“A lot of people can be given credit for helping bring about free agency, but Curt Flood win always be considered the pioneer”, said Chicago White Sox’s Albert Belle in a USA Today piece.
Flood’s battle begun after the 1969 season when the Cardinals traded him to the Philadelphia Philies. He refused to go and rejected a $100,000 contract. Baseball’s commissioner at the time, Bowie Kuhn, would not declare him a free agent. That ignited Flood’s challenge of baseball’s reserve clause, which bound a player to a team regardless of his wishes. A judge in federal district court refused to upset the clause and suggested that the players and owners work something out. Flood sat out the 1970 season after he refused to be traded. He signed with the Washington Senators in 1971 but he played only 13 games and then abruptly retired.
However his fight with baseball’s establishment continued to find its way to the Supreme Court, which chose to side with baseball owners in a 5-3 vote in 1972. Floods case was lost, but the fight he started eventually was won.
In 1974 Catfish Hunter became baseball’s first free agent on a technically, but it was the decision in 1975 when an arbitration panel granted free agency to pitch, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally that ended the reserve system. Players, were granted free agency after six years of major-league service.
“All the groundwork was laid for the people who came after me,” Flood said a few years ago about his fight. “The Supreme Court decided not to give it to me, so they gave it to two White guys. I think that’s what they were waiting for.”
Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Detroit recently introduced a bill that removes the antitrust exemption as it applies to labor matters. The antitrust exemption is what supported baseball’s reserve system. The bill is HR 21, in honor of Flood’s uniform number. And, his life was the subject of an HBO documentary directed by Spike Lee.
The request seemed simple enough. He wanted to work where he wanted and for whom he wanted and be paid a wage he had earned. By both his peers and acclimation in the media he was thought to be among the best at what he did. If only it really were that simple.
But Curt Flood did not have an ordinary job in an ordinary time. He was an African baseball player in the late 1960’s. When Flood was traded he was devastated but not shocked.
Jackie Robinson himself had been in a similar situation with the Brooklyn Dodgers. After spending 10 years with the Dodgers and enduring countless Anti-African hatred and becoming the most popular player on the team Robinson was traded to the New York Giants in the winter of 1956. Rather than report to the archrival Giants, Robinson retired from baseball.
Curt Flood was not the first to challenge the Reserve Clause, but he would be the last. No player, or any other individual for that matter, has ever won a case against a major league sport. Curt Flood died in 1997 at the age of 59. Acknowledgement of his courage came when Congress, as it had been urged to since 1953, removed baseball of the majority of its antitrust exemptions with the passage of the Curt Flood of Act of 1998.
Of Loyalty and hubris
Once upon a time in a far-a-way land, a bunch of illegal immigrants, criminal elements coupled with religious fanatics, prostitutes and other unsavoury characters crossed the pond as political refugees from law and order in their native land. A few of these “brave” souls, after murdering, raping and pillaging the culture of the aboriginals, decided to claim the land mass as their own. Claimed the right to take this land from the original illegal “owners/squatters” from England, Spain and France, who were all fighting for sovereignty of somebody else’s property. This cabal formed an entity called the U.S. government, and supposedly crafted as a system that would serve the interests of the people, that is white Anglo-Saxon and protestants only. No room for the aboriginals, the darker folks in Europe’s south, not the Asians and god forbid them knee-grows, who were 1/5th of human beings. The system they claimed to have developed soon devolved a system of plutocracy where corporations control both the government and the people. This happened around about the time when the tribal war between the North and South hit a snag for the North, as they had no money and needed a bailout form the European bankers. Eventually they bartered and altered the constitution of the united states for America and converted it to the United States of America, created Federal taxes to collect by a private entity called the Federal Reserves.
Virtually every government regulatory department, for example, is now run by the corporations it is supposed to be regulating. The FDA, USDA, FTC, FCC, NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and most other government regulatory bodies and you’ll find a room full of politicians and bureaucrats who utterly disregard the People while prioritizing the financial needs of influential corporations.
Policies on health, finances, agricultural, national defence and even education are increasingly slanted towards enriching the corporations, usually at the expense of the People. When the corporations run a nation, that nation has no real future, because corporations only think in terms of the next quarter, not the next generation. Corporations will naturally do whatever they can to maximize their profits right now, including poisoning the children with vaccines, poisoning the population with toxic food products, sacrificing the financial future of the nation for short-term gain, destroying the environment, ignoring the health care needs of the People, inciting war so they can sell more profitable weapons to war-torn countries around the world, and so on. Essentially, corporations will sell out the future for higher profits today, and that’s exactly what they’ve done in America.
( excerptedin part from www.naturalnews.com)
The book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden, testifies to all that is wrong when Africans in the entertainment field decides that they may want to stop acting all Sambo and Mandingo and seek to get a piece of the “American pie.” While billionaire owners hold cities hostages, threaten to leave or do leave for another city, they do so with the full knowledge that the fanatics will be there to get their next hit of crack… which is sports and entertainment. The concern about loyalty amongst the fanatics may rise only long enough to quickly plop their junky heads back on the sidewalk as they Jones for the next big hit, long touch down pass or slam dunk. No john likes his whore talking back except if it’s during role role playing (who’s yo daddy, spank me baby). They fear the pimp, because the pimp might hurt them, but they can hurt the prostitute…with in reason and only with the blessings of the pimp, ala Dan Gilbert and Brian Colangello to name two. The credits at the end of that movie displeased a lot of people, but kudos to the director for reminding some of us that to be FREE is not the same as free dumb. And pissing on the individual for choosing to act like a man or woman… you know like a natural person, should not make you so fearful that you act like a savage and seek eviscerate them, when they are not stealing billions of your money and giving you shitty returns and empty promises.
This is economic and political hubris and they should be they ones burned in effigy or better still given the same treatments the elites of France in 1789-1799.