Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Brown v. USA Taekwondo (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 8, 2019)

Today's decision by the Court of Appeal will massively increase the exposure of National Governing bodies of the USOC (U.S. Olympic Committee) in various sports.

I'm not saying that's bad or good from a normative perspective.  Just that it's the case.

There's USA Swimming for swimming, USA Water Polo for water polo, etc.  National governing bodies that (typically) govern the sport and that establish procedures for how athletes in that sport get selected (nor not selected) to participate in the Olympics as part of the U.S. team.  But more broadly, these national governing bodies typically entire control the club-level in that sport.  If your kid is on a water polo team, for example, he's almost certainly a member of USA Water Polo, because you've got to be (essentially) to participate.

Today's opinion holds that these governing bodies have "special duties" to their members so that when a coach molests a kid, the governing body itself may be liable.  That's a huge increase in liability for the organization.  You'll undoubtedly see it reflected on the bottom line; the cost of membership in these organizations -- a practical necessity for participating the sport -- will assuredly increase.

Now, arguably, so will protections against getting molested, or (potentially) otherwise abused by your coach.  At least that's the hope.

Though I wonder how effective such screening mechanisms etc. would (will) be.  Certainly they'll be at least a TINY bit effective; screening out obvious sexual offenders, heightening concern by parents and participants and increasing awareness of the subject matter, etc.

It's just worth remembering that very few things in life are free.  Including but not limited to here.

Postscript - To nonetheless end on a happy thought, and as a reminder:  Love is always free.  So spread the wealth.