For some, it's love
of the game. For others, it's an opportunity to get away for two or three
hours to watch athletes at the top of their game doing what they do best.
For players, it's a dream come true, getting paid to do what they did in
the playground as a kid. For fans, it's a chance to relive their childhood
as they take their children or just some friends to whatever game they're
However, in the last couple of years, I've had to ask myself what on earth has gone wrong -- what has gone seriously
wrong in the name of sports, at all levels, to get to such a point that I
am seriously considering whether it's a good idea to get my seven-year old
son in the mix or not.
I personally am a sports fan in a major way. I do not live, eat, breathe
or sleep it the way some fanatics do, but I do enjoy a good game when the
chance arises, be it a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game in Toronto or at Comiskey
Park, a Monday night Chiefs or Packers game, a Wisconsin Badgers basketball
game or anyone who might be on BYU's schedule.
Violence in sports -- both in the playing arena and out -- by athletes, fans
and even parents, has reached the point that a lot of parents are reconsidering
the wisdom of their children being involved in these activities. As a child,
I was heavily involved in athletics. The lessons gained there were a means
to an end. I knew I would never be an Olympic athlete, yet I realized even
at a young age the lessons I was learning were designed to last a lifetime.
I learned to work and play well with others both on and off the field. My
coaches as well as my teammates worked as one unit -- each one no more important
than the other, functioning as one team in order to accomplish the desired
objective -- victory.
Life is like that for all of us. Unfortunately, some people take that pursuit
of victory too far. For example, one hockey dad in Massachusetts is
serving six years in the state prison on account of a fight he had with another
child's father -- a fight that resulted in the death of the other father.
Then there was the mother in Texas who murdered her cheerleader daughter's
rival -- all in the name of sports competition. And there was a shooting
Friday, September 19th, at Dodger Stadium in an argument over a baseball
game. Come on, people, it's only a game!
In addition to this, we have the issue of athletes behaving badly. And this
isn't limited to athletes inhaling nose candy (i.e., cocaine). We have "Iron
Mike" Tyson, who often times seems to act like little more than an uncaged
beast. He raped an 18-year old beauty contestant in Indianapolis in
1992, and the judge there slapped him on the wrist with an eight-year prison
sentence (of which he served only three years). That was the first brushing
with the kid glove. The second one was when he was sent to the "Indiana Youth
Facility" -- at age 25. Please folks! Give me a break. Had this been some
18-year old homeboy from the projects, he'd have been in with the general
population doing 25 to life, which is where Tyson should have been.
Bryant is now facing similar charges in Colorado, where they take an even
dimmer view of rapists than they do in Indiana, and where justice is meted
out even swifter. The fact that the Eagle County DA's office has received
threats and that offers have been made to have the complainant assassinated
shows the entitlement mentality that celebrities, athletes and even some
of the general public feel that the rich and powerful are entitled to.
They say that Lady Justice is blind. I say that's crap. O.J. Simpson and
John DeLorean proved it's for sale to the highest bidder.
Timothy Rollins is Editor of the American Partisan.