by David Sisler

New Jersey Nets rookie Brandon Armstrong was put on the team’s injured list with tendinitis in the knee. He told reporters, “They [team officials] had to tell me which knee.”

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jelani McCoy knew he was facing a trip to the injured list. He felt fine, but averaging only one point a game this season, and with star forward Samaki Walker about to come off the injured list, he knew an injury would pop up soon. What kind of injury, a researcher queried? Probably a bone spur, he replied. “Whatever they say.”

When the team reactivated Walker ten days ago, McCoy was placed on the injured list. With a bruised right foot.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the cases of Brandon Armstrong and Jelani Walker are not rare occurrences in the National Basketball Association. Each team can suit 12 players, and so to keep reserves close, they frequently ask a marginal player to take one for the team and fake an injury.

Rick Wartzman writes, “Rod Thorn, the president of the New Jersey Nets and a former top NBA official, figures that at any given time, as many as 40 percent of those on the list are in fact healthy. The ploy lets a team retain up to three extra players to use during practice and rotate on and off the active squad – allowing younger, more marginal talent to develop slowly.”

Wartzman continues, “Jerry Sloan, the coach of the Utah Jazz, says he was never one to fudge a player injury – until a couple of years ago, when it became obvious that his team's veracity was putting it at a disadvantage. ‘I’ve never liked it. I think it’s a phony thing,’ he says. But ‘if you’re going to compete, you have to go along with whatever is acceptable.’”

If you are going to compete, you have go along with whatever is acceptable.

The Boy Scouts of America are not going along with whatever is acceptable. And it continues to cost them.

In spite of the fact that the United States Supreme Court ruled that Boy Scouts are protected under the First Amendment to control their own values, the Scouts in Auburn, NY have been given until June 30 to vacate the space they rent from Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).

HSBC Holdings is identified by AP and FOXNews as “one of the world’s largest banking and financial institutions.” Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch are among the notable parts of HSBC. The Merrill Lynch partnership is two years old, and to quote HSBC documents, was established to “create a global online banking and investment services company.”

Browsing through the company’s website, even a casual reading finds some high sounding words that appear to stop at the computer screen and do not reach into HSBC’s every day life in the community.

For instance, “HSBC has always striven to maintain the highest ethical standards ... However, it cannot cover every eventuality.”

Since when do ethical standards fail to cover every eventuality? Oops, I forgot the doctrine of the NBA, “If you are going to compete, you have go along with whatever is acceptable.”

Another interesting item states, “HSBC's policy is not to make contributions to political parties or partisan organizations.” But it is certainly HSBC’s policy to discriminate on political and partisan grounds. Hence, the Auburn Boy Scouts ouster from their current location.

“HSBC is an organization committed to diversity in all of its forms,” said Kathleen Rizzo-Young, a bank spokeswoman. “We determined that the Boy Scouts’ philosophy was in conflict with this commitment.”

HSBC shouts its commitment to diversity. But that commitment does not extend to Scouting’s commitment to its historic position that its members be “morally straight.” That is too diverse it seems. Diversity for HSBC does not include the moral standards of God’s Word. Maybe their company statement should be, “We are only as diverse as we want to be, and fearing a financial loss if we support heterosexuality, the Boy Scouts have to go.”

Whatever is acceptable. Move over Sodom and Gomorrah. You have company.


Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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