Thursday, August 20, 2009

Breakin' the law: a how to guide for professional athletes

Please rank the following crimes in order of severity:

A) financing and taking part in a dog fighting operation

B) drunk driving and killing a pedestrian

C) accidentally shooting yourself in a nightclub

If you answered: A, C, B you are correct. But only in the case of an NFL athlete. If you look at the sentencing and subsequent fallout from each of these crimes then you have the following results:

For financing and taking part in a dog fighting operation you will be fired, spend eighteen months in jail had all your assets go to finance fighting dog rehabilitation and spend eighteen months in jail before having to go on a media tour just to get your job back.

For the heinous crime of being stupid enough to carry a loaded gun into a night club and shooting yourself by accident you would also be fired, and be sentenced up to two years in jail (potentially twenty months for good behavior).

Finally there is the case of the drunk driver who kills a man in Florida. For this you are fortunate enough to settle out of court for a six-figure sum and spend only thirty days in jail. You get unpaid time off of your job for a year, but it's still there for you when you come back. Yet you are the only one of this group to have actually taken another human life.

Michael Vick was essentially ruined, financially and publicly for being a jerk who doesn’t like animals.

Plaxico Burress did not even harm another living being and will be incarcerated for two years.

And Donte Stallworth gets off comparatively easily despite ending someone’s life.

If you've ever wondered why athletes get into trouble, trouble that most of us normal people cannot even consider, maybe it's because they are literally playing by a completely different set of rules.

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