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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Sports
September 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM

NFL still doesn’t understand what it has wrought

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had a very trying week, and it’s time for the league to do the right thing. (David Goldman / AP)

Corrected version

It is clear, even after extensive coverage of violence toward women, that the NFL still doesn’t get the incredible damage their continued ignorance and incredibly callous attitudes are wreaking throughout our culture ["NFL needs to value a player’s character as much as his talent," Sports, Sept. 13].

Even though Janay Rice put a haunting countenance on the brutality of abuse, a story in The Seattle Times showed a baffling, uncaring mindset following the Baltimore Ravens victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers ["Post-Rice Ravens subdue Steelers," Sports, Sept. 11]:

“We had a tough family situation this week,” Ravens coach John


Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Baltimore Ravens, domestic abuse, Janay Rice

August 19, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Lakeside basketball: Part of a trend of forgoing students’ futures

Steve Ballmer, center, and Lakeside coach Tavio Hobson, left, play basketball with youths at Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club as part of the A PLUS Youth Program. Hobson had met Ballmer in the mid-2000s and had led workouts with Ballmer’s oldest son. (DEAN RUTZ / The Seattle Times, 2011)

The Steve Ballmer crusade at Lakeside School to buy athletics success at the high school level leaves me feeling incredibly sad ["With Ballmer’s aid, elite school pushed limits of prep-sports rules," Local News, Aug. 17]. As a society, we have corrupted so many of the ideals and institutions that create opportunities for individuals to better themselves.

As an academic surgeon at the UW, I have witnessed continued erosion of academic standards in


Comments | More in Sports | Topics: athletics, Lakeside School, Marc Coltrera

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


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…


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…


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.


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].


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.


Comments | More in Sports | Topics: Redskins, sports

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