Saturday Survey: Sports & Society

2. Why do you support or oppose the construction of such professional sporting facilities with public money?

Pro sports are bad for America. They inculcate the idea that physical strength is everything. Sportsmanship–the ability to win graciously and lose gracefully — has been replaced by “winning is the only thing.” I HATE sports as they are and do not want one penny of money I earn going to support them. Let the billionaire team owners build their own damned stadium.

no public money for private enterprise

To get the Chargers out of San DIego — LA, you can have them.

I have not followed the construction of a new professional football stadium in Downtown, LA.

I do not support “professional” sports

Better uses for public money. The team gets a free ride.

Because the economy isn’t exactly humming in CA…and besides, I am a Forty-niners fan.

Will create enormous gridlock. Public shouldn’t pay.

These are teams that make a fortune from their sales and broadcasting. They are PRIVATE OWNERS feeding at the public troughs. Our politicians are all too ready to jump in bed with them and give them OUR TAX MONEY. It’s WRONG!!!

The profit, save in Green Bay, goes to private corporations.

Because the team owners will make more millions , they should invest their current money to make more , not taxpayer funds when so many far more important Public programs , schools , food medical etc. are being slashed . -Nate

Sports seem to me to be quite a business. Only if proportional profits are returned to the public, should public $$$ be used.

yes

I am not a fan of professional sports, so my tax money should not be used as corporate welfare for such private profit endeavors, favored by a narrow proportion of individuals. I prefer that public funds be directed towards endeavors with demonstrable benefits for all society; such as education, health and safety, and public works. I would not oppose construction of such facilities if there is a obvious public revenue benefit, such as public ownership (and profit participation) of the team, along the lines of the Green Bay Packers. In other words, public sporting facilities should only be supported if they produce revenue for local government.

It is bad financial policy. It is bad social policy. These “centers” segregate the public from the land, the land from the community and the sky boxers from the hoi polloi. They are as sick as the roman circuses and promote corruption from concept to demolition…. a shorter and shorter cycle.

They’re not using public funding outright for farmer’s field

we do not treat our teachers with respect. they need higher wages. they have no support. cra is taking all of the money for steel and glass and to line the pockets of developers. the state should close the cra down. the streets are in terrible shape. the public infrstructure is crumbling. there are 50,000 thousand homelesss and mentally ill in the city of los angeles that need taken care of. professional sports only support the billionaires. they use the athletes to bring them money. ball sports are for people to have fun. lets abolish professional sports altogether. the convention center is still new and they are going to tear it down to serve their own pocket books at the expense of the entire city.

The public citizen, meaning the tax players dont profit from the proceeds of these sports facilities only the owners of these sports teams.

Football is overrated as a national sport, all the way down to Pop Warner is corrupted. I listened in disgust as a coach for Jr High boys told them to look up rage in the dictionary and act with rage. No other parents had a problem with his statement.

There will be little public benefit after construction is completed, except for a number of part-time low paying jobs.

M-O-N-E-Y!!!

I’m opposed to spending public money to build and/or facilitate the operation of a privately owned business. I’m opposed to using public money to make rich companies richer. Sporting establishments should be funded no differently than, say, Macy’s, J.C. Penny or Ralphs Market. They are all products of the “private enterprise” system this country holds so dear and they should all rise and fall on their own dime.

It’s PUBLIC money and the profits will go to corporations and individuals while the red ink will become part of my tax bill. Use the money to put people to work on the city’s infrastructure and on shifting to a green economy

Because it is asinine to spend tax money for private business

This is about the stupidest, regressive thing I can think of.

provides revenue and employment

If spending for major construction projects generate jobs and economic impact then public is getting a better return for its investment then high priced bureaucrats holding 6 & 7 figure jobs

Taxpayer dollars should not be used to support multi-billion dollar sports enterprises.

If they want a new stadium – they can pay for it their own damn selves.

Because no publicly funded stadium has yet to turn a profit or come out of debt.

oppose-why subsidize the already rich

Scatrce public finds could be better directed to issues of mass poverty

The cost to the community is too high and the return is dubious at best

private profits shouldn’t be sponsored with public money

public pays for it and a private interest makes money on it

Why should the public be paying anything for this stuff?

Public money should not be used except for incidentals-street realignments,sewer upgrades etc- and only if it can be recouped by taxes & Fees

IF THE CORPORATION WANTS IT….LET THEM BUILD IT!

Get real- this sport has far too many injuries contributing to frontal lobe brain-damage. There are sports with fewer injuries of that magnitude, and there are other ways to make jobs for L.A.

Pro-sports, imo, condition people and players to participate in nationalist, thoughtless and militaristic activities.

pubic money should not be used unless the public is he team owner.

Not a money maker for the people of Los Angeles but rather a money maker for land developers and NFL team owners.

Support — construction jobs; organized labor support; civic identity. Oppose — no public ownership feature in return for public investment; Green Bay is the model, with real fan/public ownership for the investment.

Because the teams will make millions — why shouldn’t they invest their own money in their own stadium. The city doesn’t pay for facilities for other kinds of businesses, why for sports?

While I enjoy playing games, the passive act of watching and arbitrarily choosing one side over the other seems to have lost the purpose of what sports should be about- exercise and fun and not arbitrarily choosing one side over the other in a manner that reflects how are species has been seeing difference in each other to justify exploitation.

I oppose the use of public money to fund sporting facilities because it is another example of capitalists siphoning funds that could be used to benifit the 99%.

Professional sports are a for profit business. Public money should have nothing to do with creating an arena for professional sports.

Don’t we have more serious issues to attend to?

Professional sports should pay their own way.

There are many other more important programs more worthy of that money than a new sports arena.

We don’t need it. We should be supporting social services, medical clinics and schools.

Public dollars should not be used to support private sector business enterprises.

becuase the owners get rich thru public funding.

Sports franchises can be HUGE economic stimuli for local economies: restaurants, bars, retail, condo development, and JOB CREATION: ushers, ticket takers, private concessionaires (I was one for the GS Warriors but the fucking NBA is locked out.)

No public funds, subsidies, or subterfuges of any kind.

There is no public purpose served by providing tax money to private organizations like sports franchises.

Owners should spend private money to build entities that are for private profit

Using public money is a taxpayer ripoff.

This is a private business and should be built entirely by private funds. Business always complains about government supporting distressed individuals, yet holds their hands out for government money to support them. Hypocrisy!

Sports teams should be self supporting. Phsical exerciyse is wonderful but spectators sports are idiotic; public funds should be ues for public gyms and athletic fields.

If it is a publicly-owned stadium, I am completely in favor. If a private stadium subsidized by taxpayers i am completely opposed.

It contributes nothing to improving our standard of living; in fact it detracts from it.

I support the construction of a new pro football stadium because it will create employment for the residents living in the area.

I mildly support this project since, for me, will centralize sports and entertainment in the City of Los Angeles.

The general public should not be subsidizing private business. If the owner or owners of a sports team want I new stadium, then he, she or they should pay for it themselves.

There are many better uses for tax payer’s money

It’s a boondoggle that doesn’t benefit the majority of the people in the neighborhood.

Our taxes will build the thing, but LA won’t own the team and the return for our investment will be paltry.

Oppose. With people out of work and home, with poverty rates soaring, it is nuts to spend public money on a stadium for the purpose of private profit.

Why subsidize enterprenueurs when we’re laying off teachers, firefighters, cops and librarians?

+++++

4. What’s your favorite memory of a sporting event, either as a participant or observer?

Billie Jean King beating Bobby Riggs’ male chauvinist butt.

Being from Los Angeles it has to be, of course, no doubt, absolutely, no question about it, Kirk Gibson’s 9th inning, 2 out, full-count, game winning homerun in the 1988 World Series against Oakland. Wow. What baseball (and sports in general) is all about!

Watching a lazy game of baseball on a summer afternoon. Seeing my college team smush UCLA in football.

Probably baseball, basketball and Ali fights.

Volleyball at scout camp. It was fun.

Seeing the Niners play in Candlestick with my father when I was younger, before he died.

Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem.

1972 Munich Olympics. The Marathon in which an American won. Good news after terrorists killings.

Slalom ski racing as a participant. Winning one.

I once played tournament tennis on a regional level…

Our Foster boys learning valuable life lessons and moving ahead to become good American citizens .

Skiing…mastering a skill, engaging with changing conditions on the terrain, enjoying nature, covering more acreage on skiis than possible on foot.

Little League. I was at center field, age 12, and rushing in, I caught a fly ball that popped up just behind second base. I caught it, and stepped on second base, completing a solo double play. We retired the side, and then won the game. In that same game, I had batted my first (and only) over-the fence home run. In later years, I was always puzzled by why people cared about team sports, and why they cared about why one team triumphed over another, when they had not personally participated in the game.

1964 NFL championship game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Sky suites were open bleachers less than 500 yards from Lake Erie. Tickets were 5 or 6 bucks. Dr. Frank Ryan dissected the Baltimore defense with rainbows to Gary Collins and everyone in Cleveland was proud for a long time, and had something to share. We owned that team, and the players owned that community and there was a bond. Can’t happen now.

Son playing fball, loving it and growing in many ways

only the marching bands are cool.

I don’t really have one favorite memory. however running the 100 mtr.in under 10.9 and seeing Willy Mays play base ball would rank at the top.

America’s Cup or youth soccer

The Catch–Willie Mayz

Qualifying for the regionals in 400 meter fly.

I don’t have one. Oh, wait! I use to enjoy watching Sandy Koufax pitch for the L.A. Dodgers back in the day —because he was so cute!!

First tracks after a snowstorm on my local ski hill

Ok, I admit to watching the skating and dancing from time to time, and saw the women’s singles at the Salt Lake Olympics, but still, I would rather spend the same amount of time doing it myself.

anytime Stanford wins

competing in inter-collegiate football programs and the many lifelong friendships developed

I really can’t think of one since I’m not that much of a sports guy.

Playing 4 square in 8th grade.

My favorite memory of a sporting event. . . Leaving and going home.

The 63 yard field goal kicked by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints. I was there.

Watching my dad play professional baseball

many great times participating with friends

33 degrees below zero Raiders vs. Bills in Buffalo; coldest game in playoff history with my very understanding (frozen) wife

watching Sandy Koufax pitch his perfect game.

watching my daughter play AYSO soccer

No strong memories at all. I am sometimes amused by reruns of Cal’s Big Game “The Play”.

College Football & Basketball

The Olympics.

Gymanstics was fun, graceful and made me feel confident in my body.

1995 Rugby World Cup Final between New Zealand and South Africa. The first international sporting event after apartheid held in SA. I watched the game on a Saturday morning in a bar in Atlanta in the middle of a swarm of Kiwis and ex-pat Afrikaaners. That game was the subject of “Invictus” directed by Clint Eastwood.

Striking out seven batters in a row in little league when I was ten.

The only sport I care about is figure skating (yes, it’s a sport). My favorite memory was seeing the Worlds in person in L.A. a couple of years ago.

When Mohammed Ali stood up against the U.S. government and the war in Vietnam at the cost of his prime as a boxer. While I loved baseball as a kid, this was taken away from me by parents whose immature ego emphasized competition rather then the finesse of being exquisitely good at baseball. Another memory is beating somebody out in basketball only to be fouled or hurt by them in clear derogation of the rules and the game.

Playing unorganized football with my boyhood friends on a warm autumn day.

I hate sports

Watching my brother get 2nd place in a championship surfing competition.

“The Play,” which refers to the year when the Stanford band invaded the field before the clock had run out, allowing Cal to score and win the game. (Full disclosure: I am an alumnus of both schools.)

I enjoyed playing soccer as a child.

zero. I have no interest in spectator sports.

Playing tennis.

the thrilla in manilla

Memphis State’s trip to the 1973 NCAA Finals where they lost to Bill Walton and UCLA. The loss was painful, but the trip getting there was the sweetest of all time. G-d Bless Larry Finch (olev shalom) and Gene Bartow, a great great man facing severe health problems, and “one of the three men I admire most.”.

When I caught a pass in the backyard and slammed my face in a tree.

1968 Olympics when Carlos and Edwards raised the fists in protest of racism.

The red sox winning the 2004 ALCS

Hitting an iside the park homerun.

I have none. Watching sports is the most boring (non)activity I could imagine. Sports are for stupid people.

Completing a marathon and thinking it was silly.

I went to a Dodger game and got to see Jackie Robinson and Pee-Wee Reese. I was a huge fan since I was thrilled to see the racial barrier fall, and since I was short and played shortstop like Pee-Wee.

John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics raising the black power fist!

Attending the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

I was sitting within a few feet of the dugout when Reggie Jackson walked by me after his very last strikeout in his career. In other words, I witnessed Reggie Jackson’s last strikeout in his Hall of Fame career.

F! raceing – Mario Andreri’s win at Long Beach

Playing baseball as a child.

Attending and watching Mets games from 1984-1986 when the team gathered steam and then won the World Series.

The Super Bowel

1973 Belmont stakes. Secretariat is still the greatest athlete of my life.

Being with a girlfriend and drinking whiskey from a flask on a frosty football afternoon back east.

+++++

5. What does America’s preoccupation with sports say about our society?

We are unwilling to tackle real issues. If we spent as much time and energy on politics as “we” do on sports, the country would not have been sold out to Wall Streeet.

Some people need to get off their asses and get a life. But, hey, who doesn’t enjoy a good sporting contest?

It’s interesting how you frame the question, presupposing “preoccupation”.

I don’t watch much TV or Sports. Speaking on a spiritual note, this country has turned it’s back on God!!! Also, many have turned their backs on brotherly love, respect, honestly and humbleness in exchange for self, pride and greed.

The most entertained, and least informed, nation on the face of the earth.

Bread and circuses, I am sorry to say. But I still love my team, also sorry to say. Too many good family memories about games. My mom, in the nursing home, couldn’t talk, and yet she gestured to the nurse that she wanted to see the game…i can’t forget memories like that.

Sick thugs.

We’re more like the Romans in every way, bread and circuses to appease the masses and keep them from really contributing their talents.

Our society is one that obsesses on the sport games, wastes in incredible amount of time watching them on television, and elevating the players. I think it’s part of the war mentality played out on a game level.

THe Romans enjoyed the gladiators !

Too lazy (IMO) .

These questions are poorly worded. Some people, worldwide (the Irish, the Latin Americans, the Brits) are fond of spectator sports and often become violent at games. I don’t think the same is true of individual sports.

Short attention span. Escapism from the drudgery of protecting ourselves from the ever creeping domination of corporate greed and indifference. It says what every OWS and War headline says about our society. We have no society. We breed jackals and survivors because any child with intelligence knows by the age of 12 that there is no love or trust which cannot be put in play by predators with unlimited financial power. And, of course, the obvious, the pandemic fear of sexual inadequacy suffered by old thieves who know that whores and trophy wives can never really convince them that they are loved for anything except their balance sheets. Where is the smiley face icon? Have a nice day.

Nothing. Human obsession with sports pre-dates America

it says that we are worshiping false gods(sports)

I don’t see a preoccupation. There are a lot of folks that do not care at all about sports and some that care in varying degrees.

Bread & circus

It depends, otherwise–nothing.

Americans have their priorities mixed-up.

Nothing good.

Nothing.

Sounds like the Romans where the upper class fed the poor bread and circuses. Vicarious success on the playing field has led to over-emphasis on children winning when they should be having fun, funding for sports facilities taking precedence over education and health care, and leads to the win/lose aggressiveness that fuels racism, vengeful support for executions, the rise of the 1%, the blaming of the 99% for their suffering… need I go on?

Not a thing

Competitive sports is an excuse for most people to sit on their butts.

we’re not too focused on what really matters

We are mesmerized into being like sheep in that we accept w/o question any suggestion put forth without being able to determine the proposals worth

Sports, American Idol, the Kardashians, etc., etc. speak loudly about why we have so many problems in our society.

I hate sports! Very young children’s bodies are damaged for life. All those sports injuries that come home to roost later in life must surely cost our country billions of dollars. Values are misplaced. Think of the real needs that we have and the money wasted on athletes.

It says we’re a bunch of dimwits – entranced by a bunch of guys who are stuck in pre-adolescence, running around touching each other in intimate places. . .

I really cannot answer that.

We are easily distracted from the real issues-Michael Moore was right we are like the Roman Empire & the politicians know it

Sports in America is big money

We choose our political affiliations as we do our sports teams; on emotion rather than reason

bread and circuses ride again

Too much money in sports; and sports is being used in place of real news in the media.

It’s a society which encourages the masses of ordinary folk to be diverted from doing to watching, and from doing significant or self-fulfilling stuff (which participatory sports can be – but for a relatively few and mostly pre-adult participants) to harmless and oft-meaningless diversions. It’s a society that wrongly equates structured games to necessary physical fitness, and competition to necessary enterprise. It’s a society whose rhetoricians talk incessantly of ‘democracy’ but whose elites and constitutions ensure that there can be no real participatory democracy. The latter requires that ordinary citizens (at least those interested and willing) be empowered to make deliberative decisions on public policy and laws. -

no worse than anywhere else

WE’VE BEEN COMPERMIZES!

Sports, the Arts- in their positive form show the best an individual can do with their given talents.

We are too easily led to adore heroes uncritically, become polarized and to give up opportunities to participate in group activities that make us feel connected, valued and useful.

Escapist psychology. We place inordinate hopes and dreams on teams and athletes to fill the void in our personal lives. Much of that void has to do with the moral and social decay that is taking place around the world. As a former sport addict and jock I used to think much more good came from sport than bad. As a participant that was true for me. However, today I’m not so sure anymore given the overemphasis we put on the games we play, our need to have our favorites win those games and media mad TV sports coverage. The games we play have an infrastructure now as complex as our national economy not just in America but throughout the world. I’ve re-assessed my involvement in our sport culture. I no longer watch the games I love because they have become corrupted by money, over-the-top competitiveness and the myopia exhibited by large universities across the nation. Sport has become a corporate sponsored palliative that deadens our sensitivity to the important issues. I stopped watching before the PSU scandal and it has only added to my resolve to abstain.

What does Brazil’s preoccupation with soccer, Cuba’s and Venezuela’s pre-ccuption with baseball, Scandanavia’s pre-ccupation with skiing, skating, etc. say about those societies ? Participation and observing athletic events appears to be a universal feature of human life.

It mirrors the violence and tribal aspects of modern society. It’s a sickness.

To a large extent, we have become a passive observer society where the social act of sports is no longer the game, but rather a bunch of overweight men sitting around a television.

I believe that spectator sports are thinly veiled “gladitorial murder” and the plutocracy profits monetarily from athletics as well as giving the public “bread and circuses” though there is less of an emphasis on bread than there was among the Romans.

That we are stupid.

Our priorities are very skewed. Professional athletes for the most part make way too much money for what they do. It is part of the “cult of celebrity”.

Other countries where I have lived or know well are also preoccupied with sports, but only the US allows them to dominate education, to the detriment of the quality of the education, at all levels.

I’m constantly amazed at how the average sports fan can read off the stats and specs of their favorite team or player, but if you ask them how the latest supreme court decision will affect their lives all you get is a blank stare, or a “huh?’.

stupid

We are shallow and our value system is weak.

we are couch potatoes

We like games, competition, winning and camaraderie We used to like colorful uniforms until this nasty infatuation with black swept the country. If you can’t play, it’s fun to watch – WE LIKE TO WATCH! We love our diversions from work, stress and grief. We love watching what we can’t do or never could. Ballet is sport too.

It partially accounts for the U.S.’s low standings among the world’s educational achievements.

False values BUT sports do unify communities regardless of differences.

Entertainment is a powerful seduction and safety valve.

Replaces thinking.

A lot of Americans are stupid and spend inordinate amount of time on the couch or in the bar watching extremely overpaid professional athletes who don’t care who is watching or if they are watching.

We are isolated from one another

We are a celebrity culture, mainly, given too much to being spectators. But sports can be terrific: a way to promote healthy bodies and to fight obesity as well as to one arena where skill, not money, can potentially be the major factor for success.

Our society has lost its way.

Americans don’t want to face the harsh realities of everyday life. They do not want to confront societal problems head on. They prefer to occupy the dens and imagine themselves always as a winner.

It’s the new opiate of the people.

That the rich and powerful have successfully distracted the general public from being concerned with their overall well being.

Well, it’s better than bullfighting, or cock fighting or gladiators, or war, if people must have an outlet for their competitiveness, but it seems kind of a childish preoccupation that’s being exploited by some to make huge amounts of money.

We are easily distracted from much more urgent issues.

We are like the ROMAN masses entertained by infotainment provided by those who exploit us and want to pacifiy us

It is two edged. On the one hand, it gives people a few hours of relief from their personal problems; on the other hand, it is a way to program people to root for the home team which in U.S. interventions means the military, the pentagon and the White House.

I’m in the arts community, and most of us don’t give a s**t about sports.

Published by the LA Progressive on November 25, 2011
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About Dick Price

Dick Price is Editor of the LA Progressive. With his wife Sharon, he publishes several other print and online newsletters on political and social justice issues. He has worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and publisher for a quarter century. In earlier releases, he was a cab driver, bartender, construction worker, soldier, and farmhand, and for many years helped operate a nonprofit halfway house for homeless alcoholics and addicts. To contact him, please use the form on the Contact Us page.