American sports can learn from Spain's ban on bullfighting
ARBUCIES, Spain -- The bill to ban bullfighting here in Catalonia passed last week, and -- to cite the excellent B.o.b. --after all the pandemonium and all the madness, there comes a time where you fade to the blackness.
In this particular case, the blackness is silence, and it's happening now. Outside my window, I hear a young child speaking to his mother. I hear a motor revving and a trunk closing. Nobody is screaming or throwing bricks through windows. Nobody is threatening to boycott the government or lead an overthrow of regional parliament in Barcelona.
People were mad.
Then they were sorta mad.
Then they were less sorta mad.
Now they've moved on. There's always soccer.
Besides, the bullfighting ban wasn't a sports decision, so much as a political one. With bullfighting serving as a distinctly Spanish endeavor, Catalonian nationalists ridded their region of the sport as an enormous single-finger salute to the rest of the nation (Many in Catalonia view themselves as separate from Spain -- and want it to be made official. In a border-free Europe this makes little sense. But, hey, what do sense and politics have to do with each other?).
Still, there is a lesson to be learned here. Not long ago, the idea of a no-bullfighting-allowed section of Spain seemed as likely as a no-
Now it is dead.
The powers that be in American sports should follow suit; should understand that monumental steps are often not so monumental and that righteousness -- in any form -- feels right.
For example, since purchasing the Washington Redskins 11 years ago,
Truth is, unless the team is renamed the Washington Snyders (With an egomaniacal owner like Snyder, don't rule it out), a switch to Senators or Presidents or Capitols or Hogs (my personal favorite) would open up myriad opportunities. New uniforms. New merchandising. New advertising campaigns. No more accusations of being insensitive racist pigs.
The possibilities are limitless.
Yes, personal seat licenses bring in millions of dollars for professional sports franchises. But can't the next team that decides to build a new stadium just charge fans for the seats, and not the right to buy a seat?
OK, the St. Louis Cardinals love
Granted, ESPN has done well financially by hitching its promotional wagon onto the backs of athletes like
Let's ask the bulls.