As my readers know, we are a big sports-focused family. If we aren’t
wasting every loving minute of the weekend at fields with no indoor plumbing cheering on our boys at some event, we are watching a Steelers/Orioles/Capitals/Wizards game on TV or getting an update of the pro sports teams my boys and husband support via ESPN.
On some occasions, our TV might be tuned to some stupid shit on DisneyXD like “Watch Me Be Loveable Before I Turn into a Post-Disney-Channel-Star-Felon”. I’m looking at you Miley — tongue always on display + foam finger you rub in your girly bits = Hot. Fucking. Mess.
But lately, ESPN has been more like a broadcast RAP sheet than score and injury reports. All I’m seeing is spoiled, rich boys who misbehave as if they are above it all. They don’t think of consequences and certainly don’t say to themselves “Hey, this is wrong, I’m not going to do it.” And all the bull shit contriteness, taking no responsibility until they get caught in the act:
- The now infamous video of Ray Rice and his then fiancé — now wife — Janay, and their violent and allegedly drunken altercation in a hotel elevator.
- Chris Davis discovered using an illegal/banned performance enhancing substance after a mandatory drug test, which lead to a 25 game suspension.
- Adrian Peterson facing felony child abuse charges after disciplining his 4-year old with a switch, after pictures of the child’s injuries surfaced.
- Ray McDonald’s arrested on felony domestic assault charges.
- Jonathan Dwyer arrested on aggravated assault charges against his wife.
- Aaron Hernandez, who is being held without bail following his indictment on three felony murder charges. Don’t even get me started about that piece of garbage.
I feel like it’s not safe for my kids to watch ESPN, when I have to explain things like “domestic violence”, “rape”, “illicit drugs”, “felony murder”, “child abuse”, etc. It’s one thing if I’m watching The First 48 or Investigation Discovery and they happen to walk in on a show. But ESPN?
And then watching Sunday NFL Countdown last week, we saw this:
Grown men pointing out the wrongs. Grown men admitting it happened to them.
But grown men owning up to the fact that it is up to us — each individual — to break the cycle of violence, and not make excuses for perpetuating it. Grown men admonishing these athletes for their bad behavior, and expressing disappointment because they are all smart enough to know better.
I will continue to talk with my boys about these scary topics, in the best way I know how. I want them to be good men, do the right thing, know where boundaries are, not cross them, and own their actions.
In the meantime, I only hope all those professional athletes grow out of being boys and embrace what it really means to be a man.