It seems like recently we are hearing more than ever about scandals in sports. From players using performance enhancing drugs in the MLB to players getting arrested in the NFL, it seems like the world of sports is more corrupt now than it has ever been.
In the NFL it seems as if a player is getting arrested about once a week. In 2012 alone, there have been 33 arrests. The number of arrests in the NFL this year surpasses the total of arrests in the MLB and NBA combined. That is an average of four arrests a month for the first eight months of the year. Chicago Bears' Running Back Matt Forte said, "It's not that hard to stay out of trouble," and I agree that it shouldn't be. Sure everyone makes mistakes, but these are mistakes that are easily avoidable and shouldn't happen. What is the cause of all these arrests? The answer is simple: being irresponsible. "Be respectful of yourself, your team, and other people. Stay off the streets. Just have two drinks instead of 10. Call a cab. It's pretty simple," said Forte in that same article. He's right.
This is where guys like Tim Tebow help the NFL a lot. It doesn't really matter if your a fan of Tebow or agree with his religious beliefs, but one thing you can't argue with is that he is a good role model for children in a league where a bad one is easy to find. Now, I'm not saying that Tebow is a saint, but in a league tainted with the "Bounty Scandal" and stupid arrests, he is part of a select few in the NFL who can be looked up to. While the situation in the NFL is ridiculous, the MLB isn't much better.
Just recently, Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone. Just like the number of arrests in the NFL, the number of people cheating in the MLB is sure to be huge. While we don't know for sure all of the people who are cheating in baseball, one thing for sure is there are more than we have been told.
It's sad that both of these leagues have such negative role models representing them. Whether or not athletes want the responsibility, children do look up to them. So everything our athletes do, good or bad, is going to be under a microscope and seen by a lot of children. This situation is like when you have celebrities getting caught in scandals, or musicians making negative songs that appeal to the children in our society. We see children reflect their behavior, and since athletes are looked upon even more than celebrities to be a role model, it means these players are teaching our children that cheating is how you get successful, or that driving under the influence is alright. It's an image that needs to be changed.
The responsibility to crack down on such behavior is on the shoulders of each league. For the NFL, stronger penalties for being arrested should be enforced. For the MLB, better drug testing and harsher suspensions for cheating. Anything to change the way superstars act. Really, each league is responsible for the image they represent.
Not only does the negative behavior affect our society, but it also affects the league these people play in. For example, Melky Cabrera was the best player for the Giants this year. Imagine if he didn't cheat, where would the San Francisco Giants be in the standings? Or imagine if Ryan Braun hadn't cheated (even though he says he didn't, it's hard to argue against a drug test). Would the Milwaukee Brewers have won their division last year and made the playoffs? Would they have beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the playoffs?
The way each league is represented by the players is awful. That is not to say that there aren't people in each league who are good role models. Like I mentioned before, Tim Tebow is a tremendous athlete and person. Same could be said for Peyton Manning, and Larry Fitzgerald. The sad thing for the MLB is that, with the steroid era and people still getting caught cheating, it's hard to know really who is clean. When the MLB can get rid of cheating, and players realize they are risking too much to cheat, is when baseball will be actually competitive again. It's just to hard to trust any of the players playing now.
I hope someday soon players in the NFL will become more responsible, and players in the MLB will start playing fairly. Cheating is what children do, it shouldn't be what grown men do.