In one of my favourite movies ever, A Bronx Tale, a Mafia Don says to a young man who is upset Mickey Mantle had cried:
“Mickey Mantle? That’s what you’re upset about? Mantle makes $100 thousand a year. How much does your father make? “…If your dad needs money, go Ask Mickey Mantle. See what happens. Mickey Mantle don’t care about you. Why care about him? Nobody cares.”
The boy in narration says “From that day on, I never felt the same about the Yankees,”, and went home and tried to throw away his baseball cards because a professional athlete wouldn’t ever pay his rent.
That scene forever changed my view on sports – I couldn’t understand being so involved with something, or someone who didn’t care about me at all. Now that the NBA has joined the NFL on strike, one wonders how the public could have sympathy – for either side in either league – in these high profile disagreements between the rich and even richer. With the state of our economy, and the many important issues facing so many American families, professional sports stand, and deserve, to lose tremendously in the court of public opinion when they strike.
As it is already for many Americans, attending NFL or NBA games is simply unaffordable, and from a public relations standpoint, striking is a lose-lose for all sides in both leagues. The longer these strikes drag on, the more damaging it will be. The Public Relations damage to the NBA could be curbed if the strike ends quickly – however the longer a labour impasse goes on, the more damage. For the NFL now past its 100-day mark, is well on the brink of affecting the start of football season.
Pure athletic programs and playing ball in the backyard has long given way to big business, poor conduct, greed, sky-high ticket pricing and all around bad behaviour. The world of professional sports today holds few heroes or sympathetic figures – and this owner of a PR Agency urges more kids to put away their trading cards and use this strike to realise that the true heroes aren’t the ones who can dunk a ball or throw a perfect spiral, but the ones who can make a difference and instill true values.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.