Do We Put Athletes on a Pedestal?

Joseph Rodriguez

Over the last few weeks, various NFL players such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have been involved in high profile court cases that include allegations of child/domestic abuse on their wife or child, which has gotten the NFL controversy about how to treat player misconduct. In reaction to these court cases, the NFL have stated that the company will become much harsher on their players based on what allegations are presented to the current player.
The National Football League and controversy have become entwined with one another every few years, with the first major NFL controversy being the infamous court case with NFL Hall of Famer O.J Simpson, where he was acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and friend Ronald Goldman, that really put the NFL for the first time into a very negative light.
But a question that has always been asked by both supporters and detractors of the NFL and sports in general is that do we put sports stars above the general public so much, that we excuse them of anything that could hurt their image, such as murder or illegal dog-fighting. Jesse Rodriguez, who is not only a freshmen at River City High School but is also a Team captain, stated that he believe that people put athletes above others because of the charisma and skills that they have, which give them a free pass to some.
“I believe that it can be 50/50 sometimes, because the players have a way of talking and being good at what they do, it makes people like them.”
Diego Munuz, a junior at River City agreed with Rodriguez to a center point, but was much more direct with his opinions because of not being a fan of football. “People like to give athletes special treatment only because they play a sport.” He also explained that he really does prefer professional soccer to Football, which gives an outside perspective.
However, the other issue that is connected to sport star worship, is that does an individual support their favorite players even if they’ve done something the person knows is wrong. Munuz had and interesting opinion on the topic, stating that he would lose respect for them but would still support them as an athlete, despite what they are alleged of doing. “I would probably have less respect for them, but I would still support them because their skills as a player and who they are most of the time separate.”