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Society at fault for glorifying athletes

By Alexio Vaca, news editor
On March 21, 2012

Sports entertainment has become one of the biggest grossing industries in the world.

Like any organization that does well, it has the means to pay its employees handsomely, and at times excessively.

In 2011, the MLB grossed $496 million and NFL teams were making more than $30.8 million. As for individual athletes, the top three grossing athletes of last year were golfers Tiger Woods, who made $62.2 million, and Phil Mickelson, who made $61.1 million, and basketball star LeBron James, who made $44.5 million.

These are just a few examples from forbes.com that show just how much money these athletes and organizations make.

When an individual is constantly in the spotlight and making a lot of money, one might start to feel entitled.

Unfortunately, many of our professional athletes whom we praise daily have adopted this sense of entitlement, but how could you blame them?

We, as a society, put these individuals on a pedestal. Certain athletes can't even walk down the street without getting mobbed by hundreds of screaming fans asking for an autograph.

Yes, these athletes might not have asked to be role models, but the truth is it was never their choice. We put them in that role.

Somewhere along the way we started to hold these individuals to higher moral standards, and that's what I don't understand.

We forget that these individuals are human just like us, and they too make mistakes at times.

Things that happen on a daily basis, from getting a traffic ticket to cheating on a loved one, get amplified when it's an athlete who's the defendant.

These athletes are not doing anything new; they're committing offenses that happen all the time.

The unfortunate thing is we shrug our shoulders when random people do these things, but when athletes commit these same offenses, every crime deserves the death penalty.

The reality is, it's because of us these athletes act like this.

That's where being in the spotlight at all times and the feeling of entitlement, accompanied by constant worship from us fans, can be a bad mix.

Athletes end up having such big egos, at times they might feel like they're above the law and can do whatever they want.

Then when an athlete does something wrong, we are quick to criticize, badmouth and turn our backs on them.

Take Tiger Woods for example. He committed adultery multiple times, but it's nothing that we haven't seen or heard about happening before.

I mean, cheating is as common as brushing one's teeth. Most of us either know someone who has been cheated on, or we ourselves have cheated or been cheated on.

However, when someone like Woods gets caught cheating on his wife, everyone wants to throw stones like they're perfect.

In Woods' first press conference after he admitted to adultery, he confessed to having the feeling of entitlement, and that he felt he could do whatever he wanted with no repercussions.

That's why it's society's fault that these athletes feel this way. As a huge sports fan, I really do think our professional athletes should be making better choices when it comes to off the field matters.

To everyone quick to judge others, remember that behind the fame and fortune, these athletes are human just like us. So, give them a break.

 


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