“It’s a vestige of slavery,” Cohen said Wednesday in a phone interview, noting that most of the players affected by the rule are African-American. “Not like the slavery of 150 years ago, but it’s a restraint on a person’s freedoms and liberties.”
Cohen also invoked the tiresome analogy that an 18 year old can serve his country but cannot . . . blah, blah, blah.
Cohen may be grandstanding, but he indicated his office is exploring the legalities of the rule, and that hearings before the House’s Judiciary Committee and legislative proposals are possible. If he follows through, this is commendable.
NBA Commissioner David Stern responded quickly in a press conference prior game one of the NBA Finals on Thursday. (NYT reg. required). Stern emphasized that the rule is simply a business decision. Doubtless, it is good business –perhaps not on par with some of J.D. Rockefeller’s sound “business decisions” allowing him monopolize the oil industry, or the reserve system that served the business interests of sports very well for many years. It is a good business move for the NBA nonetheless, as they may temporarily forgo a little talent, but are able to pass on a fair amount of labor market risk to the NCAA or