Hold players accountable

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2006

Well, it’s happened again. Some professional athletes have acted out and embarrassed not only themselves, but their profession and teams.

Remember the recent NBA brawl at Madison Square Garden? A number of players have been suspended and fined and each team was fined $500,000.

At about the same time, Terrell Owens, of the Dallas Cowboys, reared his ugly head once again, this time spitting on another player.


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And prior to that, Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick, leaving the field after a loss, made a gesture to his home fans using the middle finger of both hands.

What’s going on with these people? And more than that, why aren’t they being punished for these actions?

Yes, they are being fined. But when you are making millions of dollars a year, a fine of a few thousand dollars means nothing.

And then, after they pay these fines, like Owens, they often times do it again and again.

It has even trickled down to the collegiate level. Recently a couple of Virginia Tech football players had a run in with the police in Blacksburg, but team officials said it would not affect their playing in any bowl game this year. Why not?

Somebody needs to step up and make these people accountable for their actions.

A player bringing shame to his or her team should be fined and temporarily suspended after the first offense, and then let go permanently should it or similar actions occur after that.

Somebody needs to make example out of these players and send a very strong message that such behavior is not acceptable and it will not be tolerated.

The scariest part of this is what it does to the youngsters who see it happening. Today’s cartoon pretty much says it all. Do you want your child asking that question?