team makeup only or perhaps answering to Team USA's many corporate sponsors, even indirectly?
Tuffy: So now what if an athlete decides he'll teach his boys mixed martial arts, even if he does it in a generally responsible way? Are we drawing a line of outrage too thickly and too closely to the private lives of these gentlemen?
Nicolas L: Even that is a bit hypocritical. Corporations have many other dirty deeds going on besides shady athletes that they sponsor. I think some people would argue that because parents are too lazy to be role models, and therefore expect popular athletes to be such, then it becomes our right to know what they do in their down time (and pick through their dirty laundry)
Cory H.: I think that multi-million dollar contracts give us that right, to some extent.
Tuffy: I pay your salary and I can tell you how to act in public? Okay, fair enough. How's that going with your boss?
Nicolas L: Is it really our right? Are we giving them our money as salary?
Cory H.:If a baseball player were making an "average" salary, I think it'd be somewhat fair to treat him as an average citizen. If A-Rod's going to make $30 million a year, his job's to entertain me.