Baltimore Orioles: Is the sports system immoral or unfair?
One term I hear a lot from fans of the Baltimore Orioles and other franchises is the term on-field product. I’ve said this before, but sports isn’t a product – it’s a game. However the more we hear that term, the more fans (especially younger fans) are going to treat it like a product.
Point here being, if you don’t like Coca-Cola (first off you must be crazy because it’s the greatest soda of all time!), you can switch to Pepsi. If you don’t like Marriotts, you can switch to Hiltons. You get the idea. Those are products.
And yes, if rooting for one team isn’t working out for you, there’s no reason you can’t switch. But most people grew up rooting for the team at hand, and it’s tough to just drop them. But if you treat sports like a product, that makes it a lot easier. And hey, the league’s still happy because you’re still supporting it – just in the form of another team.
And this article published earlier this week by CBS Sports kind of delves into sports fans’ senses of entitlement. I suspect that a lot of fans out there are now conditioned to feel that they deserve a winning team. And that’s because society’s taught people that over time. But there’s more to it than just that – it’s an interesting read, and I’d recommend clicking the link I provided and taking a look for yourself.
But this doesn’t all fall on the fans. After all, they (you) are in fact paying customers. Do the leagues and teams themselves take things too far? If there weren’t drafts, would that not benefit players themselves more so given that in theory they could play wherever they wanted?
And my answer to that is no. Look at the Lonzo Ball situation in the NBA. It’s a total fiasco, and his old man needs to stay out of things. That part goes without saying. But keep in mind that his Dad basically said that the only acceptable landing spot for his son was the Lakers. So in the absence of a draft, you’d have a lot of players picking their favorite or hometown teams exclusively. Nobody else would have a chance.
At the end of the day, it’s tough to feel badly for athletes even who make their league’s minimum. In MLB and the NFL, that’s somewhere between $400-$500K per season. However it’s also tough to feel badly for fans who think that the price of admission should mean that they get to see a winning team. So is the system unfair? No.