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The Reckless Pursuit of Dominion: A Situational Analysis of the NBA and Diminishing Player Autonomy


Michael McCann


University of New Hampshire School of Law; Sports Illustrated and SI.com; Mississippi College School of Law


University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, Vol. 8, p. 819, 2006

Abstract:     
This Article examines required genetic testing of NBA players from a situational vantage point, integrating socio-psychological, legal, and ethical analyses. The core argument may be expressed as follows: required genetic testing of NBA players appears consistent with a broader and largely deleterious agenda by the NBA to control players. Since implementation of the rookie wage scale in 1995 through the recent imposition of a paternalistic player dress code, the NBA has increasingly usurped player autonomy. The NBA's capacity to do so largely rests in its adroit manipulation of the situational influences that influence fans and media. For instance, because of unappreciated cognitive biases, fans and media often embrace distorted views of player's maturity, arrest propensity, and collegiate experiences. As a result, NBA players tend to be wrongly identified as immature, out-of-control, and hopelessly uneducated. In turn, the NBA has designed policies that ostensibly remedy these feigned problems while less-detectably transferring autonomy from player to league. In short, the league sees that others often fail to see, and that enables it to surreptitiously control players.

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Date posted: January 30, 2006  

Suggested Citation

McCann, Michael, The Reckless Pursuit of Dominion: A Situational Analysis of the NBA and Diminishing Player Autonomy. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, Vol. 8, p. 819, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=878611

Contact Information

Michael A. McCann (Contact Author)
University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )
Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property
2 White Street
Concord, NH 03301
603.513.5254 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://law.unh.edu/about/personnel/faculty/michael-mccann
Sports Illustrated and SI.com
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States
HOME PAGE: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/writers/michael_mccann/archive/index.html
Mississippi College School of Law
151 East Griffith Street
Jackson, MS 39157
HOME PAGE: http://law.mc.edu/faculty/profile_mccann.htm
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