Saturday, September 05, 2015

Give the lawyers jerseys

A star football player is suspended after what most fans find to be a distasteful incident. But he goes through several layers of appeal and eventually gets the suspension lifted, clearing him to take the field in his next game.

Tom Brady and Diarmuid Connolly.

The quarterback for the New England Patriots and a forward on the Dublin Gaelic Football team.

What's common in both cases is that after exhausting their league's internal processes and losing, they won before lawyers. In Brady's case, when the Patriots took the case to federal court. In Connolly's, when he took it to an external panel composed of lawyers and headed by a judge. Both decided the case on grounds of due process.

On the one hand, sport is now big money and high profile, so perhaps every i needs to be dotted and t crossed on process. But are sports fans really prepared to have critical decisions made off the field, especially by a professional class whose job it is to bog down real world accountability in endless process? For Ireland in particular, do we really want the people who've been so effective at delaying any legal accountability for the financial crisis getting a say in yet another arena?

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