As I look at the photos of Javon Walker partying it up at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, I can’t help but feel sick to my stomach. One minute he’s having fun, the next he’s left as road kill. In case you missed the news from Sin City, early Monday morning, the Oakland Raider was beaten, robbed and left unconscious on a Las Vegas street after a night of partying…then I come across news of Arizona Cardinal J.J. Arrington getting arrested after a fight at a nightclub in Rocky Mount, N.C…Titans linebacker Ryan Fowler denies taking performance-enhancing drugs after he was linked to convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs, who was found dead with a female companion in his Plano, Texas, home earlier this month…Sadia Morrison, the Bronx woman who was involved in the Las Vegas brawl that police say NFL star Adam “Pacman” Jones’ incited, was found dead last week behind a Bronx building…Barry Bonds has pleaded not guilty to 15 felony charges of lying to a federal grand jury about his performance-enhancing drug use…and now The New York Times, citing an unidentified lawyer briefed on the issue, reported that Greg Anderson’s wife received a “target letter” from federal prosecutors in November, shortly after Bonds was indicted on perjury charges, advising her that she could be charged with conspiring to commit a crime against the federal government…
Day after day, as I sit here and post pretty pictures of our sexy athletes doing good things, I find it incredibly frustrating to NOT come across more coverage of the celebrity athletes who have made good role models. The general public flocks to sites like Deadspin or Perez Hilton in efforts to get their daily dose of dirt while ‘journalists’ chase down leads on TomKat sightings or the latest news on the birth from a celebrity who-shouldn’t-be-having-kids-and-why-do-we-care-anyway?
There is a very dirty and dark side to sports. I’ve seen and heard things I wouldn’t wish upon any sports fan- my bubble has burst and I’ve had just about enough of the scandals, steroids, rapes, party’s gone wrong, affairs, fights, drug dealing hoopsters, gun toting ballers, etc. Since the release of the Mitchell Report, ‘Game of Shadows’, ensuing testimony from Clemens and his side-kick-personal trainer, Brian McNamee, we’ve been given a front row seat to that circus, but hidden within the text, testimony and ‘archived’ news stories, there is a much larger issue which is not being addressed in the sports section. And the dark side I’m referring to isn’t steroids and baseball. This isn’t about who, what, where, when or why some athletes birthed a scandal that has forever tainted America’s favorite past time. Its about the victims of the cover-up, scandal and ongoing injustice done to women who have fallen prey to athletes who have been empowered by society, the media, steroids and yes-even some teams-that don’t want anyone to know how deep and dirty the secrets go. No one wants to say the dirty word, but I will. It’s called ‘rape.’ With the world focused on tainted home-run records, asterisks, and the integrity of the sports world, I think its high time people are aware that the integrity of many women has been stolen from them. Because believe me, its happening, has happened, and will continue to happen unless someone addresses the issue.
One example comes from Camp Clemens. In October of 2001, Brian McNamee, while employed by the Yankees, was caught having sex with a woman in Florida at the team hotel. According to police reports, she had allegedly been given a near lethal dose of GHB (aka the ‘date-rape’ drug) and McNamee held onto her until a hotel employee noticed she was incapacitated and asked him to stop. Other players watched as McNamee ‘raped’ this woman, but because she was having an affair with a married Yankees employee, she didn’t press charges. A few months later, the Yankees quietly let McNamee go, but Clemens and Pettitte kept using him as their personal trainer. Stories of infidelity are rampant in the sports world, yet I have the utmost respect for this woman, whoever she is, and despite the fact that she was having an affair with a ‘married’ Yankee. To add insult to injury- Clemens and Pettitte-knowing McNamee’s propensity for violence-kept him on their payroll, while the Yankees washed their hands of it by taking McNamee off their payroll, but still kept him linked to the team by proxy. I’m sure this woman was given a hefty-lump of hush money and sent packing. But hush money doesn’t restore dignity or self respect. Money doesn’t make the nightmares go away or heal the humiliation. Money can’t give this woman what McNamee took from her by force and without consent.
In essence, my focus has shifted. Athlebrities is getting a face lift. Gone are the days of the simple objectification of our hotties. Mixed within the vortex of the complicated world of professional athletes, there are some really, really good men (and women) out there using their fame to raise money for good causes…donating countless hours and cash to bring awareness to starving kids in Africa, the still-Katrina-ravaged areas of New Orleans, the homeless people on our streets, children with AIDS, abused or neglected animals, autism, illiteracy, etc…the list is as endless as their generosity. I wanna hear the feel-good stories and I want you to feel inspired instead of reading about all the garbage…this doesn’t mean that you won’t find Camilo Villegas crawling across my posts, or information on Team Italy activities…but you will read more about the good guys and their charity events. You will read more about who, what, when and where these athletes will be in order to meet their fans and raise money for good causes.
Because really, isnt it time we replace the bad-guys on the pedestal with the ones who really deserve it?
As always, thanks for reading.