Tuesday, May 23


"As sad as it is, accidents like this are part of the game." The only thing sadder is that "games" like Saturday's Preakness, which cause life-threatening injuries to horses, are unwarranted and unnecessary - yet they'll continue to thrive for the foreseeable future because, hey, what's a dead horse or two in the cause of fleecing credulous bettors who plunk their life savings down on "sure things" like Barbaro and Smarty Jones?

The link is just one of a slew of stories/columns trying to find an angle on this tragedy other than the obvious one. We need safer tracks, viewership will decline, etc. with all the attendant hand-wringing one would expect. But so far none of them put forward the obvious remedy: Stop running "games" where the main athletes don't choose to be there - where they are forced to compete in situations that can literally end up killing them. Such institutions are nothing short of barbaric, and though it will be a while before they're abolished, once they are the populace will look back on the callousness of saying "it's part of the game" and shake their heads in wonder.

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