I’ve posted an essay defending inequality (?!?) over at the League. Don’t get mad yet—I’m talking about athletic inequality. Here’s a sample:
All of the resulting fluidity often prompts complaints about the transfer market’s lack of fairness. These come from fans of big and small clubs alike, for we are all democrats now. We need parity and table mobility and we need financial fair play. It’s a familiar, egalitarian complaint—why should Chelsea or Manchester United or Real Madrid or AC Milan or Sporting [Your Club’s Rich Rival] be permitted to purchase a nearly impregnable hold on success? Why should their floor be everyone else’s ceiling? We are suspicious of entrenched privilege. If the on-pitch rules impose a measure of equality upon all participants, it seems odd that we allow the off-pitch rules to privilege the wealthy. What, after all, should bank accounts have to do with determining the result of an athletic contest? We want to measure athletic prowess, not business acumen. That’s why we lionize the players—rather than the administrators who orchestrated their arrival.
But what if these aren’t the only relevant questions? What if the pursuit of parity threatens to sunder the goods of nobility?