Jock Talk Take Two- Professional Athletes Recieve Preferential Treatment, Second Chances for Talent

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, who was convicted of holding an illegal dogfighting ring, has been making the most of his second time around in the NFL, making claim to be this season's MVP. | Photo courtesy of MCTCampus

When people quit or retire from their day job, they typically aren’t recruited by their bosses to come back and stay for another year.

When people are accused of rape, their job at a successful enterprise typically isn’t secured in the future.

When people host illegal dog fighting operations in their backyards, typically they are not rewarded at a second chance at stardom.

But, not in the land of professional sports.

Athletes, time and time again, are given second, third and fourth chances at their careers.

The sports world is not a microcosm of everyday life; if anything, it is a utopian world where wrongs can be corrected with a simple public apology. It’s pathetic, these guys shouldn’t be given a second chance, not after their wrongdoings.

Yet, there is something mesmorizing about watching professional athletes rebound from nearly destroying their own lives. I’m a sucker for the Michael Vick redemption storylines. People like his story because they want to say they were alive to witness history.

These stories are a fairy tale for the average folk in the United States because these professional athletes are doing the impossible, things everyone else in the country can only dream about. They are making the megabucks after being hated by society, and sometimes, even jailed.

Athletes should not need multiple tries at stardom.

In 2009, when the world learned of Alex Rodriguez’s alleged steroid use in 2003, the Yankees didn’t boot him off the team for his dishonesty and cheating. What came of this? Absolutely nothing, not even a penalty to his league–high 10–year $275 million contract. Besides his pride and glory, Rodriguez was left unharmed by the steroid scandal. He wasn’t even suspended — not for one game. It’s absurd that he used steroids and was still given the ability to play baseball.

There are no severe consequences in the land of sports. Athletes are rarely fired for their misdoings. Severe consequences merely consist of five to six–digit fines and a few weeks of suspension. Some people just shouldn’t be given a second chance.

It promotes a misinformed culture among professional athletes—a lifestyle where athletes feel they get away with nearly any poor decision. It’s sending the wrong message to children.

For many, especially today’s youth, athletes are role models. Young quarterbacks idolize Ben Roethlisberger for winning two Super Bowls after just seven full years in the NFL.

Young sluggers dream to be Rodriguez—they yearn for the big, meaty contract, the World Series rings and the elite batting average.

Sure, these young athletes are looking up to some of the greatest athletic talents in the United States, but they fail to be looking up to the greatest overall athletes in the country. They forget about the Peyton Mannings and Roger Federers of the world for the Vick headlines.

People like Roethlisberger, Rodriguez and Vick were all given second chances at success and fame; it was handed to them on a nice silver platter.

Professional leagues should just toughen up and say no to the second chance. Athletes should not need multiple tries at stardom.