Socializing Debt in Sports, While Privatizing Profit

Socializing Debt in Sports, While Privatizing Profit

Socializing Debt in Sports, While Privatizing Profit

It’s not about the $6 hot dogs, the $9 beers or the tickets you have to get a loan for. It’s about insane amount of tax dollars and corporate welfare that goes into American sports right now.

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"In England, and Europe as a whole, they view owners as caretakers of their team," Nation editor Dave Zirin tells Morning Joe. "Here in this country—far to often—fans view it as, well it’s the owner’s team and they give us the privilege of going to watch." Zirin’s new book, Bad Sports, challenges this entire power relationship. Zirin says it’s not about the $6 hot dogs, the tickets you have to get a loan for your family if you want to go to a game, or the $9 beers. "It’s about the insane amount of tax dollars and corporate welfare that goes into American sports right now." As Art Modell said while he was the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, “When you have a room of NFL owners, it’s 32 capitalists who act like they’re socialists.”

Zirin explains that America is socializing the debt of sports, while privatizing the profits. “If public money goes into a team, I think the public should, at the very least, afford tickets, but at the very most have a piece of the team as well," he says. A year ago in DC, the metro went off the tracks killing nine people. Later, people found out that some of those trains hadn’t been refurbished since the Carter administration. Zirin says, that same year, a billion dollar publicly funded stadium was built in the city. The same thing occured in Minnesota in 2008, when the same week the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed (killing 13 people), they were going to break ground on the new $300 million publicly funded twin stadium that the people had rejected in 6 separate referendums. Zirin cites that "mister fiscal responsibility himself, Tim Pawlenty" signed off on it. “The amount of political hypocrisy here is unbelievable.”

-Melanie Breault
 

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