Athletes in the Action: The Tradition Continues

Commentary published the week of June 14-20, 2000

And this:

"Says noted sports psychologist Dr. Bruce Ogilvie: 'Let's face it. In 1960 you could commit rape and murder, but if you were an elite athlete the chances of conviction or even of exposure were pretty low. That sort of protection has ended. It's reflective of the press, really, rather than an alteration in the moral fiber of sports.' The difference between the great old Golden Age 'heroes' who seem to gleam so brightly when compared to our badly cracked idols of today is, in large part, simply a matter of how little of the bad was actually reported in the old days."

A full generation of bad behavior later, you could run the same words in a pious piece leading to the conclusion that professional-sports commissioners, owners, athletes and fans had better put a stop to the madness lest the world of sport implode.

Well, here's a different view, condoning absolutely nothing. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and young, cocky, famous, handsome, rich athletes gotta do what they've always done: act the part.

Outraged? That's understandable.

Shocked? That calls for a reading of history, followed by a bit of advice from the present-day world of sport:

Get real.

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