The Hypocrisy of it All

by Lou on May 8, 2007

As expected, Barney Frank’s proposed legislation to de-claw the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was strongly opposed by a group of sports organizations that included the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA.)

In a hypocritical letter from Rich Buchanan, vice president and general counsel of the NBA and William Daly, deputy commissioner of the National Hockey League, to the House Financial Services Committee that Frank chairs, the coalition wrote, “We write to thank this Committee for its leadership in the last Congress in enacting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and urge the Committee to reject proposals to reverse itself on the issue.”
The letter stated that betting on sports can “corrupt athlete’s contests or create the appearance of corruption.” They went on to say, “Our sports organizations would very strongly oppose any effort to legalize any online sports gambling.”

I’m glad to report that I’m not the only person to see the blatant double-standard hypocrisy in their stance.

TheHill.com reported last week that Tom Lizardo, chief of staff to Financial Services panel member Ron Paul (R-TX) replied to the letter this way: “Please don’t tell me something about the altruism of professional sports, especially the NFL. Maybe they could spend a bit more time and effort making sure your retired players are not living in poverty with the billions you make on the Super bowl.”

TheHill.com also reported that UIGEA’s critics complained about fantasy sports leagues being allowed to operate, which resemble sports betting so closely. One industry lobbyist is quoted as saying: “The fantasy leagues not only produce millions of dollars for Major League Baseball; they also stir interest in baseball, football and other sports.”
And while we’re at it, if gambling online is bad, why is horseracing exempt, and if gambling in general is bad, why do the majority of states allow some form of it, and why are state governments themselves deeply involved in promoting gaming through lotteries?

I think it’s time for the hypocrites in professional sports to shut up, sit down, and start over.

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