Not too long ago, we were all subjected to a media spectacle in which one of the most entertaining althletes in all of sport, Lebron James, used his celebrity power to garner and manipulate a huge audience, many of whom were loyal fans, into watching him announce his decision on where he 'would be taking his talents".
We have grown used to our local heros, our team's franchise, our stars showing their deep appreciation for our support by doing exactly what they feel they personally need to do when and where they feel the need to do it.
This is no longer a question of what is right or wrong, it is a reality.
In many cases we blame ownership and/or management...and in many cases we may be right. They make business decisions that often do not comport with fan appreciation.
But so do players.
In boxing we have seen exciting, promising fighters demand purses that make matches inmpossible. Alfredo Angulo turned down 750,000 dollar to fights to fight a then lesser reknowned Sergo Martinez. Anselmo Moreno turned down 300k to fight Nonito Donaire after Montiel just received $250,00 to defend and lose his title. And now no one including his father has denied that Floyd Mayweather asked for and thus consciously priced himself out of a fight with Pacquiao for a clean 100 million dollars.
My point here is that we really don't know what goes on in negotiations between their fighters and their managers. Or their promoters. Or the networks for that matter.
What we know is what we see. And what we see is not always what we want. And, like in most cases, we tend to shoot the messengers. It's just easier. Or more human.
But I will contend that in today's business environment, stars have power. And they make choices. They demand them in fact. And thus it is not always the promoters who are at fault.
Boxing has many issues distinct to it's nature. Entitled stars is not merely one of them. It is endemic of all sport. But it is an issue.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.