It’s time to leave them alone, we’re not in there shoes and haven’t lived the life that they have, so who are we to criticize? Have I done this before, you bet your sweet ass I have. I do it all the time, especially with a select few athletes. Sure its easy to sit behind a computer screen or a TV, and bitch about how players don’t do this or don’t do that, or how they handled a certain situation. What people need to do, not only in sports but in everyday life, is look at the positive things they do.
Was the way LeBron James handled his free agency departure from the Cavs wrong? In a way yes and no. People forget about the fact that he raised 2.5 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Anytime this is brought up I am quick to respond with that fact. Being a huge LeBron fan this is always something that I love debating. Why? Because I am able to see both sides. I do not agree with how he handled it and it completely changed his game for a entire season. He could’ve handled the situation differently, but in the end he raised a ton of money for a great organization.
The most talked about pro athlete in all of sports, a crazed trend is named after him and numerous rumors off the field criticizing his lifestyle. If you haven’t guessed who it is, it is none other than Timothy Richard Tebow. Do I think he is a great quarterback. Hell no. Do I think he is a great football player? Yes. The guy knows the game, he knows how to play it and he knows how to win football games. He is one of the best athletes to have as a role model. He puts his heart and soul into every down, every quarter, every game. Sure, he isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL and the stats prove it, however, the guy wins football games and is a tremendous human being. Just because the man states his religion and how he talks about God pisses people off but he should not draw criticism because of them. Everyone is entitled to the right guaranteed by the first amendment, free speech that is. Next time you want to criticize him or his lifestyle think about this, would you rather have a guy like Tebow on your team and the face of your franchise or a guy like Charles Rogers. I’m pretty sure everyone would take Tebow. Its not a great comparison, but it gets the point a crossed.
The situation that has pissed me off the most in recently in sports is really one that hits hard and brings out the ugliness that is still around in 2012. I’m a little late in response to the situation, but it goes hand in hand with this. When Joel Ward scored the game winning goal for the Capitals in game 7 against Boston, Twitter absolutely erupted with racial tweets directed at him. Ward being one of the select few African-American hockey players in the NHL, I think made that goal that much more special. I mean think about it, hockey is a sport predominately played by white athletes and only a handful of African-Americans. This is one of those situations where kids can look at Ward and think, “Hey, if he can play in the NHL. Why can’t I do it too”. The fact that Twitter erupted like that really made me realize that people are so accustomed the status quo, that one minor change can have a huge impact. Think about it, if a white player scored that goal, its just another game winning goal, but when a African-American scores, its like it’s the end of the world. There is no room for this in sports or the world. Period.
Finally, probably the most scrutinized athlete in recent years, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods. By no means am I condoning what he did, but I mean come on, he made a mistake, and he admitted it. Now leave the man alone and let him get back to living a “normal” life. Everyone is quick to judge, especially when it comes to him. Sure, his golf game hasn’t been the same since the incident happened, but let me ask this: Have you ever played golf? Do you know what it takes to actually get out on the course and shoot what he shoots? I can tell you one thing, I sure as hell can’t. I love the game of golf and I root for Tiger in any tournament that he plays in, but I will never criticize anything he does on the course. Unless you are a swing coach or a golf pro, no one has any room to talk. He made a mistake, a big mistake, but he is human just like the rest of us. People forget that when looking at any celebrity or athlete. Also, if you are an avid golf fan and hate Tiger, think about this: Where would golf be without Tiger Woods? I can answer that for you, it sure as hell wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.
In closing, I will leave all you fantastic readers with one last thing. If you were in any athletes shoes, do you think that you would be able to handle all the baggage that comes along with it? If the answer is yes, well then I applaud you. If you are on the fence or say no, well then think about this the next time you criticize a professional athlete.
You stay classy……………..readers.
Author: Zachary Tanton
Hi Zachary, your points about people being accustomed to the status quo is why Tiger is under the scrutiny that he is. Folks are so used to him dominating and have tuned in for so long to watch him excel, that they are struggling along with him as Tiger fails to play like Tiger. The natural second guessing and criticism is an artifact, but is the same as any sports fan who lives and dies with the success/failure of their team.
On the Joel Ward thing, the event was shocking at the time, and unfortunate, but we Capitals fans have moved on. The prevailing concern is game seven against the Rangers and how the team has evolved from a high-powered offensive machine to the tight checking, defensive minded crew that we are not used to. Couldn’t care less about who scores our winning goals as long as the team does well.
Thanks for the great thought provoking post! -Brian.