Athletes off field problems What happens when a professional player is found guilty of a serious crime, should they be punished? Yes. Should a team be responsible for their players? Yes. Professional sports teams must have a responsibility to hold players to a standard for their personal conduct off the field.
When a player gets convicted of a serious crime they should be cut from the team, and if they get in trouble for something smaller like a failed drug test they should be suspended for a few games.
“ From Jan. 1, 2012, to Sept. 17, 2014, 33 NFL players were arrested on charges involving domestic violence, battery, assault and murder. In the last two calendar years, at least 15 of those players were arrested for violence against women.” (Barshop) Out of the 33 athletes only 9 of them were cut from their teams.
Adrian Peterson was arrested for beating his 4 year old son with a tree branch. Peterson only had to pay 4,000 dollars and 80 hours of community service and no punishment from the Minnesota Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings should have cut Peterson. Another player who was convicted of a crime was Ray Rice who did get cut. “The Baltimore Ravens dropped the star running back Ray Rice from the team after TMZ published a graphic video Monday of him punching his former fiancée, who is now his wife.” (Gonchar) This was a big deal because at first the NFL only gave Rice a 2 game suspension but after backlash from many players and fans The NFL suspended him for life.
If a player gets in to serious legal trouble and a team does nothing then it will hurt the team’s reputation. This season, the 49ers released Reuben Foster because he was convicted of domestic violence. Just a few days after Foster was released the Redskins signed him and caused huge backlash against the Redskins. That any team would want to associate itself with a player who was arrested on a charge of domestic-violence just three days ago is shocking. “That the Redskins, a team that has dealt with a number of PR nightmares over the last decade, are the ones to make the move is incomprehensible.”(Ruiz) That is just one article of many and many NFL fans and players are against this signing. This is not the only problem the Redskins have such as in the past when the owner of the Redskins said “We’ll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.” (Ruiz) With all of this it is not surprising that the Redskins have the lowest attendance at home games.
Some people may say that it is not the teams job to control the players in their personal life, but when players are beating their 4-year-old son or beating up their wives the team needs to step in and cut the players. Some people also say why does it matter what happens off the field, their job is to play, who cares what goes on off the field. If teams ignore these problems then the athletes would not be held accountable for their actions.
That is why professional sports teams must have a responsibility to hold players to a standard for their personal conduct off the field because many people look up to professional players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo who has donated millions of dollars to charities or Tim Tebow who didn’t have the best professional career, but that didn’t stop him from becoming one of the best role models in all of sports. In a time where professional sports are filled with gloating, and arrogance Tebow only preached faith, gratitude, and hard work. But there are also players who are the opposite of role models and teams need to be responsible and do better at controlling their players.