Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Jontay Porter is the Tip of a New Iceberg When it Comes to Professional Sports, Gambling, and Ethics

Today is a sports-themed kind of day, I guess, considering I just wrote about a new sports card store earlier and now have this post! It's funny as I used to never write about sports but now I touch on that along with other popular culture. Now then, I have zero problem with sports gambling because if it can bring income to states, and isn't hurting anyone (problem gambling should obviously be addressed), then states should do it. That said, if sports leagues are going to partner with gambling sites/entities, have them advertise a bunch, pay for stuff, and otherwise be a huge part of sports, can anyone really feign surprise if some athletes take all that as a sign they can get involved in sports gambling to some degree? It was announced that Basketball player Jontay Porter was caught by the NBA illegally gambling on his performance to make money and working with bettors. He is going to be the tip of the iceberg in regards to some athletes trying to game the system to make extra funds.

Think about it. If you make gambling a huge part of the game, don't be stunned when those playing the game see a way to possibly get some scratch--ethically/legally or not. It's a new era of professional sports and gambling on a sport has mostly come out of the shadows, but plenty of metaphorical dark crevices for illicit activity remain. I don't know if there is enough light to stamp out everything questionable that could occur--although thanks to everything being legal various systems noticed the odd betting patterns regarding Porter, at least. Pete Rose's gambling on baseball was Earth-shattering news decades ago. Now, that's going to look positively quaint compared to the shitstorm I could see hitting pro sports in the coming years if athletes try to get in the game on their games. It isn't right, but I can predict it happening more and more. 

Porter isn't an isolated case, either, just the most brazen so far. Major League Baseball's new star player Shohei Ohtani has his own scandal by proxy. Ohtani's translator, Ippei Mizuhara, allegedly stole 16 million dollars from him and placed sports bets without his knowledge, but only so many players have a translator to blame (I'm not saying Ohtani did any illegal gambling, but if it ever came out he did, my lack of shock would be evident). We aren't even halfway through 2024 and already two sports have been rocked by gambling scandals. I'd bet--no pun intended--that there are going to be a lot more gambling fiascos before the year is done. I mean, don't forget that the Summer Olympics are this year, and plenty of legal sportsbooks are ready. I'm bracing myself for a mess with that, although I hope nothing sketchy occurs. Time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Betting has been a thing since...the beginning of competition. ;) Please do not go too far down the rabbit hole of sports card collecting. That said, have you come across any MMA cards?