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)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In