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