Why Can’t Star Athletes Stay Out Of Trouble?

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If you “Keep up with the Kardashians,” you’re probably aware that Khloe Kardashian is having big issues with her husband, NBA star Lamar Odom.

I’ve always thought he seemed like such a sweet guy on the show. But for years, tabloids have claimed that he has been unfaithful to his wife.  Now, Lamar has gotten himself in trouble with the law. A recent DUI arrest and reports that he is addicted to hard drugs, as well as a one-day stint in rehab have tarnished his good guy image.

Over the summer, NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez (who played for New England Patriots) was arrested for murder. We have had many players all over the sports world who have been charged with dog-fighting, rape, and murder. Athletes have also gotten in trouble for drugs, alcohol, and cheating on their wives.

Why is it that athletes who have it all on the field can’t seem to keep it together off?

I write in my blogs every week about how important sports are for kids, but when you ask people why they think athletes can’t stay out of trouble, many blame sports for their behavior.

They argue that the athletic environment and the nature of competitive sports, as well as the pressure to be the best, can lead to cheating, performance-enhancing drugs, and general bad behavior being accepted from these athletes. Then, factor in the trappings of success – championships, fame, money, and coaches that will sneak and lie for you.

Suddenly, it’s not so difficult to understand how these innocent five and six year olds I watch on the field at my sons’ practices turning into the Michael Vick, Lamar Odom, Alex Rodriguez and Aaron Hernandez of the sports world.

I know it might sound dramatic, and people will argue that no matter if Vick or Hernandez were teachers or doctors, the crimes they committed would still have happened.  But I am not sure. I have seen teachers and staff look the other way when a star athlete at the high school level skipped class or cheated on a test.  

Don’t we want our children to learn from their mistakes at a young age?  Being held accountable for small errors in judgement at a young age prevents big mistakes when a person is older. Maybe some of these athletes have been given way too many chances, because they were needed to play in the big game. And they just never learned from their mistakes.

I am calling all parents and coaches of young athletes – let’s help BREAK THIS CYCLE.

Remember that winning a high school football team isn’t the most important thing in the world. And it’s certainly not so important that we should give athletes a pass in school or overlook bad behavior. Let’s teach our young athletes NOW that there are consequences for their behavior. Then, hopefully we will hear a little less about star athletes in our weekly tabloids!

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