2013/02/08

The sick business of having too much money...

The age old saying goes that it is not money that is evil but rather the love of money. In this article at the Huffington Post the top 100 richest people added $241 billion to their combined net worth bringing it to $1.9 trillion. Jeez.

What is more shocking is the suggestion in another article along similar lines is that these folks are wealthy enough to eradicate poverty - the US spent $1735 billion on the Iraq war. With a 10th of that we could apparently eradicate global hunger.

Although it is not new - it's been happening forever - the world's wealthiest are able to influence governments as well. In our own backyard here in South Africa, we have the little Gupta - Zuma tryst. If the New Age breakfasts were not enough we may soon have another channel to skip over on DSTV too. It is bad enough that the SABC has applied selective censorship over the last few years - without providing any justification for their actions and remaining unanswerable to the public who actually pay the bills - but they are now opening a government friendly channel straight into our homes. So why not one for the M&G or the Sowetan or City Press for that matter. Are the Gupta's even going to pay for their new prime time slot - surely not. The advertisers during this program will be footing the bill. Ah, but there is the argument for free speech as long as you say something the ANC will not take offence to.

But this post is about money.

The damning report to come from the Australian sports commission is more fuel to the fire. Doping is one thing and it has infected all sports disciplines, but what is more insidious is the possible involvement of organised crime. How far down does the rabbit hole go? Besides the obvious stakeholders, the sponsors, media and team management, we now have to deal with the mafia that is the betting shops etc. Cricket, football and other disciples have for years been plagued by suggestions (and a few high profile busts) of match fixing.

The dismal and depressing fallout of the Australian investigation is if the Aussies are doing it then it is very likely that that everyone else is too. Sorry, but that is reality. It is highly unlikely that it is any longer an isolated incident and that LA and cycling are the only ones on the take - in more ways than one. And LA, in the light of the increasing flood of disclosures, is justified in feeling a little picked on by USADA.

This, unfortunately, is just the beginning. From the greed at the top and down to the minions all the way down the chain. The world has more pressing issues that could do with a small injection of what appears to be a wasted investment in professional sports. As long as there is big money to be made in sport - not that I begrudge those who can do sport for a living - the cycle (no pun intended) continues to take good money from the bottom of the pyramid to add to those at the top. Money begets more money and money buys all sorts of favours - including risking a sports persons life for more gain. We are all to blame.

Stop the cycle I say. Lets just all get a life - instead of living it through another fallible being - and save a life too. It will make you feel a whole lot better than drowning your sorrows after your favourite team fails again.
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