« Freakonomics Radio

349. How Sports Became Us

2018-09-13 | 🔗

Dollar-wise, the sports industry is surprisingly small, about the same size as the cardboard-box industry. So why does it make so much noise? Because it reflects — and often amplifies — just about every political, economic, and social issue of the day. Introducing a new series, “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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for starters, do when championships Football is for the man I hitters hard, as I can San Francisco planners quarterback now during the national anthem, sports has a social impact. That is the way we ve bigger than its economic and introducing a special series. This was the moment. I realized that baseball's, a business Ivan Euro Saunders nowhere Little play Tucker support from Reaganomics radio. My biting over my mind, shut off things, hangs in the balance. Outcomes are unclear. He cannot be afraid to feel tat. The reason you're telling your second grade dotted, which is moving next week, the hidden side of sports. I had never been in fire. So
emotionally charged like running Madden, the hugging and kissing each other. Here's your house, Stephen Dubner, on a damp windy day in May one thousand nine hundred and fifty four, full of runners, we're getting loose at the if we rode track in Oxford England, one of them was named Roger Banister, Roger Banister numbers out, but I found the fact that all men, at above all, achieved by man, isn't like the tracks region. thinking of now this was cinders. That's David Epstein science journalist the author of the sports gene and it was sort of a small unimportant track meat, but it was known that banister would be making this attempt against a mile framed asked or courage of human will determination, banister. twenty five years old had finished forth in fifteen hundred meters, the rough equivalent of a mile in the Olympics
two years earlier, he was like many athletes of his era, an amateur in his case, medical student, working at Saint marries Hospital in London in just before he made the attempt he went on a hiking vacation, just relax and the morning of the did medical rounds because of his studies, banister had less than an hour a day to train for his attempt on the form of a mile. The day so windy that he nearly cancelled is run and also reigned bit. There were bare, a thousand spectators. But then the wind died down and your banister toe the line, What do you think happened?
you think, would really be tell you the story of Roger Banister, hadn't, finally broken the foreman barrier here in banisters. Own words is how it unfolded as the gun fired. My leg seem to me no resistance, almost as if impelled, by an unknown force in as he comes around each lavishness. She asked about directly on forming a mile peace. By now the form it was passed and then for the last lap he basically has to run faster on to do it. I had to run the last fifty nine and he gives it. His second seemed never lean to break through the finishing tape with his mouth wide open. My efforts on either side and one of the Atlantic photos as men in a trench. Coastal leaning over with stopwatch since among reads off in time, is there's no huge digital clock on a jumbotron time on one more evidence about letting a dream. The ever comparison was no accident. Just a year earlier, a British led expedition had been the first to summit the world's highest mountain in countries
recovering from world war to Roger Banister, paid attention to such accomplishments, and he viewed. Feats like a summoning of Mount Everest as the beacons of hope and rebuilding for the United Kingdom he saw his quest to run under formats and a mile as part of that, could a simple foot race really affect the psyche of a nation There are a lot of reasons that so many of us find sports so compelling the most basic level we find thrill in the competition be athleticism. The attainment, but do we sometimes assigned to much meaning to sports to mere races and games and fights? Maybe but you could also argue that sport has done good job throughout history of mirroring society at large, the politics economics, the social issues as well as exploring the limits of human achievement by nineteen. Fifty four
sub form in at mile had stood for years as a seemingly impassable barrier. The number of other athletes kept getting closer and closer, but not breaking through athletes were too like their legs, would fall off if they ran fast enough to run or form is a mile, and so it sort of looked that he was his ass in terms of human performance in certain ways. Pardon me and ask him to of human performance yeah I'm. No. That means either here. Let's ask the mathematics So what is an awesome took an awesome it is a straight line that approach she's a curve and gets close closer but never actually intersects it? This is the mathematical definition. That's John Herschel, May Phd student in mathematics at MIT. I work may, in graph theory, apply to things like machine learning and calmly toil optimization, surround your back
MR proved, the foreman at mile wasn't actually an awesome tote. Is there a better example? Well, your skydiving? the longer you're in the air, the faster and faster you're following and the closer and closer you get to terminal velocity but you never quite reach it. This is an awesome tote. Ok good to know also good, to know John Earth before getting his Phd in math, had a pretty solid, first career, I'm a former And I fell orphans of linemen for the Baltimore Ravens worship three seasons in the NFL, but retired abruptly just before his forth was about to start, I retired early, mainly to focus on Math Herschel quit just he was entering its peak years in terms of ability and earning potential why one factor was a new report that seem to strengthen the link between football, along
brain damage? How much brain damage do I have? I dont know and its extremely hard no brain damage has become a huge concern, in modern sport, especially in the obvious contacts. Words like football back in the night in fifty me, while not so much as David Epstein was telling us Roger Banisters era, was less about self preservation and more about pushing What seemed to be our natural limits like idea that wasn't physiologically possible for human to run a mile in lesson for minutes, but banister, didn't feel that way He knew as a medical student that for free point zero. One wasn't different. Then three fifty nine point nine and so there was no real barrier
My legs seem to meet new resistance at all, almost as if impelled, by an unknown force, Roger Banister ran one more sub form in at mile after that Grey Day in Oxford and promptly retired. As an athlete human they have a long and distinguished career as a neurologist. He died just this year with age. Eighty eight today, more than fifteen hundred men, have run the mile in lesson for minutes the current world wrecked, just over three minutes and forty three seconds. What's the secret of the seemingly superhuman accomplishment, here's how banister once put it. It is the brain, not the heart or lungs, that is the critical organ mind over matter. Another reason that sports intrigue us and it seems to work in ports as non traditional as competitive eating I gotta go, It does not require new, like on fifty years time
Ro Kobayashi, the japanese eating superstar, telling us through an interpreter how he doubled the world record twenty five and one eighth, hot dogs and bonds in twelve minutes took in America. Nothing to do with how you you normally enjoy a meal is just a kind of physics. Action, a physical Kobayashi performed by stretching the mind by consciously Channel every piece of conventional wisdom: the training, the methodology, the strategy in fine a better way to eat fast thither tunnel, given that you're, not forgetting the about human beings is that they they make a limit in their mind of what their potential is too, if every human being actually throw away those those thoughts. The potential of human beings, I think, is really great. I think it's huge beach the compared to what actually think of themselves and if
when please, if everything that everything be much better, everything could be much better. Can sport really delivered this kind of promise? Maybe maybe not, but it certainly delivers a unique set of attributes and in Spain, if such an absorbing world that I never really knew about much or cared about much until I had a child who was fascinated by all of it, but Jennifer Egon the Pulitzer Prize Winning novelist and it's amazing how they provide a kind of structure of meaning in people's lives teams that you route for the business of sports things hangs in the balance. Outcomes are unclear, there infinite narratives to it and it and then you can touch in all different areas of your life at all different times I don't like sports. you ve got to admire the energy creativity, innovation that goes into sports, in that
Dana Joy, the poet laureate of California and a former national endowment for the arts chairman in its very similar to hearts its away of focusing human energy too it is symbolic encounters which have enormous emotional residents to audiences emotional residents focusing human energy, infinite, narratives and unclear outcomes, the business of sports and, of course, the costs and benefits of rooting for your favorite team, or for your kid, These are just some of the reasons that were launching this special for economic radio series, the hidden side of sports over the past several months, You ve been interviewing dozens of world class athletes, coaches owners union affair, league officials and more, for instance,
more Cuba and my name is the killer shipwreck and I am an alpine curiouser. My name is Lance Armstrong. Do does Petersen Head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles idea and Patrick I'm a sports Gaster incoming Major League Baseball Darrow, more a general manager of the Houston Rockets lords obscene on the chief operating officer at the ultimate fighting championship. Jed York, I'm the ceo, the San Francisco, forty nine kalen.
Jennings, I'm professional be two viable player Log Tewkesbury, I'm the metal skills coach for the San Francisco Giants Simone Manual- and I am a professional swimmer mark to share a currently of european analysed. Lauren murphy- and I mean you see, fighter umbrella, Mccarthy, I'm a picture for the Atlanta Braves Stephanie Levey, I'm a professional soccer player, Dolores Smith, I'm the executive director of the NFL players associations. Without guys, I'm demographic on your listing. The friggin homage radio thanks Jimmy and don't worry. We also interviewed some economists- are beliefs in streets are much stronger than the data actually supports the chance of having soccer be your vehicle to get the college, as opposed to fencing, turns out. The about seventy five and eighty times heart. The rule of thumb is a second round pick. This year is equal to a first trumpet next year
on question will ask the athletes is what exactly drives them to excel to get back up after failure in injury and to just keep pushing like carry, of Jennings, whose one four olympic metals in beach voluble, three of them gold and from a six olympics, and I'm turning forty and a couple weeks in I'm playing and sees young kids who I was where they were obviously twenty years ago, and it so nutty you, but I'm still going to the same process of levelling up aspiring to go higher. Looking in the mirror, do you gotta? Do you want it? Yes, carry on as much in sick motivation as sport may require these plainly, a strong extrinsic motivator too, I don't mean the fight I don't mean the glory. I mean the money I think, when all is said and done Obese, maybe somewhere around seventy million. Having made that's branded Mccarthy, whose for seven major League baseball teams over thirteen seasons. There is
more money in sports today than it was fifty four hundred years ago least for the athletes at the top of the pyramid. We spoke: with another long time, baseball player, the recently retired Mark two sharer who made out better than Mccarthy see your ultimate deal, which was in two thousand and nine committed in York Yankees correct eight year. One hundred eighty million dollar deal correct all guaranteed, Augur inaugurated. The money in in basketballs pretty good to hear is long time and be a player J J Riddick, Sir you're gonna, have in the next ten to fifteen years. Have a ton of guys who have made the two hundred to three hundred million dollars in their career, but because the top earning athletes are the most prominent we tend to magnify how much most athletes get paid. Are the NFL, which is the richest, most successful sports league in history. There are fifty three player
on a given NFL teams roster compared to twenty five and baseball from us, the season and an average of four in the NBA. Fifty three football players, that's a lot of salaries to pay. Average NFL salary is two million dollars and the average career is just a few years long, John Ursule, the former, fell player who jumped ship for math career played off the blind man a position with an average salary of around one point: seven million dollars a year when he entered the league. You take away tat Did you take my agent fees? You take away and I fell Pierre fees, the NFL Pda, that's the players union! now, let's say you're down to a million under a million, perhaps, and Now this has to last you for the rest of your life paired with whatever you're next careers, as opposed to say well, humming, doctors are there in the: U s the state, income
over say forty years beats though one point six million and come over three years and again tat is, if you happen to be among the best of the best of the best athletes who make it into the richest sports legal history. What about the average? they are in the most popular global sport soccer or what the rest of the World CUP football? Here's Andrew or Saudi, a former profession soccer player who now works for fief pro the international players Union. If you look at the media course, every player is multi, millionaire driving a ferrari. That's a myth, because the tens thousand plays. We represent four ten thousand of which we serve aid recently earning a thousand. U S dollars a month after tax. Ok, forget but you see, of Christian Ronaldo moving to inventors forget
but you see of lino Messy the English Premier League Lullaby, forget it all think about them, listen below, which feeds those who get to the top, the very few who get to the top, the top one percent. That's not the reality, the reality is that sucker relies on what is essentially a massive global mm grit labour workforce. Austria? In the? U S than Germany, Jimmy was futile and its David low. He was born in Singapore. And for about ten years hopped, all over the world playing pro soccer. He never more than about two thousand dollars a month and usually much less and then I went to Thailand the Thailand, was Mongolia after Mongolia was, I meant to Iceland training France and then from France. I signed to play in New Zealand, after news it and then I went to ITALY. If you are an firing athlete you
We realise that, while you may be the featured attraction, the compensation doesn't necessarily follow, The reality is, They are management and we are labour that's the Moorish Smith, who runs the NFL players, Association, the history, of labour and management in the United States has been won, for the most part where management has successfully lobbied, I'm an unchanged laws through through litigation that have affected a net negative for four employees, some sports ecosystem. Are particularly warped. Consider college football ambassador, while in the? U S where the athletes are paid zero dollars, while generally billions for the universities more freshman year in college, my head, ouch gotta ten million dollar extension, and that was when I was. I owe you
on a team were business hours. When the light went on for me, that's Dominique Fox Worth he played college football at Maryland, and six seasons in the NFL. His final content paid him about twenty seven million dollars over four years, but he learned early on that football is a business and dickie high risk. One I've been on the floor, But a couple of thousand we ve been Paralyzer played in preceding game and Anna fell were a guide died. lock room afterward. We practice at Marilyn were Look after came to take one player after failed in the coach, said, move it down and we kept going drills as a helicopter was Can one about teammates who could move to the hospital fox worth? Was it Maryland in the early two? Thousands, the current Maryland football coach, Dj Jerkin, was recently placed
on administrative leave after player, died during spring workout, Dominic Fox worth for his part, got an MBA from Harvard after he left football, his wife, three graduate degrees to from Harvard including a law degree. They have three kids to girls and a boy I asked Fox worth consider his own history and the growing body of research about football and brain damage. What happens if his son wants to play? he's only five now and I say no minutes not up problem there were actually facing at this point. But I, I would say now. So if he comes to you and says, hey dad, I know you know before I was born you're me. You know amazing, nfl player that our great career etc. He may know. What's what do I do What are you talking about? I mean I think there research it wasn't there I've. I suspect my parents would not have let me play when I was that age. If there was some information available and like it it's it's, not
clear information by what is clear is that it does put your higher risk and the best case scenario is there, you play professed football in you make a lot of money. I am. I was in far from poor grown up like middle class, but, like I went to Baltimore public schools. I was I guess that's not my son's experience. I didn't have access to the things that he'll have access to. So I got Frankly,. I think that he is starting in a much better place than I am so he should do much better than then banging his head into other people's head for money like it seems like a step back to me honestly and in that way, about you? Do you worry about your brain? Is your wife worry about your brain absent I mean it. like your living, a horror movie honestly words like this thing working in the background and his arm in it's scary- and I think that is most frightening is right. Now I would do it all over. Because of
what it's done for me and my family, so yes, along the fun of watching and playing and following sports, along with the emotional residents the in, narratives and unclear outcomes. You can't deny that sport, can also be complicated and full of conflict. Sport is, in fact, an exercise in conflict, you're trying to be someone to outrun deceive them to take. What there's make it yours, but there's a ton of conflict outside the game two. That's another reason: we're launching the series to explored those conflicts. For instance. The relation chip between athletes and ownership, are going to be core philosophical differences between us, who is also the conflict between fair play,
and wanting to win, maybe just a bit too badly. Here's the cyclist Lance are strong who was stripped of his seven tour de France titles after he was proof, to have used the doping, agent, erythropoietin or appeal the sport of I clean and in the MID nineties EPA was like wild and we were holding out holding out holding out, and we got to this this moment which are like. Oh, my god, will you we don't have a choice. are there where we do have towards our choices to go home. We could just quit retire, but if wanna, stay and fight we all walking around with knives, because we, we were told go into a knife, fight and neck you know her but had guns, and we these boys again guns and so many in the spring of of ninety five. We DE begun store will also explore. The conflict between gut instinct in sports and the growing reliance on data and analytics here's the Philadelphia,
Oh Superbowl, winning coach done Petersen there's a lot of data. elbow to us, and you know it can be overwhelming, taking away from the football aspect of it. But I just take us: vice of it Try to use it to our benefit are enough for that weak and will hear the you have see fighter Lauren Murphy talk about the conflict between being slipping human and you ll see fighter the fight started and I hitters hard as I could and she actually fell down she. and knocked down with the first punch- and I was so green and so naive, I didn't even realise what had happened. I remembered distinctly looking at her and thinking what are you doing on the floor? and so I let her get up just no really what was going on and then I hid her again and that was that was it so, as you can we ve got a lot of ground to cover in this hidden side of sport series and will be exploring all that over the next few weeks and then periodically over the next few months after the break with,
things started with a look at just how big the sports industry is and how we got here, seen. Professionalized athletes in the world for at least twenty five hundred years now, also not everyone in sports, fits the jock stereotypes and the flight attendant comes, to me and she says. So what did you did it get on this plain its coming up after the break and if you want to hear our full on edited interviews with some big athletes. Coaches executives and others featured in the hidden side of sports sign up for stick your premium, as did your premium dot com flash for economics, we'll be releasing those interviews over the course of the series we'll be right back. The National football League, as you may have heard, is having some problems concern about player safety. As we heard from John Herschel in Dominic Vocs worth the contentious
national anthem, protests which will hear about later and the Those audiences shrunk been, but let's be honest, the NFL fill the juggernaut of the top. Fifty those on tv last year, thirty seven were football games to understand why, to understand why sports are such a big deal to so many people? Let's start with a man, who pretty much asked himself that question everyday sure this is Victor Matheson, I'm a professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester Massachusetts, Matheson specializes in the economics of sport. Yes, I'm one of the editors of the Journal of Sports Economics, I'm also the current president of the North American Association of Sports economists and I'm also the author of the economics of sports six tradition, which is, I think, the copper, sports Economics textbook in the world? So trifecta going on right now, the victor
you yourself now or have you ever been an athlete or otherwise seriously involved in sports. Yes, I was actually a referee for major league soccer for about ten years of getting. My college coach when I was playing Look at me and said: hey, you know, I've been watching the way you you play the game and I think you might make an extra, referee victor. How old are you if you don't mind me asking so I'm turning forty nine next next week? Ok, happy birthday: I'm can you talk for a minute, then about the way in which sports, especially the business of sports, is different from when you were a kid or to become bigger and bigger and bigger business. So a little before my childhood, but not much more before that, we would have of athletes in the NBA and Anna File have full time jobs in the off season, because you're you're not making enough in the season to actually survive without having
then to do in the off season. I'm here at wholly cross. Our most famous athlete is Bob who see the first great point guard he lives in a very modest house here and investor because he never made forty million dollars a year like a top and be a player, might make now, and so obviously that's a huge difference, gray and other. Then I guess the obvious answer of we like to watch Britain consume all things around sports. Why else do you think sports have such an appeal, makes them so valuable that ultimately generate so many dollars and eyeballs dwelt number one. We more money and we have more free time today than we did in the past and We have a lot more disposable income to spend on play and on recreation and on toys than we did a generation or two generations or three generations ago. Now,
here too. We also have technology that helps us enjoy sports in a way we didn't in the past either so. I am not super all but old enough to remember watching sports on the nineteen in black and white TB that we had, and obviously my foot screen. Fifty inch high death tv that I can watch shocker from any country in the world at any time. I want on demand is certainly a much better much better. Creation option than trying to, take out exactly which kind of gray player was playing against one another in a grey player back as a kid. So what can you tell us about the size of the sports industry and how it compares to other industries? So the answer here is actually surprisingly small, so there
This leads the world in terms of revenue generated is the NFL and the NFL generates something like fourteen fifteen billion dollars a year? Now you might Think yourself or fourteen fifteen. That sounds like like a lot of money. That's a fully the same size as Sherwin Williams. So typical american buys as as much paint from Sherman Williams. Has it does buying NFL products from the largest league in the world? You Eddie? all these other american leagues, NBA Major League Baseball, the nature, major league soccer, plus Pga in and protagonists and and mixed martial arts and all these things animal live together, you ve got maybe Fifty billion dollars a pro sports, a few more tens of billions of dollars in college sports, but still only up its sixty seventy billion dollars. That makes spectator sport in the United States,
hopefully the same size as the cardboard box industry in the United States, no, obviously none of us. You know gather around water cooler on Monday morning. Saying: hey man: do you see that Awesome Cardboard Box that american paper just put out a cautiously down, so sport has a social impact that is way way bigger than its economic impact right. So why does an industry, it's only as big as the cardboard box industry matter. So much. Here's one explanation athlete competition has been around a long time so we ve seen professionalized athletes in the world for at least twenty five hundred years. And so we see stories about people winning gold medals Anthea at the early, a limp x having like
Times supplies of food that you could eat anywhere in the city for free forever or receiving large payments. are in the vicinity of hundreds of thousands of dollars even back in the pre BC days. But let's be clear long before there was professional sport. There was sport at the earliest. Sports were individual, so that Pharaoh topmost would try the ball for Hathor, for the glory of the gods. That's John Thorn official historian for Major League baseball Thorn, says: sports have always been connected to sacrifice into the regeneration of seasons, there is a reason why baseball begins in the spring. It ends in the fall and cricket. Likewise,
And what can you tell us about the ancient history of sport as a proxy for war and or violence, while one one. Reasonably well known episode was at Palermo Battle for a very small piece of land rather than have a massacre of hundred of troops on each side there were delegations formed the thirty best men of one side against the thirty best men of another, and both sides agreed to abide by the outcome: I believe this is the origin of team sport. This happened in thirteen fifty one during the hundred years war between the english and French this came to be known as the combat of thirty, some of the historic. Details are disputed, but generally its thought that three nights on each side engaging told combat over several hours of breaks in between the french one. It's believe
for of their men were killed, while the english death toll was at least double that over time this contest came to be held up as a shining example of chivalry better a dozen dead than hundreds. Yes, if you think it's a stretch to label this deadly encounter the beginning of team sport, well, what's the last time you watching NFL game too posing armies and offsetting uniforms each with a captain rank file and marching orders using physical violence to push into enemy territory. even the language of, were permeates the gain: a blue sing, linebacker penetrates the orphans of line to sack the quarterback with some people may find this militarization off. Putting may enjoy it in some maybe the majority of sports fans
think about it at all. They did. In the excitement of a physical battle with stakes seem high, but The actual war are absurdly low, except, of course, for the warriors themselves. How much brain damage do I have? I dont know that played a precision game and Anna fell were a guide died ah come afterwards, so sports, you have been a proxy for war, at least as far back as fourteenth century. In the eighteenth link, and twentieth centuries. It became a tool for colonialism which helps explain, house, went globe the british Empire as it took over massive swaths of land and people want spreading its politics and religion, but also its sports. It invented cod I'd and evangelize the number of games, including cricket soccer, tennis this was to serve many purposes.
Placing native culture with a version. The British considered superior, increasing physical fitness of Native populations will deny toward grooming the best soldiers and instead, an appreciation for fair play rule following and if you want to be just a tiny bit cynical four subjugation, the United States in spur early days thought of sport. Similarly, promoting it is a form of muscular Christianity. I asked John Thorn about this. I'm curious. If you could talk about a few different elements of baseball and how they either exemplified maybe even encouraged, so of the. Paviers that came to be known as hallmarks of americanism jingoism bragging, treating all things have agreed a great a ten year in baseball as in America, and
then those things that were barely tolerated in drawing rooms were absolutely adored on the ball feel I would think You have maybe some positive attributes like fair play and rule of law and so on. Oil, fair play and rule of law are training thee. tendency to invite women to watch. The games goes back to the eighteen fish. But those women were thought to be a civilising influence than men would not swear quite as much they would not engagement. Physical confrontations was based all itself. Consider a civilising influence. However, on native Americans and perhaps other groups shore, because baseball was imbued with american values or was thought to be the export of baseball, minority communities too countries generally through military occupation, was part of the right of passage that if you are going to american eyes, Japan,
Why too americanized Cuba? If you american eyes, Brazil. Then you brought baseball with you when Barack Obama and Raoul Castro became closer and tried to end Thirty years of hostilities ball, was the mechanism because baseball in the nineteenth century. Baseball was a very great thing. It was a great thing because everyone could agree that it was a great thing. Baseball was a great thing. for John Thorn himself I would say that sports was my way of becoming american thorn. emigrated to the. U S with this family in Lighting Fiftys, when he was two years old, they were whose from Poland it was a matter of, inclusion were perhaps not all other avenues were open to me. I began
a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I think any self respecting drew would have to select the Dodgers. They were the outside errors and they included Jackie Robinson who was an early euro forming Jackie such was the first black player allowed to play in major league baseball. I think what the I ll just show me and what baseball shall be? Was it anyway it could be an American even me, Sir John, how does baseball and or other sports effect? social and political and cultural objectives and dreams of America. That's what I really want to know why, Sport is all about sublimation. We all think it sport, ass, wonderful fun in and of itself, whether engaged in or spectators and fact. When we go to a ball game only watch one on tv. We our affiliating wears a city. Anthony We sublimate our Marshall instincts by
I pouring them into sport, for two hours three hours, four hours we allow ourselves and those around us to be somebody other than whom we are on a nine hundred and twenty five basis during the week or in our own households can paint our faces. We were a silly hats, weakened drink ourselves? Silly we can yell insulting habitat, set the empire or certain players, and you argue, generally healthy function, correct generally healthy function, because primitive instincts and aggression alert at every moment rank, and one component of that is tribalism ray. It's our team and the other team, and Anything that our team does when one thing that I find really curious about. Sports is, if you watching your team and there's a questionable call. You don't
the question that it's wrong call. If it's against your team, you know it's the rotten car as if it against the other team. You know it's it's the right call. So we know a intellect is put on hold asked why I call it faith for the faithless that you I have faith in you came, and your face may not be question. Do you think that Tribalism is essentially a positive force, Sir Negative, or with the trade off it's a dangerous force when it is permitted to walk out of the stadium or out of the year fans from both team hum of each other with hunch. After but it didn't and their police are also investigating, not one but two shooting that happened outside the stadium after the game, over.
Is it tribal my dance in a lot of football fans? I work with a very happy with that the label. It really rings true than its Martha nuisance, a cognitive anthropologist at Oxford. She studies, bonding and the extreme behaviour that can result. So before I start This research, I didn't, have a huge interest in favour, but I had a boyfriend he loved, we went to a match and I found it so fascinating never been in environment that was so emotionally charged wine growing men were hugging and kissing each other and crying together using calls this kind of bonding identity, fusion and its when a personal identity and the group identity become so really investors in each other that their fused the complete
manage and said the attack on yourself. First, like an attack on your group Likewise any attack when your group feels like an attack on yourself, so you go to these extreme to defend, and only your group so that that's the kind of circular you're looking at in May two insurgent groups, religious groups, nationalists and also the profound nuisance, Use. This phenomenon comes with costs and benefits. I think sport is wholeheartedly an unreservedly a great way to bring, people together, the unifying affect just What chance but watch we ve been talking about it right now I get goose. Pimples of all people coming together for that collective. The goal that ambition either? This is really powerful, is a good thing, but with that comes great responsibility to risks stability for inclusion. Racism is being at a hideous and purple. It's an honor
homophobia in a huge issue which is not being tackled infallible properly, gender There is another issue that violence engender. So when England lose a World cup match the rates of duty, I stick abuse go up around thirty percent, as disgusting there is an interesting paradox here: real which has shown that being on sports team, is one of the best way of buildings. Social trust that is created strong bonds, even between people from very different backgrounds. Being a sports fan doesn't know, certainly seem to conjure the same magic. It may in fact facilitate a kind of sorting into like minded tribes with common enemies. can't deny there's a certain homogeneity too many sectors of the sporting universe, starting with the obvious fact that the big team sports it
most of our attention in dollars are male team sports, but just because the athletes are male. But it necessarily follow that the vast majority of team and league executives or male its unfold that were not further along at this point, but Kim ANG of Major League baseball say in queer ahead. on the re side. Room in Jackie Robinson is the one example that everyone points to, but on the gender side it's been slow to come were not where we should be an has been in vain. Far from more than twenty five years, she's now a senior vice president of international baseball development for the league, So what we do is we try and help growth. globally and at the same, I've monitored and established programmes which would help clubs to sky players, evaluate them, bring pair led to the market in terms of signing them, an grew up the queen's New York planks
ball and running bases in the streets. I was really a sports, not love to play. She went on to play softball at no receive Chicago, which is known slightly more for its academic rigour than sports teams. She studied but policy and road or senior thesis on an ancient. Seventy two federal legislation known as title nine and title. Nine is basically a law that tries to enact equity and parity and you cannot discriminate. Based on gender Race, etc to institutions who receive federal funding table. Mine led to a major surge in women sports in America, putting it well ahead of most other countries. That's one of the big red since the U S national women, soccer team has been so dominant, especially compared to the? U S men too, through their paper on Title nine, that I really started to think about a crew and sports after school and got an intern
with the Chicago White Socks and rode through the ranks. She moved on to the New York Yankees organization, winning three world series rings. There then became a the general manager with the LOS Angeles Dodgers. What was it like? Being one of the very few female executives, they always had to be over prepared- and I do not have the leeway. Then a lot of the guys did. I also didn't have necessarily the camaraderie that they had a lot of played Minor league baseball together or Major League baseball together, even as an assistant gm an ran into a sort of exclusion that would seem to be driven by a baseline expectation. I'm walking into a major clubhouse of a visiting park, and I have all the right credentials and these security girl would say: no, you can't go in there, won't I
we can go in there. Look at my credentials and they're, just the automatic presumption of who you are or what or properly, this case more of what you're not you know you're, not an executive you're, not an official with the ball club, your media you're an interpreter view. Something of that nature so and that takes into account both gender and Being of color, so I can tell you of a funny story: I will is travelling with the Dodgers and the Zack, it is, and the coaching staff sit up and first class I've got Joad right to my laughed and I've got here dogmatically reckoning cut some of our coaches and first class, as well as the play, their boarding and the flight attendant, comes to me- and she says. So what did you due to get on the plane. and I looked at her and I said,
do you really want to know she's head yeah, he leaned in closer- and I said you see all these guys yeah and I said well they report to me when you hear the story how much of a villain do you want to make the flight attendant out to be? kind of judgment, so many of us make every day on so many dimensions. Something doesn't fit the pattern we ve been condition to recognise and we don't even since the fact that the pattern, maybe having the same Simone Manual, whose african American saw a pattern. but she didn't think she fit into. yeah, I mean a lot of it. Just had to deal with difficulty fitting in she grew up in an athletic Emily in Texas played lots of sports from young age. With the
Sports. There were other black individuals and in the sport of swimming there weren't any oh it was. It was really hard, sometimes for me to really two others because I kind of questioned if swimming was the support that I should be participating in there was nobody else on deck that was black there, There is another reason for manuals. Reluctance to swim yeah, I mean a lot of it. Come from the culture of african Americans. Sixty percent of African Americans do not know how to swim a lot. Of what keeps us out of the water is our hair. My mom had always tell me: Simone, is just hair and continuously told me this so that I kind of sorrow to believe it. She believed it so much it. She wound up going to swim at Stanford and then sixteen Olympics, where she won a gold medal and a hundred metre freestyle and at the time
Seventeen worlds Erica A great chance with less than ten metres to go here comes up all your. It's gonna be out attacks, Savant Manual, it doesn't matter what my here looks like if I'm on the podium, winning gold medals and inspiring somebody behind me to hold we forget about their hair and do this same thing as me, school barriers broken and records to inequity. revealed and sometimes addressed bond, is formed cept when they're, not sport, is impaired as any corner of society, but debate
exciting. The most don't think coming up next time on finances, radio, we go deep with one the most successful teams in professional sports. It's a team! That's one, five superbowl! But what happens when success turns into media greed and worse this margin of agreeable to forty nine went all the way back to nineteen hundred. The players are angry fans even more so they want to fire the owner ion football team, you don't dismiss owners. When you lose a game, a lot of noise happens when he was too tat happens. Usually threes like Armageddon, try nine. It was also the team where this was happening, calling happen,
protest against racial injustice seems to be gaining traction and that, with this love to see one of these NFL owners when some. disrespects our flag? Is they get? that son of a bitch job the veiled right now, but then something magical happened that magic. Let this go down that might be the happiest Superbowl waiting t real in early last year. San Francisco forty nine years have on this ranges: seasons in NFL history with the new he's in just under way. We sit down with the owner,
the coaches and executives and the players to find out what happens. This year remains. No worry s, Father s that Europe day its next time on for economics, rigour for economic radio is produced by sticker and doubly productions. This episode was produced by Derek John and Andrews Kyoto with help from Harry Huggins. Our staff also includes Allison, Craig Lope rig results, deep red ribbon Alba Meloth, Zack Linsky and Andy Mildenheim, or the music you here throughout the observers composed by Luis gear for economics, radio can be found on apple podcast or every get your progress. Our entire archives is available on the teacher app or at for economics that com, where we also publish transcripts, show notes if you sign up procedure premium you'll get all our shows ad free, plus lots of bonus episodes, including the full interviews with many. The athletes and other sports figures from the series just good
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Transcript generated on 2021-01-20.