The answer is ‘no,’ ” said North­eastern Uni­ver­sity law pro­fessor Roger Abrams, whose exten­sive writing on sports and law includes the 2010 book “Sports Jus­tice.“
The Hall of Fame — where Abrams spent six months as its first scholar-​​in-​​residence in 2006 — “is a pri­vate orga­ni­za­tion,” he said, “without public money. It’s not a gov­ern­ment” and, unless there was proof of dis­crim­i­na­tion based on the Civil Rights Act, “then, sorry, there is no cause for action” by excluded players.
Abrams hap­pens to believe that Coop­er­stown is “more than the Met­ro­pol­itan Museum of Art,” some­thing closer to a cathe­dral than a mere col­lec­tion of his­toric arti­facts. “If we make believe that base­ball is the national pas­time — and it cer­tainly was for so long — then we have ele­vated just a handful to the pan­theon of the greatest,” he said.
He con­tended that the Hall is “not there to show us how to be good people but to show us how to play the national game,” and he con­siders it “unjust to hold players account­able for some­thing that was per­fectly per­mis­sible” before Major League Base­ball began testing for drugs — and only for survey pur­poses at the time — in 2003.
Then again, “legally, socially, eth­i­cally, there are no legal restric­tions.” Base­ball writers “don’t have to explain how you vote,” he said.

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