Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mitchell Report coverage

Here I am, two days in a row, writing about baseball though I care very little for it.

And even though I don't feel the need to blog about major stories in mainstream sports, I try to address the ones that are relevant in ways that fall under the (somewhat abstract) purview of this blog.

The mission of Sports Law Blog, from what I can discern from the title and description, is to write about issues that pertain to sport and law. Or as the authors put it "all things legal relating to the sports world..."

This is what one finds when one does a search of the blog using the term "Mitchell." Seems reasonable. This is big news. The bloggers have some very strong opinions on it. They are adding to the growing discourse. It is certainly about sport and there are legal implications and analysis one can engage with.

This is what one finds when one searches the blog using the term "Fresno." Don't bother scrolling all the way down; there's nothing there. The Fresno State cases--note the plural--have been big news. Last week's jury award of over $19 million to former basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein who was the third employee to successfully bring a gender discrimination claim against Fresno State made international news. (Seriously, I saw a story in a French paper about it.) No one at Sports Law Blog wrote about the verdict or any of the past cases. These are actual cases that went to trial or settled. They involved legal procedures. Many posts over at SLB merely provide a legal analysis of a situation that is not even in the judicial system, which, I am not saying, does not fit their scope--it does. But it just seems to me that you would want to cover an actual trial.

So I am not blogging about baseball per se, but rather the coverage of it, using the Mitchell Report as an example of how much attention we, as an American society pay to this sport--to the exclusion of other, pertinent topics--just within sport itself. This report is something that is unlikely to result in specific charges being brought against specific players, trainers, owners, etc. It was an extensive exercise that is supposed to bring about change in professional baseball in regards to doping. As I noted yesterday, there doesn't seem to be a need to change any kind of public percpetion since all the fans plan on sticking around regardless. But it is not legally binding. Baseball does not have to change anything.

Fresno State is being compelled to change its ways. Sure, it does not have to; but how many more millions of dollars are the tax payers of California going to let Fresno administrators waste because they can't seem to wrap their heads around this concept of gender equity?

And how long will the folks over at Sports Law Blog be allowed to claim they cover "all things legal about the sports world" and not include women in that world?

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