Sports culture sets improper example

Deflating footballs and domestic violence. Tom Brady and Ray Rice. One of those two committed a crime; the other cheated in a football game. One person was caught on video committing their act, while it was “more probable than not” that the other person and their team broke the National Football League’s rules. Both actions resulted in suspensions from the NFL. One person received a two game suspension, while the other received a four game suspension.

Unfortunately, it was Tom Brady, the person deflating footballs, who originally received a four-game suspension.

So, according to the NFL’s original punishments, games hold more weight than life. Tom Brady is more worthy of punishment than Ray Rice. High probabilities are more conclusive than video evidence.

Most importantly, cheating in a game is more atrocious than punching and knocking a woman out.

It’s great to take a stand against cheating and very important for youth to know that cheating isn’t the way to win. But it’s more important for kids and teens to learn proper morals from the athletes whom many see as role models.

Unfortunately, a good example is not often what kids see in the media. Those stories are overlooked for the ones about athletes who have made the wrong choice, many of whom continued to play.
For example, Floyd Mayweather, a professional boxer, faced multiple allegations of domestic abuse. He continued to fight and earn more money than many of us will ever see in our lives.

And much like Rice, Greg Hardy, an NFL defensive lineman, was involved in a domestic violence incident and served a very short suspension—four games. There is photographic proof of the injuries he inflicted on her, yet he continues to play in NFL for “America’s team,” the Dallas Cowboys, and is “one of the real leaders” according to Jerry Jones, the team’s owner.

At least they didn’t cheat, though. Because in sports, cheating is the cardinal sin. And it’s apparently fine if you beat a woman.

That’s the message professional sports, especially the NFL, sends today’s youth.

Actions speak louder than words, and right now, the actions of professional athletes are screaming the wrong message to the kids and teens of America.

At least in the Ray Rice case, a small whisper can be heard amongst the screams. Since his domestic violence incident, Rice hasn’t played another day in NFL.

Hopefully soon, whispers of the right message will grow to a full roar and the actions of professional athletes will set a proper tone for the kids and teens who idolize them.