An alarming number of professional athletes are joining the ranks of America's dissidents and depraved populations. Criminals are now wearing the colors of the Dallas Cowboys instead of the blue dungarees of prisoners. So far this year over 134 athletes within franchise operated sports institutions have been reported for criminal activity (Farrey, 1). This means that if you were to average the number of reports that every two days an athlete breaks the law. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that the majority of these athletes goes unpunished and in many cases aren't prosecuted. This has created a new image for professional athletes, instead of the respected role model of yesteryear we think of a steroid enhanced, boozing, womanizing, drug user. This obviously has had consequences in our society and within sports institutions, mostly negative. Yet rather than respond to this reflection the decadent morals of our society, we further the downward spiral by adjusting to this new breed of athlete.
[...] If there is a problem concerning one of their players, it should be dealt with because any thing that has to do with that player will ultimately affect the team, directly or indirectly. The best defenses the coaches can take is to either implement support for the athlete and in cases of drug abuse like Brett Farve's pain killer addiction, help the player through rehabilitation. And if the athlete is convicted, then condemn the action, and depending upon the severity of the crime, either attempt rehab or kick them off the team. [...]
[...] The basis of this "sport" is to have two large and intimidating men (or women as well these days) stand inside a square "ring" and proceed pummeling each other until one falls down and stays down or is ruled as the loser. Quite sophisticated isn't it. Well it just so happens that one of the most successful boxers in history, (which would mean he's pretty good at being violent right?) Mike Tyson, was convicted of rape a few years ago, yet went quite unhindered in his return to boxing. [...]
[...] The media and fans focus always on the MVP and team star like Michael Jordan or John Elway when in reality it is supposed to be a whole of the team that makes the accomplishment and not a few "gifted" players. Now, granted it takes a lot of hard work to be a good athlete, but how valuable are these skills we emphasize so much? This is why, after their golden days, many of the less successful pro athletes find themselves in financial trouble, having nothing to fall back on, no job skills, not training or degrees. [...]
[...] Or maybe it's the god-like pedestal we put these players on simply for their physical abilities and athletic performance that convinces them that they are not responsible for their actions and are above the law. If they are rewarded for their aggression in the game, then why wouldn't they continue this theme when interact with the rest of the world, when and where do they draw the line and how are they to differentiate? After all, what you do is who you are, so what does that make athletes who spend most of their time slamming into each other. [...]
[...] Considering the number of people who follow sports and are impacted by it, I think that we can make an endeavor for positive change using sports as a vehicle. After all, it is in everyone's best interest to improve the standing of these institutions. Fans will attain new found faith in their favorite stars and teams, teams will receive the support they've desired from fans, and the franchises will ultimately benefit financially as popularity grows and game attendance climbs. In summary, the facts are this: athletes commit crimes frequently, they are rarely convicted, this behavior is tolerated by the institution and public alike, this pattern is not inevitable and can be reversed, and everyone stands to benefit from such changes. [...]
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