by Timothy Rollins, Editor and Publisher
September 22, 2003
For some, it's love of the game. For others, it's an opportunity to get away for two or three hours to watch athletes at the top of their game doing what they do best. For players, it's a dream come true, getting paid to do what they did in the playground as a kid. For fans, it's a chance to relive their childhood as they take their children or just some friends to whatever game they're watching.
However, in the last couple of years, I've had to ask myself what on earth has gone wrong - what has gone seriously wrong in the name of sports, at all levels, to get to such a point that I am seriously considering whether or not it's a good idea to get my seven-year old son in the mix or not.
I personally am a sports fan in a major way. I do not live, eat, breathe or sleep it the way some fanatics do, but I do enjoy a good game when the chance arises, be it a Blue Jays baseball game either in Toronto or at Comiskey Park in Chicago, a Monday night Chiefs or Packers game, a Wisconsin Badgers basketball game or anyone who might be on BYU's schedule (this is better understood by those who know me as I went to Utah, which is BYU's #1 archrival).
Violence in sports - both in the playing arena and out - by athletes, fans and even parents in the case of little league and pee wee hockey leagues has reached the point that a lot of parents are reconsidering the wisdom of their children being involved in these activities. As a child, I was heavily involved in athletics. The lessons gained there were a means to an end. I knew I would never be an Olympic athlete, yet I realized even at a young age the lessons I was learning were designed to last a lifetime. I learned to work and play well with others both on and off the field. My coaches as well as my teammates worked as one unit - each one no more important than the other, functioning as one team in order to accomplish the desired objective, in this case, victory.
Life is like that for all of us. Unfortunately, some people take that pursuit of victory too far, such as the hockey dad in Massachusetts now serving six years in the state prison for Murder on account of the fight he had with another child's father following a hockey match that went horribly awry. Then there was the mother in Texas who murdered her cheerleader daughter's rival - again, all in the name of sports competition. And these are only the cases I can think of off the top of my head. Lest we forget, there was a shooting Friday September 19th in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium in an argument over a baseball game - come on, people, it's only a game!
In addition to this, we have the issue of athletes behaving badly, and this isn't limited to athletes inhaling nose candy (i.e., cocaine). We had "Iron Mike" Tyson, who in reality is nothing more than an uncaged beast, rape an 18-year old beauty contestant in Indianapolis back in 1992 at age 25, and the judge there slapped him on the wrist with an eight-year prison sentence (of which he only did three years). That was the first brushing with the kid glove. The second one was when he was sent to the "Indiana Youth Facility" - at age 25?? Please folks! Give me a break. Had this been some 18-year old homeboy from the projects, he'd have been in with general population doing 25 to life, which is where Tyson should have been.
Lest we forget, we now have Kobe Bryant (right) of the Los Angeles Lakers facing similar charges in Colorado, where they take an even dimmer view of rapists than they do in Indiana and where justice is meted out even swifter. The fact that the Eagle County DA's office has received threats and that offers have been made to have the complainant whacked (assassinated) resulting in the arrest last week of a Swiss bodybuilder with an expired visa, only goes to show the entitlement mentality that celebrities, athletes and even some of the general public feel that the rich and powerful are entitled to.
They say that Lady Justice is blind. I say that's crap. O.J. Simpson and John
DeLorean proved it's for sale to the highest bidder. ***
© 2003 Timothy Rollins
© 2003 BY THE AMERICAN PARTISAN.
All writers retain rights to their work.