not Tim Donaghy, fixed NBA games
According to the ESPN
columnist Scoop Jackson, gambling is to blame for alleged NBA
game fixing, not Tim Donaghy.
Editorial: An article from the ESPN "Page 2" was emailed
to me today. It was written by the columnist Scoop Jackson, and
click here to read it.
Here are a few quotes from that article I would
like to ponder over:
Quote: At the root of the Tim Donaghy
issue is the one thing that has plagued all sports since the day
man met ball and discovered competition could be a business:
It's funny how an ESPN columnist is calling
gambling a plague (not gambling addiction or illegal gambling,
just gambling). Maybe Mr. Jackson should check out the European
edition of ESPN
soccernet.espn.go.com and see all
the online sportsbook advertisements his place of employment
carries. If Mr. Jackson believes that gambling is a plague to
all sports, he is just as guilty of spreading the plague as the
next guy. It's hypocritical to call gambling a plague, while
part of your paycheck comes from the sportsbooks.
Quote: I've had loan sharks and "collectors"
who speak on behalf of "boss men" come up to me and tell me to
deliver messages to certain players that I have written about.
There is a difference between legal gambling and
illegal sports betting. To bad Mr. Jackson doesn't see it.
Quote: That's why I'm not surprised at what
happened with Tim Donaghy. That's why none of us should be. Sad?
Yes, we should be, but not surprised. We all need to understand
that gambling -- not greed, not arrogance, not ignorance, not
business -- is what caused this to happen.
This is the worse excuse for the illegal sports
betting and game fixing allegedly conducted by Tim Donaghy. It's
sad to see an ESPN columnist defending the illegal actions of a
sports referee. No Sir, it was not gambling that allegedly fixed
games or shaved points. It was the referee.
I would focus on illegal sports betting,
because I think that's the form of gambling Mr. Jackson had in
mind under the generalization "gambling". The 87-year-old lady
at the 5 cent slot machine is also gambling, but I am sure she
has not been visited by "loan sharks" and "mobsters".
I would like to make Mr. Jackson and all of
our readers understand something else - that the legal
sportsbooks are the ones suffering the most from game fixing and
points shaving. If Mr. Jackson did his research after he
chose to lash on gambling, he would know, for example, that in
the Toledo point shaving scandal, it was the oddsmaker Kenny
White, chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sports Consultants,
who alerted the authorities and NCAA that something fishy was
going on during the Toledo games (click
another article by Charles Rich
he nails the point shaving problem right on the spot: Point
shaving is going to rear its ugly head in college athletics
periodically, simply because there are always people who will
try to cheat a system. And there are always those who have a
The whole thesis that "It's gambling's
fault" reminds me a lot of the parents who blame video
games/school/peer-pressure/society/5-o'clock-traffic for the
wrongdoings of their kids.
Quote: But until we acknowledge that point
shaving, mob ties and game fixing are not the real issue here,
that someone's gambling addiction is, this ugliness will rear
its ugly head again.
I beg to differ. While gambling addiction
is a very serious problem, this, by far, is not the real issue.
The real issue is that a man who has been chosen to retain the
integrity and honesty of each game could have been doing exactly
To call on gambling addiction to take the
blame in this case is a pity act, and I am shocked that a sports
journalist would take a stance and defend game fixing.
Just as one person have already commented on
the article: You can gamble responsibly and have fun doing
it. You cannot fix an NBA game responsibly.
Published on 07/23/2007