Crime and Punishment in Professional Sports 1

One of the things that irks me in pro sports is how disparate punishments seem to be for professional athletes.

Yes, they all get treated differently than “normal” people, but that’s another blog for another day.

What I’m talking about is how different crimes are handled differently in pro sports today.

Case in point – Michael Vick. Don’t get me wrong, what he did to those dogs was heinous, and he deserved to be punished.

Those. Were. Dogs.

Go ahead, read that sentence again. I love my dog, and I think of him as almost a child, but, at the end of the day, he’s still a dog – not a human.

On any given week you can find a story that goes something like the following:

“So and So arrested after DUI…”

“So and So hits person during DUI, involuntary manslaughter…”

“So and So shoots self in leg at a night club…”

“So and So allegedly roughed up their spouse/girlfriend/random chick…”

And the list goes on.

These are all crimes against human beings, and the majority of the time, the players get slapped on the wrist.

Braylon Edwards got arrested for a DUI last week. His “punishment”? He was benched for an entire quarter. Woopity Doo! No wonder these guys think they can get away with whatever they want.

What if fines were a little more realistic for players? You make $10 million – you do something boneheaded like this and you lose half a million. Yes, it’s steep, but it would probably change things in a hurry.

What’s your take? How does professional sports fix this problem?

One comment on “Crime and Punishment in Professional Sports

  1. Reply TheLongTalk Sep 28, 2010 12:20 pm


    I think the difference with Vick is he was convicted, I know with Ben he didn’t get very far into the court proceedings before the whole thing went away.

    As for a solution to the problem, here’s something that might seem a little crazy but could work. Let the legal system handle legal violations and the sports system handle sporting violations.

    If a player is caught doping, with a corked bat, or rubbing tree sap on the ball then the commissioner of the league should make sure something is done. If he’s caught molesting his kids – that’s something the police commissioner needs to handle.

    When a players crimes keep them from playing… because they’re in jail… then it becomes a league issue again and they’re contract should be voided.

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