Okay, I can hear you saying, “Good one — that’s the hot take to end all hot takes.” But is it? What, precisely, do sports owners provide? They don’t inject capital into the teams — North American professional sprots are protected industries. Money is provided by the cartel like nature of the business. Once you are in, you are essentially guaranteed to make money and every major sport has some variation of a salary cap, ensuring you cannot spend your way to insolvency even if you wanted to. No owner invented the sport or the business model — they are long established, with most of the rise in revenues and team value being driven by the fact that television and entertainment are fragmented, and they have the only live events that the public cares about. Team owners meddling almost always makes the team worse. I am a Cowboy fan –ask me what its like to have the owner think he’s a competent general manger. It’s not good.
And the owners certainly don’t make the sport look good:
On Wednesday night, Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz gravely embarrassed himself and his team at a town hall event at the United Center. Mark Lazerus of The Athletic directed a question to Wirtz’s son, team CEO Danny Wirtz, about what steps the Blackhawks were taking to empower players in the wake of the Kyle Beach story. Rather than respond with any sort of consideration or information, Wirtz père jumped in and told Lazerus, “I don’t think it’s any of your business. You don’t work for the company. If somebody in the company asks that question, we’ll answer it. And I think you should get on to the next subject. We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach. We’re not going to talk about anything that happened. Now we’re moving on.”Rocky Wirtz’s Meltdown and the Illusion of Sports-Owner Accountability – The Ringer
The NBA announced Tuesday it suspended Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver for a year and fined him $10 million after verifying allegations of racism, sexism and other workplace violations.
The decision follows an independent investigation that found Sarver, who also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, engaged in conduct that “included the use of racially insensitive language; unequal treatment of female employees; sex-related statements and conduct; and harsh treatment of employees that on occasion constituted bullying.”NBA Suspends Phoenix Suns Owner Over Racism, Sexism Findings | HuffPost Sports
Not even a tiny little bit
Snyder, who has not been involved in day-to-day operations with the Washington Commanders since July 2021, is the subject of two more investigations looking into alleged misconduct. Mary Jo White, a former SEC chairwoman, is leading the investigations.
The NFL famously decided not to release a written report following a year-long investigation by Beth Wilkinson into workplace misconduct. The league fined Snyder $10 million, and he has not represented the team at league meetings or been involved in the day-to-day operations since.
The league said in February it would release a written report from White once complete. The first allegation centers on former team employee Tiffani Johnston, who alleged Snyder sexually harassed her at a work dinner in 2005 or 2006. The other investigation is looking into alleged financial improprieties regarding Washington’s ticket revenue.How Commanders owner Dan Snyder and the NFL’s investigation could be impacted by Robert Sarver’s sale of Suns – CBSSports.com
Not even a little … you get the point
Four estranged adult children of Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini have all alleged that he physically and psychologically abused them when they were young, a B.C. Supreme Court judge heard Tuesday.
The disturbing allegations came to light during a hearing over whether Aquilini is obliged to continue paying child support and covering university expenses for three of his children. They include claims he beat a sleeping child and threw a five-year-old across a bedroom.Children of Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini say he beat and psychologically abused them, court hears | CBC News
The Green Bay Packers never seem to have these kinds of problems is all I’m saying.
Of course, outrages happen in publicly controlled institutions as well. Just look at Jim Jordan or USA Gymnastics or Hockey Canada. But at least in those cases, there is some hope of systematic change when the issues are brough to light. Having public control brings those organizations closer to accountability.
And there is no guarantee that publicly controlled teams won’t build white elephant stadiums — but if they do, at least all the profits will go to the local government. And wouldn’t it be awesome if general manager was an elected position? This rebuild better work, Davidson, or we’re coming for you ….
Seriously, what is the downside to this? We are already spending stupid amounts of money to build most of these teams stadiums that we won’t see the benefits from. Let’s just cut out these parasites, take over the teams, and run them as they should be run — as public trusts. And if the local budget gets too bad in Buffalo, say? Well, I’m sure Toronto would pay a hefty fee for the Bills ….