As the American sports industry recedes further and further from the ideals of Sportsmanship. Fair Play, and Excellence into the ethos of Trash Culture; the events of Sunday's AAU riot should come as no surprise. This was bound to happen sooner or later and ought to serve as wake-up call to serious reform.
In case you missed it, or don't follow sports, the Amateur Athletic Union's Championship Basketball Tournament took place today in Emerson, Georgia. It was sponsored by Gatorade and held at the Lake Point Sporting Community Complex. The game between the Houston Raptors and the Chicago R.A.W. Athletics ended being stormed by riot police. No, not because of anything the fans did. And no, there were no Antifa protesters inciting violence.
No, this happened because a Chicago player objected to late foul penalty. And he objected by punching out a referee. That would have been bad enough: but the rest of the Athletics jumped the other officials. And then to crown this outrage, Chicago Head Coach Howard Martin claimed that the referees instigated the fight.
Once upon a time, touching a referee in a hostile manner, or even getting up in one's face shouting meant immediate ejection from the game. Hitting a referee bought you a year-long suspension. And not uncommonly that suspension ended a career. But that was then, this is now.
Now sports have universally embraced the ghetto-gang and trailer-trash social values of the rest of Infotainment. They've become---at every level---the jock-strap version of Reality TV and Talk Radio with a heavy dose of Political Correctness and Virtue Signalling thrown into the mix to make it all look legitimate.
But it's not legitimate. Not by a long shot.
We can't separate certain values from athletics and keep the very nature of sports in existence. We mentioned above concepts like sportsmanship. Take those things away, and a team becomes a gang. Put profit over principle and coaches develop a win-at-all-costs mentality that make them conniving rats like the idiot Howard Martin instead of strategists who inspire leadership and bring the best out in other men.
Our effete postmodern culture curls its lip in a cynical sneer at such quaint ideals. But you know what? When we had such ideals we didn't have basketball tournaments decided by SWAT teams. This has got to stop and stop now.
The AAU needs to bring its collective feet down and bring them down hard. They need to throw the Chicago R.A.W. Athletics out of the league. No fines, no token gestures. This team is defunct as of now.
The ABA and NBA should blacklist any Chicago players from any future employment with their franchises.
Gatorade needs to suspend any further sponsorship of the AAU.
This is what is needed---drastic punishment. Because if that doesn't happen, things are going to continue getting worse.
Sadly, though, it's doubtful that it will. The poltroons at ESPN are downplaying it as much as possible. And once the media moguls and greedy promoters see the 'name recognition' and 'viral videos' of the brawl, the next thing they'll see are dollar-signs in their eyes. And a wink a nod as they lecture their coaches and players about setting a good example.
And it's the whole ends-justifies-the-means attitude that is rotting American athletics from the inside out. Especially when those ends are also dishonest. Whether there's enough integrity left in the system to change or not is another matter.