Bill Bradley Is Stuck In The Past And Still Saying Stupid Things About Sports Betting
William W. Bradley was a US senator for nearly 20 years. He’s Princeton-educated. He’s an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was a two-time NBA champion with the New York Knicks, the AP College Player of the Year and the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player while at Princeton in 1965. Now, however, Bradley has become Grandpa, listing away in his favorite porch rocking chair, a few whiskeys deep, telling his youngins detailed stories about his time in Nam after he was simply asked if he wanted to go to the park today. In a recent interview with New York City-based magazine The Nation, Bradley loaded up his favorite shotgun and began firing away at sports betting being legalized across the nation. And, boy, are the Knicks glad Bradley wasn’t this erratic in the early 1970s.
Bradley knows enough about sports betting…The former senator has been around the block a few times and was even the driving force behind the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Also dubbed the Bradley Act, PASPA, you may recall, was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court last month, clearing the path for legalized sports betting on a state-by-state basis. Naturally, Bradley, known as “Dollar Bill” to former Knicks teammates, was not pleased with the SCOTUS decision. “I think it was an unfortunate ruling,” Bradley said. “I think it was a ruling that had no basis in what sport really is. I think that it was, once again, the Supreme Court being kind of nit-picking, and having a small-minded reading of the law, without understanding the implication for society as a whole.” A tad off base? Sure. Still, he appeared poised, calm and eloquent, as a seasoned and relatively well-informed senator should be.
… but Grandpa began rambling.Each state, Bradley noted, “will have its own (gambling industry). Now you can bet on high-school games. You could bet on AAU games with 14-year olds. You can bet on college games. There’s no prohibition whatsoever. And so various states would have to establish a law, if they wanted to to curb this. If they didn’t you could have betting on anything because the national law says that it’s open.” OK, grampy. Take a breath. Look, Matlock is on. Here’s a Werther’s Original hard candy.
- Yes, each state will have its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to sports betting. You are correct that the high court essentially waved the national ban to clear the path for individual state legislation.
- But no to the rest. There will not be (legal) betting on high school or AAU games. Nevada set the tone for that. Heck, in the Garden State, betting on college games has its limitations. New Jersey made that provision clear in its recent sports betting law. Sportsbooks, the bill said, cannot accept wagers “on high school sporting events or collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams.”
“It … reminds me of the Voting Rights Case, where (SCOTUS) invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, on the grounds of, well, there is no discrimination anymore. And thus was born the movement to suppress votes in this country. The day after the Supreme Court ruled on that issue, because there was no more discrimination, North Carolina and Texas passed laws that were extremely discriminatory. If you take what Koch state legislatures have done between 2012 and 2014, in 41 states, they introduced roughly 120 laws to narrow who could vote and how people could vote. So, this is the same kind of thing, in my view. It’s with no understanding what is going to be the impact on society. The court says, ‘Well, this is really a state issue.’”Lost? You’re not alone. Dumb it down a bit: Bradley basically just tied sports betting and vote discrimination by saying SCOTUS decided, “This is really a state issue.” Bradley likened placing money down on a sporting event to rigging a democratic system. You know, like how going to grab a slice of pizza from down the street is the same thing as being the leader of a dog-fighting ring? Because, hey, that’s a personal issue.