Professional Sports Punishment
Due to the greediness of sports figures, professional athletes are not punished in the same manner as other professionals are. It is like they are in a completely different group that uses an entirely different set of morals. Team owners care more about making their money than they do about setting a good example for young kids and making pro sports fun again rather than a business. Three good examples of this greediness are Roberto Alomar, Warren Sapp, and Dennis Rodman. Team owners and their respective leagues need to do something to turn this situation around before they have murderers and rapists playing sports for millions of dollars a year. Roberto Alomar makes 5.5 million dollars a year due to his five Gold Gloves. He is one of majors' best all-around players and destined for the Hall of Fame. In a 1996 divisional playoff game, Alomar was up to bat. Umpire John Hirschbeck called Alomar out on strikes. Alomar went back to the dugout where he started to argue the call with Hirschbeck. The umpire finally tossed Alomar. Orioles manager Davey Johnson along with Alomar went racing to home plate to argue the ejection. As Alomar was being pushed away by Johnson, he spit at Hirschbeck. Alomar was suspended for five games which was to be served at the beginning of the 1997 season, so he could continue to play in the playoffs. In my opinion, this act was indefensible and warranted a stiffer penalty than a five-game suspension. Major league umpires threatened to strike during the playoffs due to Alomar's behavior and inadequate punishment. I believe that the league did not suspend Alomar during the playoffs because he is such a high profile player that he brings in enough money for the league that officials felt they could justify their actions. Warren Sapp was one of the best defensive players in the 1995 NFL Draft. Sapp had tested positive for drugs, mainly marijuana, seven times while playing college football at Miami, including once for cocaine (Wolff 49). In the beginning Sapp called the reports, "a total fabrication," but later changed his story and said he did flunk one drug test at Miami (Wolff 49). Even after this admission of guilt, the NFL, still wanting to allow him to play so he could make them money, tried to brighten his image by saying that Sapp did not test positive for cocaine, oddly omitting any mention of marijuana (Price 48). In any other workplace, someone who had tested positive for drugs that many times would not be hired. Dennis Rodman, the National Basketball Association's bad boy, is notorious for getting in trouble. In a January 15, 1997, game, Rodman lost his balance after going for a rebound. He fell into a row of photographers where he kicked Eugene Amos in the groin. Amos, who doubled over in pain, was removed on a stretcher and taken to a Minneapolis hospital. Rodman only received an eleven-game suspension, was fined $25,000 by the league, and ordered to get counseling (Rodman's 22). Compared with 6.3 million he is paid a year for playing basketball that fine is just a drop in the bucket (Micheals 12). That fine is less than one percent of his annual salary. Someone who makes $30,000 a year would be fined more for littering. Attorney Fred Wiesman compared Rodman's behavior to that of Major League Baseball player, Albert Belle, when he said, "It's the same bullying, arrogant, obnoxious behavior. This is not the way reasonable people should conduct themselves" ("Rodman's" 22). All of the situations mentioned prove one point. Professional sports are corrupted and need to have a serious facelift when it comes to punishment. Roberto Alomar should have at least been suspended immediately rather than the owners allowing him to continue playing, lessening the severity of his actions. Warren Sapp would make a better role model for children if he made anti-drug posters, instead the NFL feels it is fine to allow a known and admitted drug-user to play football and make it seem to children that even if you do use drugs you can still make millions of dollars a year. Not in the real world. Lastly Dennis Rodman should be the reason the NBA does not allow violent people into their league. In my opinion Dennis Rodman does not do anything but degrade professional basketball and himself with his actions. If something is not done soon, professional athletics will crumble due to lack of support and former team owners will have to turn to illegal activities like some of their players to make money.