The spectacle surrounding LeBron James’ “Decision” exemplifies that professional sports are no longer the innocent pastime of millions of American’s rooting for their hometown team and cheering on the likes of John Havlicek, Ted Williams and Joe Namath. Professional sports are a business, pure and simple. Yes, there are still professional athletes out there like Derek Jeter and Joe Torre who love the game and play and manage with the same excitement they had playing on the sandlot years ago. But for most of the young, talented athletes, it is about how much money they can make and can they be part of a championship team. The innocence is lost.
Jill Sigal is President of Jill Sigal Associates, a consulting firm specializing in policy development, strategic planning, government relations, communications and stakeholder and community outreach. She recently has added cyber terrorism including Internet harassment and Internet identity theft to the portfolio of issues for which she gives public policy and strategic advice.