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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speech and Sports: The Athletes' Turn

As I wrote previously, I have an ongoing interest in the role of speech within sport. Controversies primarily involve fan speech. But sometimes controversy arises over what athletes themselves say, on or off the field.

Robert Edwards Auctions got its hands on an 1898 document entitled "Special Instructions to Players," which warns professional baseball players to stop profanity to intimidate opponents and umpires. And since you cannot stop anyone from using bad language without providing examples of that bad language, the instructions give ten examples of unacceptable offensive language. (H/T: BoingBoing). At University of Chicago Blog, Randy Picker decries the fact that the dirty words of 2007 are basically the same as our dirty words of 1898. As Picker puts it:

Perhaps foul language is like classical music: we came up with all of the really good ones a long time ago, and now we are just condemned to repeating, combining and permuting.

(Cross-Posted at Sports Law Blog)

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 6, 2007 at 12:59 AM | Permalink


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