Youth Baseball: Affirmative Action Metaphor?

More

In this week's The New York Times Magazine, "The Ethicist" tackles youth baseball. Specifically, he counsels a reader on the controversial drafting of a hometown All-Star team. Nineteen boys tried out for the select squad; 13 will be chosen. The worst player at the try-out recently lost his father to cancer. The town is pressuring the coach to select the boy for the team anyway, which, though a nice showing of support for the grieving boy, would be wholly unfair. The Ethicist thinks the pity spot on the roster would do more harm than good:

Assuming this boy isn't stuck on the end of the bench and actually gets into a game, it will take him about three pitches to realize he's not good enough to hold his own among the all-stars. It will not be a pleasant moment. His well-wishers may be setting him up for failure, accompanied by the queasy sensation of his not deserving to be there, along with the resentment of teammates who genuinely earned their place on the squad.

However, one commenter has a different, passionate view on the matter:


I never thought I'd read an argument against affirmative action in this paper. I'm disgusted by the ethicist. Isn't it obvious that the young player only needed a chance? The kids who made the team without the community intervention had an unfair advantage since their fathers probably helped them practice.

Who's in the right?

Read the full story at The Ethicist.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In