The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

A Walk and a Wink


I've seen athletes walk on things that "normal people" would see more stringent penalties for if they committed the same crimes, though I don't believe that athletes are alone in that regard. Whether we like to admit it or not, there is a separate and unequal class of people who get away with things that the rest of us can't. That's Life 101, that's the way it is, and it isn't a surprise to most people.

In Seattle, where I live, there was a time when Koren Robinson and Jerramy Stevens polluted the chemistry of the Seahawks team because they were too busy partying to go to practice. When their substance-related infractions became public knowledge, we discovered that there were other infractions that didn't just go unnoticed -- they went unpunished. Stevens, who also went to the University of Washington, learned early on that as long as he performed like a stud on the field, he could do pretty much whatever he wanted on campus and get away with it. Mike Holmgren, their NFL coach, acted like an indulgent father in conjunction with GM Bob Whitsitt, who had put together the reprehensible "Portland Jailblazers" team. Whitsitt's only comment when asked why he paid so little attention to team chemistry when assembling a roster? "I didn't major in chemistry," he replied with a smirk.

Still, it's difficult right now to point the finger at football players, or athletes in general, when a Wild West attitude toward America's financial structure and integrity has put us in an economic hole that will take years -- perhaps decades -- to climb out of. So many of the people who engaged in, and benefited from, those practices will go unpunished. People like Plaxico Burress and Donte Stallworth aren't the exceptions to the rule when it comes to unchecked lawlessness among a privileged class -- perhaps more now than in any time in recent memory, the message seems to be: "As long as you know the right people, you can do what you want and get away with it." And when you've heard that message your entire life, it doesn't matter if it's because you're tied in with people of political and financial influence, or because you run a 4.3 40 and can catch 100 footballs in a season.

By Doug Farrar  |  June 8, 2009; 7:06 AM ET  | Category:  Crime , Doug Farrar , Plaxico Burress , Seattle Seahawks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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You are absolutely correct when you stated, "As long as you know the right people, you can do what you want and get away with it." So many of these athletes (or better yet entertainers) have been given a pass all their lives on their lawless actions. We the fans have looked at them as role models, heroes, larger than life individuals, but in reality, they put on their pants the same way we all do - one leg at a time.

The money they make for the business of sports, creates the illusion that they are invincible - shielded from the punishment that ordinary people are subjected to. When I hear that an athletes hearing or jail time can be scheduled so that they can still participate in their respective sport, I cringe. I'm a musician, and I wish I could tell a judge, "I can't make it to court until I finish these gigs I have scheduled." The US Marshals would be at my door quicker than I could say my name.

Just because the franchise you play for has the power, money, and influence to buy you some time. Don't play the general public short. The general public is tired of giving these so called role models, heroes, and larger than life individuals, a free pass. It is time to hold them accountable for their actions, and if it means not being able to witness their talents on the field, than so be it. I don't think Plaxico's suspension nor Vick's incarceration had any effect on the NFL television ratings. Life goes on, and we will survive without them.

Posted by: MrKeys | June 9, 2009 10:10 AM

You are full of stereotypes about athletes. Who says athletes have "gotten away with things all their life"? Like what? It's just a stereotype that people love to spew because they think it's true.

Are you guys talking about not going to class? Who's fault is that? Do you think these big time IA schools care about these players? It's all about the money to them. Spare me the spoil Premadonna tales.

This is more "White men can't jump" HATE. You will never admit to it, but that's all it is. Law enforcement is also a culprit of this. How come we don't hear about Hockey players? Baseball? Soccer? It's always NBA and NFL the majority Black sports. Hmmmmmmmm. Makes you wonder. We know white boys do drugs too. What's up here?

I think you folks know the real deal. The truth.

Posted by: kentonsmith | June 9, 2009 12:59 PM

Kenton, your troll-like comments are tiresome. You lurk in these chats and jump on somebody whenever there is even the hint of rascist language (or rather, the perception of a hint). To call someone a thug isn't some kind of code, any more than 'knucklehead' or 'idiot'. There are plenty of white players who get hit with the same label. You need to get over it and grow up; if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it's a duck.

Posted by: steelers_rule123 | June 9, 2009 1:17 PM

You are in denial. or has become a hip hop colloquium for "bad boys". The "Thug Life" image is grounded in urban black communities. It doesn't mean "criminal".

We know the official definition of thug is universally criminal but, it's contemporary use; as with knucklehead and idiots in the sports blog world, is linked to Black Males. In case you didn't know. ;)

Plenty of white athletes hit with the thug label? who? That's BS and you know it.

Racist views walk, talk and quack too you know. Believe me...I hear it loud and clear.

Posted by: kentonsmith | June 9, 2009 1:37 PM

Knucklehead is another code word for Generation X Black Males. On the street it's called "Nucca's". Yeah...I know sounds like the "N" word.

When you say these knucklehead, thug athletes everybody knows you're not talking about the soccer players. As much as they fight in hockey and baseball somehow we know you're not talking about those sports.

Who do you think you're talking to fellow? I'm waaayyyy ahead of your BS masking of your true feelings.

Posted by: kentonsmith | June 9, 2009 3:42 PM

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