Monday, January 19, 2015
MLK AND 'CONTENTS OF CHARACTER' IN SPORTS
If Martin Luther King, Jr. got a whiff of what's been going on in the sports world
over the past month, he'd probably roll over in his grave. The former civil rights
who famously said and hoped that his four little children would live in a nation "where
they will not be judge by the color of their skin, but by the contents of their character",
must be wondering what the hell is going on here.
The contents of the character of our sports nation are spoiled rotten and filled
with characters who have perfected imperfect behavior. Need proof? No problem.
The NFL? Good, grief. MLK would probably look down as use the immortal words
of Vince Lombardi and say, "What the hell is going on out there?" Ray Rice, Adrian
Peterson, and Greg Hardy tarnished the league's beloved shield with violent and
despicable acts against women and children. Then Roger Goodell didn't know how to
act as a leader and was clearly overmatched when it came to doing the right thing.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did the right thing when he banned Donald Sterling,
the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for making highly-explosive racist
remarks in a secretly-recorded conversation. The contents of Sterling's character have
long been questioned and he has been accused for many decades of making inappropriate
Nobody has ever questioned the contents of Jameis Winston's athletic ability, but the
former Heisman Trophy winner certainly didn't make MLK proud by the way he acted
off the field. The Florida State quarterback was accused of rape, stole crab legs from
a local supermarket, and got up in the student union and made an obscene gesture while
spewing vulgar comments.
The football program at Sayreville High School in Long Island was shut down after
several seniors hazed a few underclassmen in ways that I'm not comfortable even writing
about. Sometimes people just don't get it even in 2014-2015. To humiliate someone by
violating in some stupid ritual goes far beyond being unacceptable. It is just flat out sick.
There needs to be some kind of re-set and re-adjustment because it's getting ugly.
It's ugliness that not even Martin Luther King, Jr. could've foreseen.