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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Grounded, Wings Clipped, However You Want To Put It
While I was in an election frenzy, Ellen Simonetti (a/k/a "Queen of Sky") was formally fired by Delta, effective Monday November 1.

Simonetti has hired a PR firm, is working on t-shirts to support her cause, and has even mentioned the possibility of a "laptop signing tour" (no, it's not THAT).

And, she's still pursuing the gender angle:

Queen of Sky found something VERY interesting in the BBC article this morning:

The [Delta] spokesperson also confirmed that there were "very clear rules" attached to the unauthorised use of Delta branding, including uniforms.

Funny, because Q of S has found COUNTLESS pictures of male Delta employees (mostly pilots) in uniform on the Web. I wonder if Delta plans to fire all of them, too?

I guess that would be only fair.

I myself found two examples (see here and scroll down) of two uniformed Delta pictures on personal pages.

And speaking of flying high (I take that back - the WNBA rarely dunks), another case of preferential treatment for males has been alleged:

A former WNBA player on Wednesday sued the Los Angeles Sparks for unfairly waiving her in response to allegations she had sexually assaulted a woman.

Latasha Byears was cut from the team five days after a June 2003 party at which she and three men were said to have assaulted the woman, a former teammate. Prosecutors said at the time that there had been an investigation, but no one was arrested and no charges were ever filed.

Byears, 31, said her quick dismissal demonstrates bias against lesbians by Jerry Buss, owner of the Sparks and the Los Angeles Lakers. She contrasts Buss' backing of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who was accused of raping a woman, with the team's response to allegations against her.

"They helped pay for chartered flights for Bryant's court appearances ... and issued several public statements of support," the suit said, while she was "immediately terminated and banished from the organization."...

"The Lakers/Sparks failed to conduct any investigation ... into these bogus allegations," the suit claims.

In her suit, Byears asks for general, punitive and special damages including actual and future lost earnings and benefits.

Actually, this one probably isn't sexual discrimination. Every sports player can be terminated for violating a "morals clause" - unless the player is so popular that management wants to keep him/her. For example, let's say that Lisa Leslie and Caron Butler had both been charged with assault. I bet Buss would keep Leslie and get rid of Butler because of Leslie's marquee value.

Aside: in previous years, I would program AM 570 on one of the buttons on my car radio in the fall, and remove it during the summer. This year, I haven't bothered to add it yet.

Meanwhile, there's an NHL strike and nobody cares:

These obviously are troubled times for the NHL, which is embroiled in a nasty labor dispute that is threatening to wipe out the 2004-05 season.

NHL owners want a salary cap, and they have locked out the players to force them to accept it.

The players have countered with a luxury-tax plan and have been told where they can stick it.

Forgive me if this all sounds way too familiar. Major League Baseball went down this road in 1994, and it took years to win back the full confidence of disgruntled fans. Is it too much to ask that the warring factions of the NHL take a look at history before they doom themselves to repeat it?...

[I]t's tough to win the public-relations battle when all but your most rabid fans are now happily watching reruns of the 2003 World Series of Poker....

Therein lies the one major difference between this NHL dispute and the disastrous baseball labor war of 1994-95. The baseball strike cut off an exciting season and forced the cancellation of the World Series, which sparked widespread public outrage. The NHL has locked out its players at a time when the sport already is facing a popularity crisis, which places it at serious risk of simply becoming irrelevant....

The baseball players played chicken with the owners in 1994-95 and eventually succeeded in fighting off management's salary-cap plan, but the hockey union might be wise to find a more conciliatory approach. Everyone knew baseball was a highly entrenched, century-old institution that would eventually recover. No one is quite so sure that will be the case if the NHL wipes out this entire season.

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