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There are a couple of things that I stand for in my life. I think I am a staunch advocate against violence with my work on RHV, I consider myself a supporter of gender equality but have always believed in chivalry, and I support gay rights as well. I really believe we, as a culture, have to respect and treasure all members of humanity. The thing about all of that is if you ask anyone to describe me (aside from the writing and the left-leaning politics) they would say no one is more passionate about football.
I love football. The sport is one of the most beautiful works of art that I have ever seen. Each play is a stroke of a paint brush, each game is a canvas upon the collection that encompasses a season. There are so many things we can learn about unity, perseverance and ethics from the 60 minute game.
And while I love the sport I find it harder to tolerate some of the off-the-field issues of the NFL the older (and more involved in causes) I get.
Take a look at this video of Ray Rice and his wife.
Evidently Rice and his fiancée got in an argument, they both struck each other with their hands and he knocked her out (and proceeded to drag her into an elevator). While the Tiger Woods/Lance Armstrong issues really helped me shape my own beliefs on athletes as role models, I still cringe when I hear stories about well-known athletes doing something to shake our perception of them.
And then there is the report recently released on the findings in the Jonathon Martin case. While many people have come out against the culture of bullying and stereotyping discrimination highlighted in the case about the Miami Dolphins locker room, the perception is still out there. The fact that an organization can willfully let those things happen is still out there. Shouldn’t we be past that point?
Lastly, living in Massachusetts, it’s rare to go without some reminder of Aaron Hernandez. It still kind of shocks me that someone can do those types of things at that level or be allowed to exist in that environment for the amount of time he did. I understand that Hernandez didn’t do anything so drastic that he has done now prior to entering the league. But after reading about so many people who thought he was capable of something like that, why go with him?
We tell kids to look to the game for all of these lessons on life. Families, friends and communities gather around televisions on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays to watch some of the best athletes in the world play the best game in the world. We use the game to educate our kids but then we go watch people who may not always be the type of individuals we want our kids to be. At what point do we separate the game from the athlete? At what point do we feel shocked about what some of these people say or do?
(Side note: I know the people who get in the news about these types of actions are a low percentage of the people in the league: but a small amount of people can change the perception of anything.)
I think the hardest part about getting older is seeing these people you used to idolize as humans with faults. The stars of the NFL are not stars, they are people. And sometimes people don’t deserve to do something just because they can. We really need to start to adhere to that as a society.
I don’t think I am a hypocrite. I don’t condone the various actions of these individuals that pop up on ESPN or SI or TMZ because of their nefarious wrong doings. I just love the game.
Welcome to the empty recesses of my mind! I'm a recent college graduate realizing a Creative Writing degree was a bad idea. Give me a pity like. Or you could check out the about sections (on the front page and about this author page) on my blog to learn a little more about me. Whatever. https://thebohemianrockstarpresents.wordpress.com/