As we all know, for much of the country, sports play an integral role in peoples’ day-to-day lives. Football season effectively means that weekends become two-day gridiron bonanzas, baseball season consumes much of the nation’s summers, and hockey and basketball season keep us entertained throughout the long, cold winter. But beyond that, there’s an enormous economic impact, particularly for areas where there are professional sports teams or powerhouse college squads. And athletes know it.
Players of all four major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — are all members of unions. They can and do collectively bargain the terms under which they participate in their sport and, as we have seen recently in the NFL and, more recently, the NBA, they flex their bargaining muscles with a great deal of authority.
But, many argue, their players’ associations — unions — fly in the face of what unions were established to do in the first place: Protect workers against inhumane working conditions and provide for a respectable amount of financial compensation for the work they do. Athletes, they argue, are not working in mines or in factories; they are playing a game they love to play and get millions of dollars to do so.
So here’s the question: Should professional athletes be allowed to unionize? Why or why not?
Post your response to this week’s QOTW by the time class starts on Friday, Dec. 9.