“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Curt Flood was not happy. Indeed, he felt that being traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies in 1969 was depriving him of his liberty. Supported by MLBPA director Marvin Miller, Flood sued to end the reserve clause and other controls over baseball players by the owners of the teams. The suit failed. But Flood’s defiant stand was the first crack in the dam, leading eventually to the arrival of free agency in all major American sports. It took a long while, there is still a lot of resistance from owners (and many fans), and it’s far from perfect, but today more than ever athletes can control where they play.
So when considering LeBron’s new contract with the Lakers, the formation of a super-team in Golden State, the trip home to Toronto by John Tavares, and all the free agency madness of the past four days, think for a moment about Curt Flood.
- They used to say that whoever is in first place on the Fourth of July will win the pennant. If that is the case, we might seeing a few teams in the baseball playoffs we didn’t expect. (Seriously, what is up with the Nats?)
- A day off today to rest up from the Round of 16 at the World Cup.
- Wimbeldon is off and running
- Chris Froome cleared of doping charges but (at press time) still banned from the Tour de France.
- Is the hot dog eating contest a sporting event?
As ever, all sports topics welcome.