Monday, 9 July 2012

Two reads from Grantland

1) Our own Gabe Feldman breaks down the lawsuits brought by the Saints players challenging their suspensions for the bounty program.

2) Louisa Thomas has lovely essay on Title IX and women's tennis in the wake of the just-completed Wimbledon and the upcoming Olympics (coincidentally enough, in London).

One quick comment on Thomas's discussion of the failure of women's professional leagues.
But we somewhat have to think of this as the simple accident of history and timing. Women's professional leagues are trying to catch on at a time when professional sports are big, relatively successful businesses in which the athletes make a living as athletes. This creates an expectation that any women's league must make money right away to be sustainable. But most professional men's leagues were not financially successful at all in their early years; they certainly were not the  monstrous transnational businesses that the NFL, NBA, or MLB are. It was not that long ago (relatively speaking) that many professional athletes (including in the "big four" sports) worked "real" jobs in the off-season to pay the bills and that the leagues and individual teams were barely squeaking by (think about the first decade of the NBA). But no one is asking whether Women's Professional Soccer is as financially successful as the NBA was in its fifth season; everyone is asking whether WPS is as financially successful as the NFL--and when it's not, the league inevitably must fold.

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