The latest example is bullying, hazing and fraternity hijinks in locker rooms, behavior more suitable to school boys than professional athletes. Coaches of any sport at any level should not tolerate such antics.
Richie Incognito, racist bully, sought to harden Jonathan Martin, fellow offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, because he was a classics major and viola player who attended brainy Stanford. After two seasons, Martin got fed up and quit.
The New York Times reported in a page one story that young NFL players are subjected to a variety of indignities, “carrying teammates’ equipment off the field, forced to sing or otherwise entertain teammates and asked to bring sandwiches or fast food to teammates.”
“Many teams require rookies to pay the bill at annual steakhouse dinners with free-flowing liquor, where tabs run into the tens of thousands of dollars,” the Times reported. “Martin was pressured to pay $15,000 toward a trip to Las Vegas that he did not attend.”
Jon Wertheim, writing in Sports Illustrated, observed: “This is a quintessentially American creation, a stew of sports, manhood, tribalism and ostracism with race as a garnish.”
That culture, deeply engrained in sports, is deeply wrong.
Iran deal draws flack.
President Obama seldom does anything right but when he does he is buffeted by Congress and Israel.
The “right thing”: Obama secured a groundbreaking interim deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Opposition was swift.
The usually liberal Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the proposal yields too much to the Islamic regime while asking too little.
Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Netanyahu is opposed to any dealings with Iran. His opposition shows that Secretary of State John Kerry is on frequent fool’s errands with his efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel simply does not want peace. It keeps building settlements on Palestinian soil with impunity despite condemnation from the world (except for America and Israel).
Iranian hostility to America began in 1953 with the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadegh in a coup engineered by the CIA. His “crime”: nationalizing the oil industry. As is so often the case, the United States was on the wrong side.
After the coup, the Shah reigned as a dictator for three decades. The CIA recently admitted the overthrow was “an act of foreign policy.”
Another negative view of Iran was promulgated by President Bush II, who labeled Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” The media, as usual, exacerbated the situation by calling the Iranian government a “scheming theocracy” of “two-faced Persians.”
Before that, Ronald Reagan, California governor running for president in 1980, committed treason to defeat President Jimmy Carter’s bid for re-election.
Carter got an agreement from Iranian President Bani-Sadr to release 52 hostages held by students at the American Embassy in Tehran. Behind Carter’s back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iranian militants, to hold the hostages until after the election.
This was a despicable “October Surprise” in presidential elections. Iran released the hostages Jan. 20, 1981, the day Reagan was sworn in as president.
As John Harington, courtier and author in the Elizabethan Age, noted sardonically: “If treason prosper, none dare call it treason.”
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.