by Stephen Lendman
(RINF) – Amateur and professional sports are big business. It’s no surprise they’re rife with corruption. With billions of dollars at stake, anything goes, most often unaccountably.
Organized crime is involved. Crooked deals take place behind closed doors.
Corruption has many forms – including bribes, kickbacks, rigged construction bids, money laundering, front companies, exploitation of amateur athletes, and lots more.
Big-time US college sports are notoriously corrupt. Runaway commercialism is pervasive. Schools sell their souls for lucrative advertiser sponsorships, television contracts, ticket, concession and merchandise sales, licensing fees and other revenue sources.
Young student athletes are exploited – used, unpaid, mostly uneducated, and unprepared for life after school except for a tiny percentage able to play professionally for pay.
America’s National Football League is a multi-billion dollar industry able to get away with virtually anything. Like banks too big to fail, the NFL is too popular to have its serious abuses addressed and changed.
Concern for player safety is more rhetoric than practice. Powerful bodies smashing into each other is like experiencing car crashes at times.
Playing too many games with too little recovery time in between leaves most athletes with permanent lifetime disabilities when retire – often after a few years or less because of broken bodies, including head trauma from frequent concussions.
This writer knew a former Philadelphia Eagle lineman years ago. He was “wracked up” in less than one professional year, partly disabled, operating a small used car lot for income.
Any business as big as NFL football is rife with the same kind of corruption tainting other sports – amateur and professional, including getting taxpayers to pay for hugely expensive stadiums, a clear example of grand theft.
FIFA corruption is longstanding. It’s in the eye of the storm – but not because of unsavory practices, legal or illegal.
If America’s Justice Department wanted to clean up sports, professional and amateur, it would start at home. Instead it targeted FIFA extrajudicially. Two other articles explained – here and here.
Indictments against 14 current and former FIFA officials were made for political reasons, not criminality.
America’s media scoundrels reacted as expected – ignoring huge wrongdoing at home, piling on the political offensive against FIFA.
“FIFA’s Corruption Stains World Soccer,” headlined New York Times editors. Ever hear them take on bankster high crimes, other corporate crooks, or a mega-corrupt predatory capitalist system benefitting elite few hugely at the expense of most others.
Instead they bashed FIFA awarding World Cup host city honors to Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively. They called them “puzzling…immediately rais(ing) suspicion of foul play when announced in December 2010.”
They cited social media “consensus (that the) arrests (were) long overdue.” They ignored Washington’s Justice Department indicting foreign nationals extrajudicially.
They’re not US citizens. They don’t live in America. DOJ has no legal authority to target them. Don’t expect Times editors to explain.
They overstepped calling for “the immediate ouster of Mr. Blatter and the restructuring of FIFA.” They urged reconsideration of awarding Russia and Qatar host city honors.
Ever hear them call for “the immediate ouster” of Wall Street mega-crook CEO’s? Or demand hugely corrupt US college and professional sports be cleaned up – including prosecuting culpable officials?
Washington Post editors piled on FIFA like their Times counterparts – headlining “FIFA’s ugly stains on the beautiful game.”
They praised Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s lawless indictments. They bashed “FIFA’s choice of Vladimir Putin’s increasingly aggressive and repressive Russia over” Western nations. And Qatar over America, Australia and a joint Japanese/South Korean bid.
They largely pronounced FIFA officials guilty by accusation – saying “many presumed (their involvement in) bribery…”
They want host nation awards to Russia and Qatar rescinded. Reopen the bidding they said. Imagine their outrage if outsiders demanded new choices to run WaPo.
Wall Street Journal editors called DOJ indictments the “least surprising (ones) ever.”
They claimed they’re OK because FIFA officials have occasional meetings in America.
US transnational corporate executives have meetings in many countries worldwide. It doesn’t grant authorities in those nations the right to indict and arrest them unless crimes were committed in their territory.
America operates by its own rules. “Kudos to the Justice Department and new Attorney General Loretta Lynch,” said Journal editors.
Would they applaud with equal vigor the arrests, indictments and detentions of Wall Street mega-crooks? Would they demand they be held fully responsible for decades of grand theft?
Would they insist banks too big to fail be broken up – or better still closed down entirely? Would they call for putting an end to Wall Street fleecing America?
Would they demand capital’s divine right no longer be tolerated? Would they endorse people empowerment over profits?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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