Athletes’ personal lives not newsworthy
Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 19:05
Last week while doing my homework, I came across an ESPN special documentary on Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.
The documentary was focused on Williams' successful football past, his off the field issues with smoking marijuana and his recovery to come back to the NFL.
As I watched, I recalled that period of time when Williams was going through his off the field issues and asked myself: "Why was the media and the world so cruel to him because of his reefer madness?"
I also started to think about all of the other successful athletes whose positive images were ruined due to minor off-the-field issues.
Successful athletes seem to have it easy, from staying physically fit throughout their careers to simply getting paid millions of dollars to perform the sport they love doing.
The essentials these athletes have to perform seem effortless, as it is just a requirement of having patience, determination and dedication.
Being a successful athlete in the sporting world is a lot tougher than how it is portrayed.
The key element in staying successful is to be mentally and emotionally prepared to withstand the lifestyle of a successful athlete, maintain a positive image and reputation.
It seems as if the media only get caught up in these athletes' personal lives instead of these athletes' performances in their respective sports.
Don't get me wrong. It is pure entertainment hearing about what athletes are going through off the field, but sometimes you just have to ask yourself when is enough literally enough.
Other big name athletes such as Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger and Kobe Bryant have all gone through the experience of having the entire world know what personal issues they have dealt with.
It is a sad story, as a lot of these athletes are genuinely good people who have gotten caught up in bad situations that threatened to ruin their entire careers.
I understand that real important things such as death, murder and crime need to be mentioned when an athlete is involved with them. But personal issues such as adultery and the use of drugs are not that serious.
For those who remember last year's Thanksgiving events, Woods was caught in a bad car accident as he crashed his sport utility vehicle into a tree at 2:30 a.m.
That one simple car crash turned into a huge scandal, as the media forced Woods to admit that he had cheated on his wife with several other women.
I am not saying it is a good thing to cheat on your wife, but realistically that issue should have just been between Woods and his wife, not the entire world.
Sometimes the media try to dig deeper into issues such as Woods' rather than death, murder and crime, as usually those issues are swept under the rug and never heard about again.
Aren't the more serious and detrimental issues more important than the petty personal ones?
Hopefully, the media will realize this soon and start focusing on the important issues in the sporting world, rather than the minor issues that can ruin careers.
Malcolm Lastra is a sports editor for The Advocate. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org