Values in sports

Michael Vick was suspended from the NFL and sent to prison for  bankrolling a dogfighting ring.  Ray Rice was given a two-game suspension (until the public outrage was perceptible even to the Ravens and NFL honchos) and a wrist-slap in court  for punching his girlfriend out.

Why the disparity? Could it be because Vick was abusing highly trained athletes who excel at a violent sport?

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

3 thoughts on “Values in sports”

  1. Uh, no. Domestic violence is treated less seriously than animal abuse in every court in the nation. Although, dogs rarely lie to get the upper hand in custody disputes. So… It’s complicated.

  2. She's already apologized for her role in this whole unfortunate misunderstanding. Ergo, it has nothing to do with adorable puppies. Silly man.

  3. Funny you should mention this. I am no expert in domestic violence treatment, though I have no doubt they exist. I must say, I am quite dubious that throwing the man out of work was the right solution. As a long term sadsack unemployed person, I can say that I very much doubt that yanking the rug out from under him is going to help.

    Whereas, I think a stricter criminal sanction would have been appropriate. (Weirdly, I seem to recall reading that the prosecutor also charged the fiance(e?) with something too. Whatever.) Serious ongoing therapy and a nice big fine — if this is a first time thing? — (that, had he a job, he'd be able to pay…) might have helped. (I have a bs theory that your average abuser probably fears therapy much more than jail. Just a theory.) Now? Who can say. Well, someone probably can but not me.

    Plus, how is it fair to the woman involved to be putting her video all over the telly? As someone who values privacy, I'm a bit appalled. Again, does this help? Do I really need to see it? Can't someone just say, "he knocked her unconscious?" How does that sentence somehow leave me without enough information?

    I think the prosecutor bleeped up much worse than the NFL, which after all, is in the *business* of violence. That is what football is (in addition to being fine entertainment). And we're all sooooo angry at the NFL. It makes not much sense.

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