I understand my own dilemmas and there is nothing a bigger issue of hypocrisy in my life than sports. I grew up loving sports, especially baseball. I always cheered on our local teams in professional sports and my guilty pleasure in college ball has been the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program.
And then I get into love/hate relationships with the game that is played and the dirt behind the scenes. And then I get crazy about games all over again… and on and on I go.
I swore off much of pro football this year. The Cleveland Browns thumbed their noses at women’s issues and how abuse does happen in a sport they refuse to clean up by signing Deshaun Watson to a massive contract last offseason. For all the “work” the NFL had supposedly done to “support women,” all that happened was women were ignored so a big star could sign for big money for a team that desperately wanted to win football games.
And then… the Super Bowl. My beloved Kansas City Chiefs were in the big game again and I have been bonkers for football all over again. UGH.
But that was pro sports! I could turn my attention to the college game.
Uh… no. This year the top ranked team in men’s basketball going into the tournament is Alabama. It is also one of the ugliest sports stories of the year. The rough outline of all the mess is HERE.
The upshot is this: an Alabama basketball player shot and killed a former girlfriend. The player, who was not a starter, was cut from the team and now faces charges. It has then come out that THE starter, one of the best players in the game currently, went and got the gun used for the murder… and he is still on the team. Strictly speaking, Alabama law has him in the clear. And strictly speaking, Alabama still has in its constitution that white children can’t go to school with “colored” children. So… there you go. That’s “law.”
The coach hasn’t even suspended the star player. And now Alabama sits as the favorite to win the tournament.
There are certainly stories about this mess right now. But in four weeks if Alabama is in the national championship game, do you think this is a story?
Earlier this year, Chris Beard was fired from the Texas Longhorns because of a 911 call that recorded the abuse he handed out to a girlfriend. She recanted her testimony and Beard “isn’t charged,” but as we learned in Alabama… that’s “the law” for you. Now, Beard is on to his next coaching gig at Ole Miss where he will wash his sins in 2-3 years of success and find his way back into the limelight at a legit basketball school.
But… it’s March Madness and my beloved Jayhawks are looking good (most of the time) and I am full of hypocrisy on all this once again. UGH.
There is a dark side to the way we treat celebrities and athletes. We have a high tolerance for those who win us games and we look away from the nasty dirt they may be dragging in with them at times.
And there are also amazing examples of great human beings who are also star athletes and they bring hope to the game they play.
But it may be that we are more in a “just win baby” mode in our culture, not caring about the abuse of women and willing to overlook a lot of nasty stuff as long as our team is pushing for a championship.
One thought on “The abuse in sports… and I can’t stop watching”
Sports and money, Similar to business and money. Someone said morals and ethics???