Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 -- Washington, D.C. -- ABC Bureau Studios -- The debut of Pardon the Interruption in high definition with co-hosts Tony Kornheiser (l) and Michael Wilbon
By Jon Rappoport
October 13, 2017
I write this article because there is a pernicious new understanding loose in the land: private property doesn’t exist, no individual owns anything, and “everything belongs to everybody.” It’s basically a Marxist view, to the degree that Marx’s gibberish can be understood.
Over at ESPN, vaunted show host, Mike Wilbon, weighed in on Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who announced that any of his players who didn’t stand up for the National Anthem would be benched.
Wilbon: “He [Jones] said he wanted to honor the Anthem…But now it just seems like it was as phony as a three-dollar bill. And the word that comes to mind, and I don’t care who doesn’t like me using it, is ‘plantation.'”
Wilbon characterized Jones’ feelings as follows: “The players are here to serve me, and they will do what I want no matter how much I pay them. They are not equal to me.”
The next day, Wilbon doubled down: “I was critical of Jerry Jones yesterday, I used the phrase ‘plantation mentality.’ Let me repeat it: ‘plantation mentality.’ That’s what it comes off as.”
I see. Jerry Jones is the slaveowner. Some of his players are millionaires. They’re the slaves, because Jones says they can’t play if they won’t stand up for the Anthem at games.
Apparently, Wilbon thinks the owner of a company should have no control over what his employees do ON COMPANY TIME. If employees want to sit in the lobby at eleven in the morning on a Tuesday and put on a recording of the National Anthem and kneel, the owner has no right to intercede. He has no right to spell out consequences.
Maybe Wilbon thinks the NFL is a public utility owned and operated by the federal government.
Wilbon says the Cowboys owner doesn’t think his players are equal to him. Well, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COMPANY, of course that’s what Jones thinks. He’s the boss. The players work for him. Is there something about that relationship Wilbon doesn’t understand?
Does Wilbon think a pro football game is a public event, like the signing of a bill by the President? His network, ESPN, pays a fortune for the right to broadcast NFL games. Advertisers, in turn, fork over huge sums to ESPN. Sounds quite similar to BUSINESS.
In case there is any doubt, Jerry Jones isn’t saying his players can’t hold press conferences on their own time, beyond team property, and express their views on the Anthem, America, or police brutality against black people.
Wilbon obviously confuses the public and private sector. Despite the fact that advertising dollars pay his salary—which ought to be a clue—he views a football game as devoid of private ownership. He should check the ad rates for the Super Bowl.
Perhaps Wilbon, like many other people, sees the NFL as a “national institution.” Therefore, curtailing the absolute right to kneel during the anthem violates “a public trust.” Such murky ideas are popular these days, because the bedrock concept of private property and ownership has faded away.
And no, I’m not talking about football players as private property; I’m talking about NFL teams. They’re companies, and they have owners and buildings and fields and stadiums and merchandise.
If these teams manage to bamboozle government entities into paying for stadiums with taxpayer dollars, fans should organize boycotts.
A few weeks ago, there was a flurry of opinion-articles claiming the NFL is a non-profit entity which, outrageously, doesn’t pay taxes. That is incorrect. The teams are profit-making businesses, obligated to pay taxes. The NFL league office was a non-profit, until 2015. It isn’t anymore. Now here’s a story: Wilbon might want to look into the NFL Commissioner’s salary, during the years when the league office was a non-profit. Fifteen million a year? Twenty? Thirty? That’s ridiculous.
Anyway, back to business. As in competition. If a handful of billionaires want to start their own pro football league, and go up against the NFL, they can certainly give it a try. No one is stopping them. All the rules of ownership and private property apply. Perhaps the owners of the new teams in the new league can demand all their players kneel during the National Anthem. See how that goes over. See how that sells. The owners can call their league Progressive American Football. After every change of possession on the field, the team with the ball must move to the Left (on television screens). Why not?
On the other hand, those billionaires could shift to the Right. Call their new league American Patriot Football. Before each game, there would a half-hour parade featuring hundreds of heavily militarized cops in full armament marching up and down. On big screens, old footage from wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama, Grenada, Libya. Play the Anthem seven times in a row before kickoff. Make Dick Cheney the Commissioner.
Or start a Radical Green League. No tackling. Only touching. Each team must have at least seven women in the starting lineup. In all stadiums before kickoff, televise Al Gore giving a speech about how he made a billion dollars fronting for global warming and the end of the world. Vendors sell tofu dogs, sparkling water from the Himalayas. Every player gets a trophy every Sunday. At halftime, burn the American flag on the 50-yard line.
The CNN League. The players work for CNN. There is a field, but no games. The players just stand there and scream about Trump for three hours.
If these new leagues can’t get television contracts, broadcast the games online.
But in each case, owners own the teams. Get it? They don’t own the players, they employ them. They can set rules for what happens on company time. It’s fairly simple. If the employees don’t like the rules, they can quit.
A few NFL players have done that. Of course, their reason was avoiding getting their skulls dented and waking up one day unsure of their name.
Football. Gotta love it.