With nobody being elected into the baseball hall of fame and the NHL lockout recently coming to an end, I find it shocking somebody isn’t getting more criticized. The topic of the hall of fame vote fell squarely on the steroid era with Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds on the ballot for the first time joining Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmiero as the poster boys of steroids. But people forget the steroid era would never have been had is not been for Donald Fehr.
As head of the MLBPA, Fehr fought against drug testing, claiming it as an invasion of privacy, which basically enabled all baseball players to roid up, and home run numbers to soar. “But didn’t the home run race bring baseball back to popularity after the 1994 strike?” Indeed it did, but who had a huge role in the strike? You guessed it Fehr. In fact, He was involved in 5 baseball work stoppages. After working for the MLBPA for over 40 years, he finally stepped down in 2009.
What did Fehr do after baseball? He became the NHLPA executive director in 2010 and proceeded to orchestrating his 6th work stoppage in 8 negotiations through his career. And the NHL is probably the sport that could least afford a work stoppage. After the 2004-2005 season being completely cancelled, hockey became almost extinct on TV, being hidden on the NBC Sports Network formerly known as Versus, which, at the time, was only available in about half the homes in America. Hockey finally found itself back in the spotlight with the introduction of the Winter Classic. Now, a work stoppage cancelled about half the season, lost out on the Winter Classic, and has some of the league’s stars contemplating staying overseas to play their hockey citing the better treatment they get than in the states.
Only Donald Fehr can make living and playing in Russia more desirable than the United States. In my opinion Fehr is the worst thing to happen to sports since, I dunno, the WNBA?