Dick Durbin announced Thursday that the Senate will hold a hearing to look into practice of paying sports players bounties to injure others, because, of course, Congress loves a good, relevant professional sports scandal. Durbin announced that the Judiciary Committee would investigate the practice of coaches paying players a bonus for injuring stars on opposing teams, a practice that's gained a whole bunch of media attention since a New Orleans Saints coach was caught doing it. Durbin makes a point to Politico that others engaging in the debate have made, too:
"Let's be real basic about it here. If this activity were taking place off of a sporting field, away from a court, nobody would have a second thought (about whether it's wrong). 'You mean, someone paid you to go out and hurt someone?'" Durbin said in a telephone interview before raising the issue on the floor of the Senate.
Fair enough. But of course, some grumbling is already going down on Twitter among the citizenry. And it's not coming from those who don't think that bounties are wrong. As one tweep puts it, "Hate being the guy who says 'doesn't Congress have something better to do' but... don't they?" For indeed, in the many previous instances where Congress has investigated misconduct in professional sports, we imagine some people might suspect some, uh, self-serving motivation here. Congress has held hearings on drug use in Major League Baseball, wrestling, and football. And every time, someone points out that the Senate might just want us to tune into CSPAN to watch them ask a famous athlete some questions. But hey, maybe now that they've finally cleared that pesky insider trading business off their docket, they have some free time for sports.