|06-30-2008, 04:08 PM||#1|
Happenin Homer Homie
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Weighing victory vs. virtue
Weighing victory vs. virtue
By Terry Frei
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 06/29/2008 11:45:15 PM MDT
The recent misadventures of Brandon Marshall and Carmelo Anthony, which include brushes with the law, again have shone the spotlight on local athletes' private-life behavior.
Teams wrestle daily with the issue of how much emphasis to place on character when assembling rosters and making decisions on whom to keep or cut.
Complete idealism is impractical, and we're seeing more and more that the issues of public relations, salary caps, competitiveness and team chemistry all come into play. The unwritten law, as in virtually any business, is that the more valuable you are, the more leeway you get. (Travis Henry could have had 50 children by 50 women in 50 states and still would be with the Broncos if he had stayed healthy and participated in the offseason workouts.) The trick for teams is to find that delicate balance, because when you win, nobody cares about anything else.
Can't we all agree on that?
The other matter on the front burner, more than ever, is how forgiving we should be while considering the non-workplace conduct of athletes.
I've always found it interesting how those who tend to be most disdainful of a few athletes' conduct — and no matter what anyone tries to tell you, misbehaving athletes still are the exception, rather than the norm — don't raise their voices with similar zeal about the actions of non-sports figures in the entertainment industry.
Robert Downey Jr., Jack Nicholson, David Crosby, Charlie Sheen or (fill in the blank with any of the many, many other names) have suffered few or no career-affecting consequences for conduct that would cause athletes to be denounced as scumbags and as pressure mounts in this era, to be subject to suspension — or worse — by league czars.
Beyond that, as we've delved into the allegations of Marshall's abuse of girlfriend Rasheedah Watley, for example, I believe we were dragged off track when searching out other examples of domestic- abuse allegations
Carmelo Anthony (Denver Post file photo)involving athletes.
As a loyal, yet dissenting, voice in an office and profession that take pride in being marketplaces of diverse ideas, I consider it troubling that The Denver Post and other media outlets often don't sufficiently make distinctions among various allegations of domestic abuse.
The standards of reporting and sometimes mandatory filing of initial charges are strict. I understand why, and I support the premise.
But that doesn't justify running a Patrick Roy police mug shot or a Daniel Graham courtroom hallway picture, as we did Sunday, and at least implying that their "incidents" — which didn't involve physical contact with women and, as noted in the small type, involved charges that later were dismissed — are in the same realm as far worse transgressions.
(It's also jarring to note the contrast as some members of the Denver media continue to lionize ex-Broncos linebacker- turned-actor Bill Romanowski as a lovable rogue. I'd say it's because he's in show biz now, but even as a player, he got sympathetic coverage from those he cozied up to, and he still draws affectionate reaction from fans here who remember his career fondly. Barry Bonds only wishes he could get that kind of sympathetic treatment.)
In this instance, it shows disrespect for the system to not acknowledge that when charges are dropped, as happened with both Graham and Roy, it often is for justified reasons that have little to do with their "celebrity"
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status — except, perhaps, that authorities can bend over backward to avoid showing favoritism.
Domestic abuse is a plague, and the frequency of athletes' involvement is shameful and troubling. Again, Marshall's alleged actions are, if proven to be true, disgusting. The same is true for actors and lawyers and anyone else whose transgressions don't make it into the newspapers.
That doesn't mean anyone ever named in a police report deserves the implication that they should be painted with the same brush as others whose actions are far more deplorable.
I also don't understand why so many of the same folks who run their opinions through a "sensitivity" strainer before expressing them, or who see nothing wrong with determining fairness through categorization and a calculator, so readily indulge in "anti-jock" stereotyping — the sort of unfairness they usually abhor.
And I don't think it's insensitive to say so.
Thank you Terry Frei..There may be hope for the DP afterall..
|06-30-2008, 06:50 PM||#2|
Attack at all times . . .
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AFC West Championshipville
You win with class, or it really doesn't mean too much in the long run.
|06-30-2008, 08:48 PM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Yea, I just don't feel sorry for most of these guys who continually find themselves in trouble. Certainly, most media outlets are staffed with scummy whores who would expose their own mother for a story... and I agree that they should be taken to task for their "reporting."
That said, these athletes get plenty of sympathy, preferential treatment and ass-kissing that the average defendant or accused wouldn't receive.
In 1998, a woman was on her way home from dropping her 15 year old son off at a party. She pulled up to a red light. As the light turned green, she slowly drove forward. She was instantly killed by Rams defensive end Leonard Little. Little was drunk, 2x the legal limit and had become so at a team function. The woman was dead instantly in wreckage her husband was quoted as saying "he thought she'd have to be buried in it." Little was quoted in the police report as jumping from his Navigator and exclaiming, "look at what that b**** did to my car."
Little was given 90 nights in jail, a sentence he never served in full.
He was allowed to play in a playoff game just a couple weeks later.
Better yet, Little was arrested again for separate speeding and (you guessed it) ... DUI incidents only a few years later.
What did Little receive for the 2nd DUI? Probation. I guess it's because he didn't kill anyone that time.
In any case, a husband and 15 year old boy remain without the centerpiece of their family.
So, while Ray Lewis and O.J. grab all of the headlines for getting away with murder... Leonard Little deserves some credit, too.
I know the article was written with good intention, it's just lost on me. For every incident of some paper not reporting charges being dropped with enough visibility, there are 100 of these animals beating up their women or killing people and getting wrist-slaps.
Sorry, I'm just not going to get all weepy over the injustice done to Marshall, here.