Ozzie Guillen is currently serving a five-game suspension for comments he made in a Time Magazine article about Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. That much we all know. So the what, who, when, and where are answered. Call me crazy, or ignorant, or stubborn – but I’m still confused about the why.
“Bounty Gate” is the phrase of the day as the Sports Media world is a buzz with the not-so-shocking revelation of the New Orleans Saints system of giving monetary bonuses to players if they knocked out the opposition.
It is a brutish, immoral and intensely violent system that benefits players who have the hardest hearts on the field.
Then again, so is professional football.
We, as a society, have come along way into 2012. There have been boundaries pushed and broken through, new movements formed and new paths blazed not only from 2011, but going back since the beginning of this century. In many cases throughout modern history, the world of sports has helped to usher in those new eras.
Civil Rights movements have been edged along by the likes of Jackie Robinson and Jessie Owens. Men like Roberto Clemente have taught us the value of international altruism. Magic Johnson made the pain, struggle, and reality of AIDS the forefront of the global health discussion.
As a society, we still have a long way to go if we are to live in a country where everyone is created and deemed equal. While that is a discussion for another time (and I daresay another blog), it seems that through some of my reading this week that there are certain people who believe that the world of sports should be the spearhead of that change.
Full Disclosure – I wrote this article for the Milwaukee Brewers Fansided site Reviewing the Brew. I posted this article here as well because I thought the subject matter lent itself to our particular mission at Sports PR 101.
Yes, children, reigning NL MVP and Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun has failed a test for banned substances.
I am going to say that again, because I want to make my position on this matter very, very clear:
Ryan Braun has failed a test for banned substances.
There’s no way around this, there’s no way to defend or apologize for it. It’s a tough pill to swallow, Brewers fans – but then again pill swallowing is probably how we find ourselves in this situation today. The way it looks now, if everything from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fox Sports, and ESPN’s accounts hold up, Ryan Braun knowingly took a substance that he was not allowed to take and did so without telling officials from Major League Baseball and the Milwaukee Brewers. It wasn’t a steroid or a PED, but it was a ‘prohibited substance’. There’s an easier way to say it – he cheated. It doesn’t matter to me if it was a Steroid, a Performance Enhancing Drug, a prohibited substance, or any other euphemism you want to use to justify it. He cheated.
I want to make something else clear as well. I’m not mad at Ryan Braun. I won’t apologize for him, I won’t defend him and I certainly will not justify his actions, but I’m not mad at him.
In fact, I should probably thank him Continue reading this post »
Last night, the tipping point was reached in what has become a tangled, saddening and highly emotional situation in State College, Pennsylvania.
Joe Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees last night, citing that the move was in the best interest of the university. Also fired last night was University President Graham Spanier – that was the move that everybody saw coming. Paterno’s exit was somehow more shocking to the community, and the reasons for it tap in to just how complicated this scandal is from different angles.
Two days ago I penned an article about this subject and now it appears that after last night that the situation is completely different, given a new stream of information coming over the last 24 hours.
As we’ve all watched the coverage coming out of Penn State for the past few days, it is hard to think of anything more reprehensible, more detestable or more unsettling than that of a trusted authority figure taking advantage of and abusing young children under their care. Except for the actions of those above the accused.
If these allegations hold true from the victims, there will be no end to the discussion, scandal or firing of University officials. This will do little, of course, to ease the suffering of the families and young men victimized by this outrageous pattern of behavior – but it will be no less than those involved deserve considering the malfeasance that took place for the better part of a decade.
When you are running a University, and by extension a University sports program, your integrity in regards to the relationship you hold with the students and community is paramount. At Penn State, they seemed always to live by the slogan “Success With Honor”. Honor of course refers to the University’s hardline stance regarding breaking the rules and acting improperly. It would appear in this case that Penn State Officials either failed to recognize the problem, or simply ignored it. In doing so, they dishonored a longtime coach in Joe Paterno who now seems to be on the way out and they severely tattered their relationship with the community – if any such relationship could ever be healed.
In short, they acted without honor, without respect, and without a basic moral understanding of the situation at hand. To say they acted anything less than criminal would be an understatement.
Three years ago, there was no mightier a football force than one Tim Tebow. He was as close to a God as any mortal was likely to get. His words were already immortalized in Gainesville and his legacy was cemented in Gator Nation for all of eternity. What came next seemed inevitable. A high-profile draft pick, a starting job, a great pro career. That was what was supposed to happen because that was just what we expect from football Gods like Tim Tebow.
There was never anyone quite like Tim Tebow in college. Unfortunately for the Denver Broncos’ newest embattled quarterback, there are plenty of people like him in the NFL. This time, however, the discussion in entirely different.
Racing is perhaps the most honest and widely acknowledged sport when it comes to the dangers of the athletes involved.
On Sunday, the Izod Indy Car Series suffered a terrible blow, when the dangers came to the forefront in a horrific crash that resulted in the death of driver Dan Wheldon. Every loss is hard to bear, and for the Indy Series Wheldon’s loss robs the sport of a passionate, charismatic and extremely talented figure – which is to say nothing for the man he was off of the track and the loss his wife and children now have to deal with.
Perhaps even more sad is the fact that Wheldon’s death and the recoveries of the other injured drivers is now overshadowed by a creeping cloud of controversy and questions regarding the crash and the sport in general. It is always hard to do, but those left in the wake of the tragedy must now forge ahead and try to rebuild after the events of this weekend.