May 8, 2012

"Occupy Pro Sports" Movement Gains Steam

Bronx, NY -- Outside Yankee Stadium, the hundred or so "Occupy Pro Sports" protesters aren't afraid of a little rain.  However, some of them are afraid of the ball.  "I flinch and close my eyes every time the ball is thrown," says Paul Sillentri who lives near the stadium.  He plays softball twice a week, but his batting average "is so low, it's in the noise of a typical 3 digit batting average."   He admits it is officially listed as "zero" in both leagues, even though it is slightly higher.  "I usually bunt successfully once a season or so.  When people talk about the 99% of athletes in the world - I'm definitely one them."

The "Occupy Pro Sports" movement has been taking off since it was officially kicked off last month by a group calling themselves "Terrible Basketball Players United."  The group's demands were muddled at first - everything from publicly funded athletic instruction to limb amputation of extremely gifted sports stars - but have started to coalesce recently.  A webpage calling itself the Official Occupy Pro Sports site now lists the following demands (reprinted with permission):

1. Congressional grilling of 1%ers: all professional athletes who are too good and dominate their sport need to be punished and publicly humiliated.
2. Open tryouts for ANYONE who wants to make ANY professional sports team.  The Federal Government must regulate and oversee these tryouts to ensure fairness.
3. Government created and managed professional sports leagues for the 99%, funded by steep taxes on the existing non-government leagues.

The loosely affiliated "OPS" movements around the country are hoping to induce government action by harassing fans and vandalizing stadiums and rinks around the country.  In Cleveland this week, a mob of hostile protestors jeered and taunted Cleveland Indian players as they attempted to enter the stadium for an afternoon practice.  Several attempted to throw water bottles and trash at the athletes but had such poor aim no players were ever in any danger.  In another incident, three occupiers wearing skates and "We Are The 99%" t-shirts jumped on ice during an NHL playoff game in New Jersey but couldn't outskate the team's mascot and were quickly apprehended.  Several other stadiums have seen scratched and marred statuary where occupy mobs lacked the strength to pull them down.

Self-appointed OPS spokesperson Van Jones, who served briefly as a presidential cabinet appointee in 2009 but is more famously known as "the worst golfer Obama ever met", said "these events were actually successes because they bring infamy and attention to the OPS movement."  He went on to list several other occurrences and stated there are at least 29 "Occupy" groups in major cities all over the country.  "Turns out there are a lot of really lousy athletes out there that could never be a pro athlete in a million years without government intervention.  The folks always picked last in dodge ball. We're just looking to level the playing field," he adds with a grin.

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