Posted by: joshjasper | May 9, 2010

Pros and Cons

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was recently accused of physically assaulting his girlfriend.  One reporter noted the following: “Unfortunately, Ortiz is not the first nor the last professional athlete to be accused or charged with a domestic violence incident. There is, sad to say, a long line of athletes who for one reason or another got into physical confrontation with their spouses.”

Can we please stop pretending that we don’t know what’s going on here?  (“for one reason another”)  The explanation to this problem is as obvious (and as similar) as the one that celebrities experience time and time again concerning monogamy…or the lack thereof.  Newsflash: Going to rehab for your “sexual addictions” is not going to miraculously cure your sexual urges.  Why?  Because you are not a sex addict.  You simply are another individual that has been made to feel important and now with your sense of entitlement, you feel you can take anything you desire.  Your “rehabilitation” must begin by first taking responsiblity for your actions and stop hiding behind a disorder that you do not have. 

My original thought for this blog was to list out the athletes that have been charged with some form of  illegal violence toward others throughout their careers.   It soon became obvious that the list would be never-ending.  Here’s a few notables though from different sporting backgrounds:

  • Ben Roethlisberger (rape)
  • Lawrence Taylor (rape)
  • Tito Ortiz (domestic assault)
  • Jason Kidd (domestic assault)
  • Chris Benoit (murder)
  • Ray Lewis (murder)
  • OJ Simpson (murder)

I’m not going to pretend to understand each of the circumstances that led up to these men assaulting another person, but surely something must be going on in which so many athletes are harming so many people, and often times harming the people closest to them.  To begin, I understand that the sporting world breeds aggression.  You learn that in order to be successful in sports, you must hit before they hit you, and to take no prisoners.  Is it possible then to assume that the aggression encouraged on the field finds its way off the field as well?  Maybe.  But what about all those athletes that don’t commit violent acts towards others?  Don’t they learn the same things?

I also think some professional athletes have a sense of entitlement about them.  As if to say, I am better than you and my needs come first over all else.  This sense of entitlement seems to only be fueled by the fact that we live in a society that places professional athletes on a different playing field than us regular folks.  More specifically though, above the law.  Consider the men listed above as an example.  Those individuals were charged with very serious crimes but have not been held accountable for their actions.

Instead of voting these guys into their respective halls of fame, how about we start with treating them like the men they really are.  These men should not be celebrated.  Why are we reminded in every news article that “Lawrence Taylor is a 10-time Pro Bowler, he was the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1986 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, 1982 and 1986. He recorded 132½ sacks.” 

Who cares?!  The guy paid $300 to rape a 16-year-old prostitute.  Please judge him accordingly.  And when you do, rest assured that individuals that believe they can take what they want, when they want, will think before they act in the future.

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Responses

  1. Ben Roethlisberger was never convicted of any crime. He was accused of a crime.

    Do people lose their presumption of innocence with you based on celebrity?


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