Tag Archives: Sports

Ched Evans: UK Rapist Seeks Return to Professional Soccer

The most recent episode of the BBC’s Moral Maze debated the case of Ched Evans, a convicted rapist who seeks to return to playing professional football in England.  Although the story has received modest attention in America (here is a link to a New York Times article story), it has created a national debate in England.

Here is a description of the Moral Maze debate from the BBC’s website:

The case of the footballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans is a morality tale for our times. Evans, who played for Wales and Sheffield United, was jailed for 5 and a half years after being found guilty of raping a woman who was so drunk she couldn’t give her consent. Clayton McDonald, then a Port Vale defender, who was also involved, was cleared of the same charge. Evans has always maintained his innocence and has not apologised to the victim. He’s now been released on licence and there are calls for him to return to his footballing career. An online petition with 150,000 signatures says Sheffield United should not take him back. The story may read like a tawdry tabloid expose, but it actually goes to the heart of the kind of society we want and the kind of people we want to be. Should a convicted rapist who’s served his time and maintains his innocence be entitled to get his job back? Does the need for forgiveness and rehabilitation trump the need for continuing disgrace and the need to make an example of someone who for many should be a role model? Does the fact of being a high profile figure put you in a different moral category that deserves extra punished? Or does that send out a message that even though you’ve served your time you still may not be allowed the chance to rebuild your life and reintegrate in to society.

Panellists: Michael Portillo, Melanie Phillips, Claire Fox, Giles Fraser

Witnesses: Charlotte Webster, David Walsh, Dr Clare Carlisle, Dr Nina Burrowes

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60 Minutes: A-Rod, PEDs and Suspension

It is incredible to think that one person could embody all that is wrong with baseball, yet Alex Rodriguez manages to pull it off.  A-Rod is the epitome of the overpaid, doped up player who cares more about his ego than the fans.  Sunday, on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley discussed Major League Baseball’s case against A-Rod, including an interview with his chief accuser, Anthony Bosch. 

Here is how the story began: 

Yesterday, Alex Rodriguez, considered one of the best baseball players of all time, was hit with the longest doping suspension in history. After a contentious private hearing, Major League Baseball’s arbitration judge took the Yankee third baseman out of the game all of next season. This, despite the fact that there is no positive drug test for Rodriguez. After the decision, Rodriguez repeated that he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs in the years that he’s played for New York.

Tonight, you are going to hear details of the evidence for the first time — much of it from Anthony Bosch, who ran a secret doping practice for pro athletes. It was last summer, after Bosch was exposed, that Rodriguez and 13 others, all Bosch’s clients, were suspended. All accepted their penalties except Rodriguez who appealed. In Rodriguez’s appeal hearing, Tony Bosch testified for five days, behind closed doors. Tonight, he speaks publicly for the first time.

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January 14, 2014 · 1:22 am

Is Football Destroying America?

Okay, that is not quite a fair title.  However, a recent episode of The Diane Rehm Show really hammers football.  A lot has been written recently about the concussion crisis in football. This episode of The Diane Rehm Show not only discusses concussions but also how tax payers subsidize the NFL, since it is currently operated as a nonprofit (i.e. no taxes).  I must admit as a football fan there were aspects of the interview (of Gregg Easterbrook, author of “The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America“) that made me think, “What did you expect an NPR show would think of football?” However, on the whole, it is worth a listen. For anyone interest in the intersection between sports and public policy, this show discusses all of the major policy issues surrounding football on all levels. 

Here is a description of the interview: 

Monday Night Football. Super Bowl Sunday. The big homecoming day game. New Year’s college bowls. It’s hard to imagine a sport more American than football. The game hasn’t been embraced anywhere in the world quite like it has in the United States. Gregg Easterbrook, author of the new book, “King of Sports,” says without football “there would still be 50 stars on the flag … but America wouldn’t be quite the same.” But Easterbrook argues the game is in serious need of reform at all levels. Diane discusses football’s impact on America and what it will take to clean up the sport.


Gregg Easterbrook 

author, “The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America”. He is a contributing editor of “The Atlantic Monthly” and “The Washington Monthly”, and a columnist for ESPN.com.

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December 13, 2013 · 12:28 am

“League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”

Recently, PBS’s Frontline ran a powerful documentary about concussions in the NFL.

The full video is available for free from the Frontline website.

Here is a description of the program:

From PBS and Frontline: The National Football League, a multibillion-dollar commercial juggernaut, presides over America’s indisputable national pastime. But the NFL is under assault as thousands of former players and a host of scientists claim the league has covered up how football inflicted long-term brain injuries on many players. In this special investigation, FRONTLINE and prize-winning journalists Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN reveal the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries, drawn from their forthcoming book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth (Crown Archetype, October 2013). What did the NFL know and when did it know it? What’s the truth about the risks to players? What can be done? The FRONTLINE investigation details how, for years, the league denied and worked to refute scientific evidence that the violent collisions at the heart of the game are linked to an alarming incidence of early onset dementia, catastrophic brain damage, death, and other devastating consequences for some of football’s all-time greats.

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October 29, 2013 · 8:03 pm