The NBA All-Star Weekend ended just this past Sunday, which despite a decreasingly interesting Slam Dunk Contest every year, always offers something to be discussed as the second half of the NBA season gets underway. Perhaps the most interesting storyline occurred off the court, however, when Lil Wayne – in so many words – said that he had sex Miami Heat Forward Chris Bosh’s wife before the two became married. Here’s a clip if anyone is interested.
So it got me thinking. Chris Bosh is a really nice guy; he’s never been accused of rape (Kobe Bryant), never started a brawl with fans in the stands (Ron Artest), or brought guns to the team’s arena over a gambling dispute (Gilbert Arenas). Yet, the man gets hated on for everything he does. Just type his name into Google and you will see countless videos making fun of him for ‘being gay’ or ‘soft’. Is he a little goofy? Yes. But why does he get all the hate? Why did Lil Wayne say that about his wife when Chris Bosh did nothing to him? He’s an 8 TIME NBA ALL-STAR, so it’s safe to say he’s pretty damn good. The answer is because he ignores the negative energy and continues to be a positive player who doesn’t do stupid shit. What I’m trying to say is…whether sports fan realize it or not, they like assholes.
I’m not trying to say that all sports fans like assholes. My point is, players who are the source of a lot of controversy are interesting to follow and talk about. Ray Lewis, who just won a Super Bowl, was accused of murdering someone, and people LOVE to make jokes about it on Twitter and social media. Nothing is funny about that. Now, it’s important to point out that there’s a time scale associated with sports fans’ view of professional athletes after a negative incident. People hated Kobe when he was accused of rape back in the early 2000’s, same with Tiger Woods when his scandal broke out. I fully understand that mistakes happen and that professional athletes are people just like you and me and should be forgiven, but I think that incidents like these almost make these athletes more interesting, or glorified, if you will. Want proof? Look at this commercial Nike made, using Tiger’s dead father’s fake voice discussing his scandal of cheating on his wife with a countless number of women.
To sum this all up and relate it to ethics, I believe that sports have evolved over time to have less expectations when it comes to ethics and acceptable behavior. It’s now become funny when Ron Artest (now named Metta World Peace) intentionally elbows someone, as opposed to ignorant or childish – which is what it really is. If you saw someone do that at your local YMCA during a pickup game, you’d most likely think they were being a complete asshole. Professional athletes, on the other hand, are off the hook — and the ones that are nice and play by the rules are called ‘soft’! All in all, I think it’s definitely possible for an athlete to play by the rules, stay out of trouble, and have success in his/her respective sport. However, in this day and age, I believe it’s become increasingly hard to do so because sports fans just love controversy. Look at Tim Tebow – dude hasn’t said anything bad about anyone EVER and people HATE him!!! That’s all I have to say. What do you guys think about this?