I tried to enlarge on Korn's point when I took the witness chair. I was not asked to read my 10-page statement; it was entered into the record by Conyers, and I assumed that the subcommittee had already examined it. So I pointed out that what Korn's testimony had done was to place the entire blame for the violence in professional sports on the players, when the problem is an orchestrated kind of violence that implicates the entire structure of a pro sport.
Mottl's bill would penalize only players, however. Not the coaches who encourage borderline (and over-the-line) techniques and intimidation; not the administrators and team owners who condone the acts and profit from them; not the game officials whose action, or inaction, can allow the bad behavior to escalate. All are just as guilty as the offending athlete. It is the climate of violence that must be dealt with, and HR 2263 is totally inadequate for that task. But Congress need not concern itself, I said, because the exorcists were already on the job. They are called lawyers and they are becoming more and more interested in cases of violence in sport. And they are not just singling out athletes. The lawyers represent clients who are suing coaches and schools, administrators and equipment manufacturers.
And what about television? Would Congress hold television responsible for capitalizing on the violence and for immortalizing it on instant replay?
During my questioning it became obvious to me that Conyers had not read my statement. Afterward, Assistant Counsel Ernest McIntosh told me that although Conyers hadn't had time to get to it before I testified, he certainly intended to read it as soon as he could.
Representative Mottl considered my objections and asked if I would support the bill if it were rewritten. He said he realized it was imperfect and would be amended. I said I didn't know, that I'd have to see the revision. But the more I think about it, the more I think Congress should just forget the whole thing.