Do athletes receive special treatment?


Matt Bellinson , Reporter

 If someone got in a fight at school, got caught with an illegal substance or had bad grades, the consequences of each action would be different but necessary. All of those actions could happen in a school environment or in a professional setting, so why do certain occupations, specifically athletics, receive special treatment?

     Athletics take a special type of person. Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Hockey and etc have some of the most successful professional sports teams in the world, and those teams have standards. People see the double standards and exceptions those teams take when it comes to the athletes that provide revenue and entertainment for their business. Turn on ESPN or Fox Sports and see the changing narratives on a daily basis.

     The NFL is the most successful sports business in the world. The company may make billions of dollars every year, but that success in the bank account has not helped the growing number of player issues. Domestic violence is one of the most serious crimes a person could commit. A growing amount of cowardly players have committed acts like this in the past three years. Ray Rice is the most recognizable player who has been suspended from the league for domestic violence. His assault was revealed in an elevator video, which the NFL had seen prior to it’s release. The league did nothing until the public saw it. Rice’s suspension was initially two games. You read that correctly. He dragged his wife across a floor and knocked her unconscious. He got two games initially.

     The NFL increased his suspension after the video was released. To show my point of the double standard that exists in sports is the “Deflategate” scandal. Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, and some equipment managers were accused of deflating football during a 2015 AFC Championship game. He and the Patriots faced fines and minor punishments. Brady’s suspension after a long and tiring investigation? Four games was the ruling. Beating your wife is only half as bad as deflating some footballs. The NFL has an idea that players are treated the same. That is false.

     Many other sports besides football show the hypocrisy of sports and how athletes get away with so much. This only occurs because they are athletes. Money makes the world go round. And each sport with professional teams will stop at nothing to make money. If it means suspending a player or coach for the shortest time possible, they will do it. Athletes are regular people, but with fame and talent on the court. Athletes should not be able to get out of punishments by playing another sport during another season. You should face the punishment of actions you commit. Athletes are special people, but crimes and misbehavior need to be taken seriously. If athletes are never punished, will they ever learn?