Ed Kilgore highlights some comments from Pete Buttigieg that will likely be dismissed in all the usual quarters.
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said he had moral qualms about being a college football fan and found it “problematic” on Monday.
In response to a question from Jewish Insider about the issues with following a sport where unpaid athletes risk serious injury, Buttigieg said, “First, you need to look at what we owe students. Obviously the model says you get an education in exchange for contributing this way, plus the sport is supposed to be its own reward, but I don’t think that that’s really fair anymore….”
It’s not just the money he finds problematic, either.
Buttigieg also said that if he had a child, he “would hesitate to let them play football.”
With regard to that latter point, this is pretty damning stuff.
As you would expect, football leads the way there, but there are troubling statistics all throughout collegiate athletics, which support a conclusion like this one.
Ultimately, this is what’s going to doom college athletics as you and I know them presently. There are glaring issues which the NCAA and its member institutions choose to ignore. Doing so doesn’t make them go away. It only postpones the inevitable.
Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. It seems like every week there’s another politician doing everything from calmly stating qualms like Buttigieg here to suggesting support for legislation impacting current NCAA practices to actually passing such legislation. The NCAA ignores the political world at its peril.