Flood’s Game Was One of Principles
Curt Flood died Monday. His funeral should be attended by every professional baseball player. It is from his unyielding stand on principle they now enjoy unparalleled income and freedom.
How many of us would be willing to surrender both fame and fortune at the height of stardom for an honorable principle? A principle for which you will be vilified by your enemies and little appreciated by your friends.
Curt Flood chose to fight the injustice of baseball’s reserve system knowing that even if by some miracle he won, his career would be over.
To quote a union director: “Few praised him for this, then or now. There is no Hall of Fame for people like Curt.” Too bad, there should be one for people who exhibit such noble spirit and integrity. And their passing should be noted on the front page rather than the sports page. We need to honor those who, at great sacrifice, place principle first in their life.
How painfully symbolic that Curt Flood should leave us on the observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday. Curt Flood was the original Freedom Rider for all professional athletes, having been the most instrumental in overthrowing, at great personal cost, the master-slave relationship inherent in the reserve clause. Curt Flood merits the gratitude of the nation and his fellow athletes who should honor him in all appropriate ways.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.