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What Kain Colter Really Learned At Northwestern

When Kain Colter called for Northwestern football players to unionize in early 2014, he cited his experiences in my class, “Field Studies in the Modern Workplace,” as the turning point in his thinking on the status of NCAA “student-athletes” (or “workers,” depending on one’s interpretation). The idea to establish a… » 8/21/15 1:40pm 8/21/15 1:40pm

Camden Yards Workers Screwed Over Yet Again

The other day, the Baltimore Orioles got lots of positive press by announcing that stadium staffers would be compensated for wages lost while a state of emergency was declared in the city. Two home games were canceled, another was played at an empty Camden Yards, and three others were moved to Tampa Bay as anger over… » 5/14/15 1:14pm 5/14/15 1:14pm

Qatar Pays Migrant Workers $1 an Hour To Be Fake Sports Fans

The life of most migrant workers in Qatar is bleak—so bleak, it's a human rights violation. The latest report from Doha reveals a new twist in the sad story. When they're not toiling away at building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, many workers are being paid impossibly small wages to be fake sports fans. It doesn't… » 12/17/14 2:18pm 12/17/14 2:18pm

Major League Baseball's War On Drugs Is An Immoral Shitshow

Major league ballplayers should never have agreed to drug testing. They should have told any handwringing writer who had anything to say about it to fuck right off, and they should have said the same to any handwringing politician who wanted to do something about it. They should have made clear that they would go on… » 1/14/14 6:53pm 1/14/14 6:53pm

Marvin Miller, The Man Who Beat Some Sense Into Baseball

He was in the phone book. That's the thing that always got me about Marvin Miller, the former head of the MLB players association and the man who pulled baseball out of its crude prehistory. You expect your heroes to be unlisted. You don't expect to find one of them in the white pages, right there between a Marva and… » 11/28/12 5:45pm 11/28/12 5:45pm

Someone Is Actually Sticking Up For The NFL In This Labor Deal Mess

It was bound to happen. Call it Murphy's Law of Contrarian Journalism. Two weeks back, it was ESPN's Darren Rovell looking to blame the NHL lockout on "die-hard fans," and now Ashley Fox, his colleague at the WWL, has stepped her toe into the shitstorm that erupted Monday night. Seems we've really all got it wrong… » 9/25/12 10:50pm 9/25/12 10:50pm

Minor League Baseball: The Last Bastion Of Acceptable Exploitation In Professional Sports (Not Counting The NCAA)

For every top-flight prospect apprenticing in the minors after receiving a multi-million dollar signing bonus, hundreds of players are drafted every year and get $1,000, tops. Salaries start at $1,100 a month, and the checks only come for half a year. As Lily Rothman says over at Slate, most of these players are… » 4/03/12 3:35pm 4/03/12 3:35pm

MLB's New Draft Rules, Designed To Increase Competitive Balance, Help Kill It

Major League Baseball and the players' union inked a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement today, and that's all well and good. We won't have another 1994, at least not for a while, and, yes, you can hear NBA fans groaning in the corner over there. There will be plenty of baseball. And, if you care, it will… » 11/22/11 6:15pm 11/22/11 6:15pm