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Going Too Far
by Timothy Rollins, The American Partisan
28 September 2003Kobe Bryant

There is something seriously wrong with the sports world.

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 watching.

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.

Kobe 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.

Email Timothy Rollins

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