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Pro Athletes Running Wild? Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth

Updated on September 18, 2014

Pro Athletes Are Getting A Bad Rep

Recently, it seems like every day we are reading about a professional athlete being arrested for one incident, or another. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and other pro athletes have made headlines for their transgressions off the field, instead of their exploits on the field.

And for some reason, some of us are still surprised about this. I don't know why this should be. Do you think pro athletes should be perfect? These people didn't fall to earth from out of space. Nope, they come from communities like yours and mine.

Pro athletes carry the same insecurities, faults, wishes, hopes, dreams and shortcomings that we all do. The only thing different for the professional athlete is they have amazing athletic abilities, that we don't. This talent can make them millions of dollars.

However, the tremendous downside to all of is they live their lives in a fishbowl. You get a DUI and it is not front page news. The starting quarterback of your favorite NFL team gets a DUI and it's a scandal.

With the media and social network churning 24 hours a day, it may seem like the entire league is out of control. However, these NFL incidents represent only a tiny fraction of the 1,696 players currently on the NFL's 32 team roster, and the hundreds of other coaches, staff, and personnel that brings us the National Football League.

I assure you, if you put 2000 people from any walk of life _ be it clergy, writer, teacher, doctor, or whatever _ and ask them to live their lives in the fishbowl pro athletes do, you are going to find people who abuse their wife and children, drive under the influence, do drugs, and break the law.

For every Ray Rice, there are literally dozens of law abiding pro athletes making positive contributions to their respective communities, sharing their gifts, talents and monies to worthy causes. Of course, those endeavors will never get the headlines an arrest will.

I am speaking first hand. I covered sports in Detroit for more than 25 years. I have seen the contributions the Motor City's professional athletes make in the area. And my travels around sports cities during my career have shown me similar things happening from Baltimore to Miami to Seattle.

The fact is this: The majority of NFL players are men who obey the law and try to make a difference off the field. But, like me and you, that doesn't make them perfect, or say they won't make a mistake in the future.
I certainly understand why Rice, Adrian Peterson and others are in the spotlight. But don't let that spotlight blind you.


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    • Rebecca Motley profile image

      Rebecca Kathleene Motley, MD 3 years ago from MI

      LOL!! Guilty myself sometimes.... I am not as frustrated with the media as I am with the public. I am sick of this outrage-fest they are holding patting themselves on the back for knowing it is indecent to punch your wife.

      When the smoke clears and the right rams this up their rears (just like they did with the obamacare outrage bandwagon crud that soooooo many leaped onto) the left is going to screech... but their support ..... no encouragement of the NFL setting up it's own little internal judicial system to try and punish it's players is going to bite them on the tush... AND THEN SOME! At least all Hobby Lobby wanted to do was deny women the right to make their own choices. They never asked to be able to fire the women for those choices.

      Slippery slope--- meet the outrage loving progressives!

    • George B Vieto profile image

      George Bernard Vieto 3 years ago from Lake Charles Louisiana

      The media just likes to point the few rotten apples that fall from the tree to sell their sports shows. I mean I would not any sports show if it feature a story of any sports star helping a senior citizen cross the street. You are right though no sports star or entertainer is perfect. We are just pardoned. ESPN gets its kicks out of reporting the Ray Rice story because it shocked people that he would hit his former girlfriend and wife with a punch to her face. I am guilty of liking a cartoon or television show where the hero is captured by his enemy.

    • Rebecca Motley profile image

      Rebecca Kathleene Motley, MD 3 years ago from MI

      Whew! Finally.... someone speaks the truth to the powerful outrage of the holier than though, "outrage makes me feel like a good guy" crowd! Thank you!!