By Ann Liguori
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This past Tuesday, I was asked to appear on CBS’s The Insider and comment about a number of star athletes who have been in the news because of infidelity and/or some other sexual scandal like the sexual explicit texts that Brett Favre allegedly sent to three women who were working for the NY Jets. This guy cheating on that girl, this guy accused of cheating on his wife, this one harassing this woman, this one raping a woman…it’s enough to make you sick already!
It made me wonder if this kind of behavior has always gone on at this magnitude in sports and our society, but just not brought out to the open, or are our values just deteriorating? Or is there just more need for this kind of content so stories and incidents that may have been kept private are being made public, feeding into the celebrity crazed content vaults of internet sites, newspapers, celebrity television shows and radio talk shows? And do the women who are scorned and/or victimized have more courage these days to go public with their stories? If they are truly victims, more power to them! And in some instances, do some of the women in these scandals put themselves in situations where they can indeed benefit from the publicity?
Answering questions for the piece that aired on The Insider also made me wonder if there are any decent stars in sports out there today, who don’t falter amongst the temptations that are readily available to individuals who have excess money, access and power? Are there any star athletes out there who actually can restrain themselves from making stupid decisions that will damage their legacy years after their successful careers, not to mention hurt another person?
The script for the show mentioned:
– Reggie Bush cheating on Kim Kardashian;
– David Beckham accused of having an affair with his assistant and another one from a former prostitute who told TOUCH Magazine that he paid her $10,000 for sex three years ago. Apparently he and his wife Victoria are suing the Magazine for libel.
– This past January, Shaquille O’Neal’s alleged mistress of five years, sued him, claiming he was stalking and harassing her.
– Lawrence Taylor was charged with third degree rape for offering a 16-year-old girl $300 for sex. If he is convicted, LT could face four years in prison.
-Tiki Barber left his wife of eleven years, 8 months pregnant with twins, for a 23-year-old intern at NBC!
-A-Rod’s wife Cindy called the Yankee slugger a serial adulterer when she filed for divorce, going on to say that she thought he was brainwashed by Madonna and her Kabbalah beliefs. They divorced and A-Rod moved on from Madonna to Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz.
Wait, there’s more.
-A woman accused Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in a bathroom in a bar in Georgia. The Steelers QB was not arrested or charged in connection with the incident. The NFL initially suspended Roethlisberger for six games for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy and then the suspension was reduced to four games after Roethesberger convinced NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he would stay out of trouble. Former Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw was right, in my opinion, when he said on-air that the Steelers should have dumped him.
-Michael Jordan and his wife split years ago, after years of Michael’s apparent philandering. His divorce reportedly cost him a record 168 million dollars!
-The Jets’ Antonio Cromartie fathering nine children with eight different women in six states. How crazy is that?
-And of course, Tiger’s double life of bedding over 15 women, including porn stars and prostitutes, while married to Elin.
These are just the cases that quickly come to mind.
Makes you want your kid to grow up idolizing these professional athletes!?!
How about making it mandatory in high school, college and in the pros, that all athletes receive not only media training, but values training as well? Teach them life skills, right from wrong. Nobody is perfect, however, a little education and training could go a long way in helping some of these athletes make decisions that are wiser and healthier and make them ‘productive’ members of society.