Ask Amy had a letter last week that reminded me of a topic I have wanted to post on for a long time. A lady was upset because a professional athlete had moved into her neighborhood. At first she appreciated the notoriety associated with the presence of a pop icon in her neighborhood, especially after the athlete and her husband became friends. Her joy turned to dismay however when the athlete turned out to be a colossal jerk. As seemingly all professional athletes do, he had wild and debauched parties at all hours of the night, thus disrupting their peaceful enjoyment of their own property. She asked Amy for advice on how to handle the situation.
I don't recall precisely what Amy advised her to do at the time but a follow up letter to Amy had this to say, "I liked your advice to 'Not a Fan,' the woman whose quiet neighborhood was shattered when a professional athlete moved in next door. However, her first call should be to the PR person or GM of the sports team that employs the athlete. They would want to know." Amy responded with a simple, "I agree." Does anyone besides me see the problem with this answer?
I am sure you have all noticed how anytime a professional athlete goes afoul of the rules governing this immoral and government worshiping country, the first thing the news media does is run to the General Manager or Head Coach of his team and ask what he is going to do about it. These sorts of news stories inevitably make the first couple of minutes of the nightly news. Clearly people like to hear news reports anytime a professional athlete commits sins against the State and they are apparently also equally interested in what the offending party's employer thinks about his behavior. As far as I am aware, no one has ever questioned the practice of immediately running to the athlete's employer the moment he runs afoul of the law. How strange it is that the opinion of the employer should matter at such a moment.
How would you feel if the moment you got a speeding ticket the local press ran to your employer to ask what he is going to do about it? Amy thought it was a good idea to ask the head coach of a professional sports team what he was going to do about one of his players who had too many loud parties. Why is it the business of your employer that you were speeding and why is it the business of the head coach that his player had a loud party? What would you think about a news story on your local television news reporting that an accountant had been caught driving drunk and the first reaction of the press was to go to his employer and ask what he is going to do about it? What if the kid who hands out the shoes at the local bowling alley is caught with 1.5 grams of marijuana and the first thing the press does is run to his supervisor and ask what he is going to do about it? What if your plumber failed to make his child support payment and the first thing the press did was run to his employer to ask what the plumbing company was going to do about the fact that one of their employees was late on his child support payment? When was the last time you heard of a janitor publicly apologizing to his fellow janitors and being forced by his employer to run laps around the building he cleans all because he got a ticket for DWI? When was the last time you saw a news report about the local deli manager being forced to apologize by his employer to all of his fans when he got caught pilfering some cheese? These things just don't happen in the real world. But then the world of professional sports is not the real world.
All of the examples I list, except those related to professional athletes, are patently absurd. I believe everyone can see the absolute stupidity of asking an employer what he is going to do with an employee who has violated a law or rule of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika. In every case, if a member of the press were actually dumb enough to conduct the interview, the employer would say something along the lines of "what business of mine is it that Joe drove drunk? Why are you bothering to talk to me? Go talk to Joe if you want to know what happened." Yet when the offending party is a professional athlete the first person who is interrogated in regards to potential punishments for the offense is the athlete's employer. Something is desperately wrong here.
I have racked my puny little brain and am unable to come up with a definitive answer for why this sort of thing takes place. Why is every citizen of the SDA accountable to the civil government alone when it comes to an offense but a professional athlete is first accountable to his employer and then to the civil government for the exact same offense? I am forced to speculate as to what might be going on here.
Professional athletes live sheltered lives and are never required to grow up or assume responsibility for their lives. They are pampered until the day they are no longer useful as athletes and then they are cast aside. While they are still useful they receive millions of dollars and the adulation of the public. The coaches in this system become a sort of surrogate father to these wayward little boys. Both sides accept their roles as the athletes run to their coaches for protection from the real world when they do something wrong and the coaches expect their players to come to them whenever something bad happens to one of their kids. Given this emotionally unhealthy system it makes perfect sense to run to an athlete's employer the moment his child sins. The exact same thing could easily be done when a minor commits an offense and the press interviews the minor's parents about the matter. In other words, professional athletes are nothing more than emotional children and the world in which they live perpetuates that reality, at least until the day their contracts run out.
Just once I would like to see a professional athlete who finds himself in trouble point out that his problems are none of the business of his employer. Just once I would like to see a head coach refuse to entertain questions about the off-field behavior of his players. Just once I would like for a player to act like an adult. Just once I would like to see a professional athlete refuse to issue a written "apology" to his employers, teammates and fans for what he has done. Just once I would like to see a professional athlete act like a responsible and independent man. I won't be holding my breath on that one.