EDITORIALS: NBA lockout, Qaddafi’s Death

IS LOCKOUT AN OUTGROWTH OF OCCUPY MOVEMENT?

In American cities nationwide, citizens are taking to the streets and  clamoring that, among other problems, the United States is being dominated by corporate greed.

This themes of this movement also seems to be visible in the sports arena with the current NBA lockout, not to mention the recent NFL lockout that ended this summer.

Basically what’s happening is that NBA owners are getting greedy and want to reduce the amount of income actually given to basketball players.

And until both sides can come to an agreement, all professional basketball in the country is suspended.

At first, people might draw parallels between the lockout and the Occupy movement.

Just like common citizens are denouncing the greed of large corporations, the players are clamoring for their just desserts from the team owners.

But when you really look at it, it’s just about the most pathetic thing you could ever hear in the news.

In the Occupy movement, poor, underpaid and unemployed citizens  are taking to the streets. In the lockout, there’s just a bunch of multimillionaire players bickering with billionaire owners over who gets more money.

It’s incidents like this lockout that show the deplorable state of American sports.

Since sports franchises are mostly owned by weathly individuals – the publicly owned Green Bay Packers are one exception that come to mind – fans find themselves in nothing more than a consumer-seller relationship.

Teams are essentially just companies and money-machines that are mostly concerned with one thing: profit.

In fact, they’re just about the most efficient type of profiteer around. Once fans get addicted to their teams, they don’t care about the price of tickets to attend the games.

Teams earn more than enough just from ticket sales alone, but that’s not enough.  They also want your money for their overpriced concessions and merchandise.

When you watch San Francisco Giants games on TV, all 40,000-plus attendants are wearing one or more articles of team gear. The team gets a percent of the sales from every one of those $60 jerseys.

And let’s not forget the millions in profits teams bring in from advertising.

Owners of NBA and other sports franchises usually make annual profits in the hundreds of millions, according to Forbes.com.

It’s hard to imagine why owners need more money.

The fundamental argument of Occupy Wall Street is that the richest one percent of Americans are getting richer, while the common citizens are further wallowing in unemployment and poverty.

One couldn’t help wondering with the unbridled profiteering of sports teams in America, that maybe they could also be contributing to this widening income gap.

WORLD MORE DEMOCRATIC WITH QADDAFI’S DEATH

What started as a small riot in Northern Africa turned into an epic movement that has been responsible for regime changes in Tunisia, Egypt and now, with the recent death of Muamar Qaddafi, Libya as well.

When rebel troops invaded Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown and the last bastion of his regime, they found the disgraced military dictator hiding in a drainpipe.

The gruesome videos and pictures of the rebels killing Qaddafi and parading his corpse through the streets of a now-free Libya, however unpalatable, proved to be the lasting images of the success of the Libyan people in ousting a man whose regime was charged with crimes against humanity.

By toppling the government that had caused them so much pain, the people of Libya, for the first time in 40 years, raised their voices and took democracy into their own hands.

The National Transitional Council, the body that is currently running Libya, has charted a democratic course, but it will take time to fully prove successful.

Just as it was for America, fresh off the heels of her revolutionary victory against Britain, the coming moths will set the tone for the still uncertain future of this newly liberated county as the people will attempt to construct a government that is powered by public opinion and participation, as opposed to oppression and fear.

The strength of the Libyan, Tunisian, Egyptian and South Sudanese people and the actions they undertook, amazing as they were, was the easy part.

America, France, and Britain can no longer assist the people of North Africa as they did in the past months, through military and tactical assistance. Any future progress to be made must come directly from the people themselves.

The Arab Spring, the term given to the last year of political and social upheaval, is nearing its end, and the recent success of the Libyan people marks the end of violence,

But the battle against oppression and injustice is far from over.  The coming months will rewrite history as the once silenced people of Africa will have an unprecedented say in rebuilding their nation.

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