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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Sports
May 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Banned NBA owner: Sets precedent; others in the spotlight behave hypocritically, too

Sets precedent for other offenses

Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s private conversation expressing personal views that are highly offensive to many Americans has resulted in a lifetime ban from the NBA [“The NBA’s affirmative action,” Opinion, May 1].

What does this mean for the conduct of NBA athletes or anyone associated with professional sports? Clearly a line has been drawn. If an offensive opinion expressed in a personal conversation justifies a lifetime ban, surely we can expect illegal drug use, domestic violence and other crimes to quickly thin the rosters. Locally, this decision provides the reference point for dealing with the two suspended Husky football players who viciously attacked a stranger.

Donald Sterling’s offensive personal views may turn out to be a watershed moment for professional sports. From this moment on, we can trust that athletes, owners and coaches will hold their behavior — both public and private — to the highest ethical standards or risk a lifetime ban.

Eric Verzuh, Seattle

Others in the national spotlight behave hypocritically, too

I applaud syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts for his column shining light on the hypocrisy in how our culture deals with the utterances of Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy [“On race, meet dumb and dumberer,” Opinion, April 29]. It appears that Sterling’s bigotry was

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Comments | More in Affirmative action, Sports | Topics: Adam Silver, Berkshire Hathaway, Cliven Bundy

April 30, 2014 at 6:04 AM

NCAA athletes’ union: No debate on how to classify Division I athletes

No good deed goes unpunished. Not all NCAA athletes should be treated equally ["Mark Emmert on NCAA athletes unionizing,” Opinion, April 24]. Big money and big media have ensured that the student athletes of Division I football and basketball should be treated as separate and distinct from all other NCAA sports. The NCAA is fundamentally…

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Division I, Eric Sirkin, NCAA

March 11, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Racist social media posts: A life lesson learned

Occasionally life throws us something ugly. We have the option to embrace and grow the ugliness, or we can reject it quickly and use it as a teachable moment to snatch the joy of victory from the agony of defeat. This was the choice facing the Issaquah High School and Garfield High School basketball teams Friday…

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Garfield High School, Issaquah High School, Mack L. Hogans

January 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Paying college athletes: NCAA’s a cartel, college not a minor league and the role of scholarships

Auburn's Tre Mason runs during the first half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Florida State Monday in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Auburn’s Tre Mason runs during the first half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Florida State Monday in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

On Monday, guest columnist Richard O. Zerbe wrote, “Colleges should be allowed to pay athletes. The players risk injury, devote considerable time, may forego earnings while playing and will not, in most cases, be able to play professional ball.” This prompted quite a few readers to write in with their perspectives:

NCAA is a cartel

Editor, The Times:

Richard O. Zerbe was persuasive about the economic case for paying college athletes [“It’s time to pay NCAA athletes,” Opinion, Jan. 6]. And beyond economics, there is justice.

Consider this hypothetical: suppose manufacturers who use skilled engineers and machinists to build airplanes agreed among themselves to systematically underpay those employees — in effect diverting more profits to the company. Notice that if all manufacturers joined in such a cartel, highly specialized engineers and machinists would have limited employment options elsewhere.

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: college football, NCAA

December 23, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Wash. state Rep. Fitzgibbon’s tweet about Arizona was ‘completely offensive’

You may have missed it while sulking in the Seahawks loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but Washington state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon tweeted and later deleted a Twitter message stating that it’s hard to lose to a “racist wasteland.” We received several submissions in response, this one from a reader in Arizona:

I’ve just read an article in an Arizona newspaper about the sports trash talk. Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, I would like to respond [“Lawmaker calls Arizona ‘racist wasteland,’” NWMonday, Dec. 23].

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Arizona, Cardinals, Joe Fitzgibbon

November 30, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Sports team names and racial slurs

Redskins should be given a free pass

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III passes the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III passes the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The push to eliminate the Redskins as a sports team name is overreach [“D.C. football team name offends Native Americans,” Opinion, Nov. 28].

What’s next? Is the term Fighting Irish too reminiscent of saloon brawling, in which Irish often figured prominently; is the name Vikings overplaying a dark era of long-ship violence that’s long gone; or maybe Indians should be next, arguably also seen as a demeaning stereotype in this context.

Political correctness has become a game of empowering the private rage of a few, no matter what the cost. Maybe, the world’s real issues and problems are so daunting there’s a need to invent new ones out of pain or frustration. But that effort is misguided.

Studies show that redskin is not used in a racist or disparaging way in today’s world, and hasn’t been for generations. Certainly, sports team names were not given in that spirit and should not be targeted.

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Redskins, sports

November 27, 2013 at 6:28 AM

Tired of paying the bills for big-time coaches

There are more important things to spend money on

The Sunday front page lead story “Big-time coaches score big-time perks” was very enlightening and quite disgusting at the same time [“Big-time coaches score big-time perks,” page one, Nov. 24].

It is yet another example of overfeeding at the public trough. I salute The Times and its reporters for exposing this largesse. Our daughter will be going to law school this coming fall of 2014 and is looking forward to graduating in three years, with about $90,000 of debt. I have to wonder what the cost of tuition and books would be if the millions of dollars were not spent on maintaining a football team for the chosen few who participate in or enjoy being a dedicated fan.

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Comments | More in Sports | Topics: sports

September 16, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Seattle cops go undercover at Seahawks game

Violence is unacceptable I am writing in regard to the Seattle Police Department’s decision to send undercover officers dressed as 49er fans to CenturyLink Field. [“Undercover fans on duty,” page one, Sept. 13.] If you and I board a city bus, and I decide for my own reasons to approach you aggressively and threaten you with…

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Comments | More in Public safety, Seattle, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Seahawks, Sports | Topics: fans, safety, seahawks

September 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Talking about the UW Dawgs

Objectionable language This may be silly, but who told The Seattle Times they should call the University of Washington’s Huskies “dawgs”? [“Dawggone it: Stadium blocked till Saturday,” page one, Aug. 27.] This is neither a colloquial Northwest language usage, nor is it cute. I object to it on both grounds. Joanne Daniels, Seattle

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Comments | More in Seattle, Sports, University of Washington | Topics: dawgs, huskies, Seattle

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