Bad Behavior In Sports

Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling

UNITED STATES—It seems like the year 2014 has been an explosive year in the sports arena for controversy involving bad behavior. I mean, first we have the racism scandal involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that led to a massive media blitz that united America in the discussion on racism. In the aftermath of that scandal, Sterling lost ownership from his team and found himself shunned by the public.

It seems some would learn that such behavior is not acceptable in the public sphere, but TMZ Sports recently announced that Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson deciding to out himself to the public for his racist laced email about African-Americans driving down the greatness of the team. It became evident that Levenson decided to come forward before he was ousted by someone else. He has since decided to sell the team to save the NBA from any further embarrassment.

Fast-forward to this week, where the NFL is front and center after more video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice brutally attacking his fiancé Janay Palmer surfaced. The video is absolutely horrifying to watch as Rice strikes the female so hard she is knocked unconscious.

He is then seen kicking and dragging her out of the elevator. The incident first transpired in February 2014, where Rice and his fiancé were both arrested, the NFL only gave Rice a two-game suspension in July because of the incident. Thanks to TMZ, additional video of what transpired was released to the public in outrage.

Wow, it seems like the sports arena is a cash cow and moral and ethical behavior is at the bottom of importance unless it creates a media outrage. The media shouldn’t have to create a forum or discussion about such issues because these issues are relevant to daily life. To simply discuss the statistics of how many woman suffer from domestic violence each day, every hour, every minute, every second should frighten all Americans.

What’s worse is the impact it has on families and children. It creates a cycle of violence that never changes. Not only does this incident shed more light on the issue of domestic violence, but it makes the NFL look as if the issue was no big deal until the firestorm began to explode. There is quite a bit of talk of NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell perhaps stepping down because of the incident, as well as all other parties involved that seemed to want to cover up the incident as if it never happened.

Watching that press conference of the victim “apologizing” for her part in the incident left me reeling. No, hell no, you’re not responsible for what transpired, nor should you take the heat for this to begin with. It sends a message to other woman that it’s ok to accept ‘guilt’ in such an incident and that it’s ok to stay with the perpetrator. This is where things progressively get worse because one strike can lead to multiple strikes and possibly to death in some cases.

I’m so saddened by this news because a great sports star career has ended and rightly so. We cannot send a message to young people and to the public that such behavior is acceptable, violence is violence, no matter how many ways you try or attempt to spin it.

By Trevor Roberts