Ray Rice and beyond…

untitledI love the game of football. Regrettably though, professional sports as a whole has become an incubator for young athletes who’ve been coddled on their way to stardom in order to secure their financial worth to the teams and owners who pursue them. This often begins at the high school level and sometimes even earlier. Superior athletes from broken homes and with scarred backgrounds, behave badly and demonstrate the potential for future irresponsibility, but are protected, ultimately leading to stories like that of Ray Rice, a star running-back for the Ravens who literally knocked his girlfriend unconscious with a jaw crunching left-hook, and did so with the speed and aggression of a boxer trading blows in the ring. To me it would seem that Rice expected little in the way of retribution because it’s how he’s been conditioned to view his own behavior and the consequences, (or lack thereof), for it.

“Consequently” if you will, all the condemnation and firings in the world will do little to address the perception of athletic ability alone as the avenue to escape a life of lesser means. Only when we focus our societal efforts on the fundamental and cultural issues of faith, family and personal accountability as “non-negotiable” foundations for a career as an athlete, (or any career for that matter), will we truly begin to effect the change we seek in the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., etc.

P.S., We may look to the books of Griffin Jr. and Tebow as blueprints/examples.

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