Should the residents of South Florida trust the leadership of baseball’s Marlins, who trimmed payroll and sought taxpayer assistance for their new stadium while privileged financial statements obtained by the website Deadspin.com showed the team turned an operating profit of about $49 million for the combined 2008 and 2009 seasons?
Should players and fans trust George Shinn, who, the Charlotte Observer revealed, was underreporting attendance for the Hornets as it lobbied the National Basketball Association for a move to New Orleans? Here was a case of an owner fudging the numbers to get what he wants.
And then there’s Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who knowingly violated the NBA’s labor agreement when in 1999 he entered into a secret contract with a player.
“What was done here was a fraud of major proportions,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said at the time. “The magnitude of this offense was shocking.”
It’s worth noting that league owners in 2008 elected Taylor chairman of their Board of Governors. Trust us.