Do they not stop and think for a minute about what they are doing? Do they understand how much they have to lose? Do they even get a slight glimpse of the consequences they will be facing?
They must not. They can't. If they did, wouldn't they think twice before getting in that bar fight or unloading their 9mm in the back of a strip club? Maybe they don't think there will be any consequences.
Professional athletes have been trained to believe that negative consequences don't exist for them. They are above the fray. They are an exception to society. They are the center of their worlds and they make the rules.
It's high time this nonsense stops.
All too often, professional sports organizations have turned a blind eye to their superstars breaking the law. It has been only recently that the NFL has stood up to such offenders and begun slapping them on the wrists.
Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals has repeatedly violated the NFL's substance abuse policy and finally this year the NFL chose to slam him with an eight-game suspension. Fellow teammate Odell Thurman was slapped with a four-game suspension for his first-time offense of the policy.
Again, I believe these are slaps on the wrist. If you or I got caught violating our employer's substance abuse policy we'd be toast. See ya' laterÖyou're fired.
The NBA is even worse.
For example, Ruben Patterson of the Portland Trailblazers was given a five-game suspension in 2001 after he entered a modified guilty plea in Washington State to third-degree attempted rape for allegedly forcing his children's nanny to perform a sex act on him.
What? Five games for attempted rape. There are 82 games in an NBA season.
Three years ago, Eddie Griffin was penalized three games after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in Texas.
I guess the NBA must have thoughtÖit was just a misdemeanor, I guess we can let the guy slide.
Former Sacramento Kings coach Eric Musselman was suspended two games by the league last season for driving under the influence.
He got two measly games for drunk driving. I wonder what your boss would do if you got a DUI?
Your employer would probably think twice before just letting you off for a couple days. Most likely you would be fired if they found out.
NBA players Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson were just hit with seven-game suspensions on July 16 for repeated off-court violations in conduct. Artest pleaded no contest in May to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from a March 5 dispute with his wife.
Jackson pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of criminal recklessness for firing a gun outside an Indiana strip club last fall, when he was with the Pacers.
I laughed out loud when I read a statement issued by Billy Hunter, the NBA's player union director.
"Based on prior precedent, we think the suspensions are excessive," Hunter said. "We plan to confer with the players and their representatives to consider all of our options for appeal."
Seven games is excessive for discharging a firearm in a strip club fight and slapping around your wife? I don't think so, Billy. Do you think we're stupid?
Don't get me started on all the problems with Major League Baseball.
It's time for these organizations to step up, have a backbone and lay down the law. I think the NFL should suspend Vick for the entire season for his actions. I don't think that's one bit excessive. In fact, if anything it's too light. They had better do something though.
I have heard arguments on sports talk radio about how these athletes are treated with exceptions because they are not replaceable. Hogwash. The NFL and NBA would hum right along without these ne'er-do-wells foolishly doing whatever they please.
I, for one, am sick and tired of the ridiculous double standards.