Cozy Beehive said:
Thanks for the comments so far, like I said Joe helped write most of it and I played a small part in bringing it out to the public.
There was an interesting comment for the post in my email today. It went like this :
I can't answer this comprehensively enough. What factors are exactly contributing to a winner's paycheck apart from sponsors payout and such? Is there a slice of public money in there from ticket sales and so on? (I'm thinking of a track race where people buy tickets to get into the velodrome but I also can't see how it is "free" for someone to stand at the barriers near the finish line of say the Tour de France? How much do you have to pay to get that privilege?
The largest connection to the public is that the race invariably takes place on public roads, and that means that at various levels the community has to sponsor or support the race. Everything from road closure permits to police presence and medical support to volunteers. That's also why it's free to attend! But you are also being bombarded by the corporate sponsors.
The analogy that keeps coming to mind is network TV. The networks use public airwaves (they secure a portion of the spectrum) to provide "free" content to anyone willing to accept exposure to corporate messages (i.e., commercials).
In both cases, the actors and riders do not directly derive their income from the public. But without the use of public property, there would be no way for the race or programming to exist.
It's that connection that allows public participation in debate, I think. We own the public spaces these people race in. We have a stake in the what happens.
If all this happens in a private velodrome where people have to pay admission, then I think that the public has a direct connection to the rider's salary and can vote with their dollars by packing the place or not attending.
Just my opinion.