Of late, the off-field sports news originating from well known athletes has spoken far more loudly than their actual on-field exploits.
Instead of great plays by great athletes capturing ESPN Sports Center highlights, chippy chatter, crazy conspiracy theories, inane attempts at humor, homophobic slurs and very late apologies have dominated the sports headlines. For example:
The aging Bernard Hopkins’ disparaging remarks toward respected NFL QB Donovan McNabb proved the 46-year-old boxer may have taken one too many punches to his head for his unnecessary attack on a gentlemanly McNabb.
The confused Rashard Mendenhall’s clueless conspiratorial claims showed that the Steelers RB needs to concentrate more on protecting the pigskin in waning Super Bowl moments than commentating on our country’s terrorism and national security protection policies.
The over-rated Reggie Bush’s less than comedic comments concerning the NFL lockout rivalled equally senseless tweets often made by his former squeeze Kim Kardashian.
The constantly beefing Kobe Bryant’s homophobic harangue on an accomplished NBA official captured by every major media outlet in HDTV cost the insensitive NBA All Star a $100K fine for inappropriate language.
The at times less-than-likable LeBron James’ feeble apology following the Heat finishing off the Celtics last week stirred bitter memories of Cavs’ fans and left other basketball fans grousing that the King Without a Ring needs to stay out of the off-court spotlight until he finally gets his bling in Miami.
The Leagues, individual team owners and, most importantly, fans must speak more loudly. They should no longer tolerate tasteless tweets, careless comments, hateful speech and casual indifference eminating from self-absorbed athletes.
Leagues need to suspend mouthy jocks, owners need to fine players commensurate with their telephone number salaries and fans need to stay at home and stop plunking down $100 or more for the latest NBA, NFL or MLB licensed apparel.
Let’s bring sports highlights back to where they belong . . . back on the court, in the ring or on the playing field.
Straight Talk. No Static.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!