Can we say it? Could it be true? What is the definition of a professional athlete in America? Can you explain what Professional Sport is?
It’s sacrilegious to begin a post with questions, but oh well. These questions are important and open up a vastly different perspective of how we view and treat today’s modern athlete.
We have a misconception in America and maybe across the world, that athletes represent the moral and respectful reflection of societies current standards. This is not true. Rather athletes are the representation of who we really are, not what we suppose or presume to be. Athletes are great, flawed, misunderstood, lost, found, misrepresented and every other adjective you can think of.
Some are murders, rapist, great leaders and philatrophist.
But in our intense admiration, and with the business that is all major sports leagues, athletes are held to a much higher standard. A standard that no longer fits the times, nor identity of the NFL and the other major sports leagues.
Welcome to Cleveland! Home to the NFL’s Browns, a team looking for a fresh start, but who boast two of the more high profiled players in recent months. Making headlines in the off season is never a good thing. For both Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Josh Gordon making headlines for all the “wrong” reasons has become the norm.
Both Manziel, who has battled alcohol abuse and Gordon who has numerous positive marijuana test, can now be classified, or should I say crucified as “Wrong”! At least in the public’s, media’s and NFL’s eyes. I emphasis wrong to make a point. The interpretation and the media analysis of young athletes has made us very clear about what “wrong” is.
Can you imagine, a 23 year old (Manziel) and a 24 year old (Gordon) participating in the drinking of alcohol and smoking Marijuana!!!! Oh My!!! Hide the woman and children! Somebody must act, before these heinous young men are let loose on the streets…..
That folks is sarcasm and false hysteria, if you didn’t catch on. But it highlights the kind of outrage produced by media commentators and league officials. It’s overhyped and overblown, not to serve as some kind of Public Service, but instead to hurt the brand of the player in question.
I am not here to defend the character of both Manziel and Gordon, I never met them. You can follow them on instagram or twitter if you want. Hell I’m not even a Browns fan, so no bias there either. I rarely drink and don’t smoke weed, so cross that off your list.
What I do know, is that they provided incredible entertainment while in college and in the pros for thousands of football fans, including myself. Note: Another key word; “Entertainment”.
Because what you see folks is, Sports, Football in general is just Entertainment. Which makes every game, every player and every participate in the NFL and every other sport league, merely producers of entertainment. No different from WWE, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Batman Vs Superman, or the next Kanye West album. Entertainment, plain and simple.
Why is ok for a rock star, a rapper, an actor, a reality star to not be subject to the high standards of morality, pushed upon the young athlete? Many actors and musicians have and are currently users of both drugs and alcohol. Did it prevent them from doing their jobs? Were they subject to evasive testing and harsh penalties?
Why do we demonize young athletes, many with troubled upbringings, some with no strong parental guidance. Why do we throw them to the trash, the minute they stop entertaining us?
Or rather, are stopped from entertaining us…
Josh Gordon’s play was never affected by his alleged drug use. Why should I care that he smokes weed on his off days. Manziel was given little time to develop, suffered in a dysfunctional franchise, and was tossed when the off field hysteria didn’t make Cents. From 1st round pick to expendable, hell even JaMarcus Russell got more time than Johnny Manziel!
Merely Business and Administrative decisions made on behalf of the financial interest of teams and the league. Nothing more, nothing less.
The double standard is clear. The NFL and other professional sports leagues care not for its young athletes, it cares for its brand. The shield is protected at all cost. The hypocrisy is allowed to flourish, while young men are left without a career and livelihood they worked their whole lives for.
You can be a millionaire, but only by our rules…That’s the NFL way. We’ll sell you beer and take money from taxpayers, but don’t you dare smoke weed or have off field problems. These heavy handed punshishments have to end. Especially for health, drug and non violent offenses.
The NFL dictatorship has spoken. I just feel bad for the wasted years and potential of these young athletes who are caught up in the hypocritical, backwards and outdated system of control. Welcome to NFL in 2016, same as it ever was.