One of the more disappointing aspects of being a pro sports fan in modern times is the disconnect that has grown between fan and athlete. In fact, many athletes seem to have outright contempt for the people who watch their every move, and they show it through stonewalling every media inquiry that comes their way.
So it’s refreshing on rare occasion that an athlete sticks his or her neck out and actually has an opinion. It’s even more interesting when an athlete breaks the unwritten code of silence when it comes to other athletes. That’s why Brendan Haywood’s comments regarding Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth stood out. No band of brothers here, and to tell Haywood tell it, behind the impassive eyes and tired cliches that athletes trot out to their adoring public, some of them might even feel strongly about things.
While I was watching Sports Center with some of the guys, we were all shocked to see the story about NFL player Donte’ Stallworth pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter and being sentenced to 30-days in jail and 1000 hours of community service. For me, this really hits home because my mother and I were hit by a drunk driver earlier this year.
So let me get this straight, Michael Vick gets two years in jail for killing dogs and Stallworth gets only 30 days for killing someone? Now they say that justice is blind, but even Stevie Wonder can see that more than 30 days in jail was needed here. I think this was a terrible injustice. This is why so many people look at pro athletes with disgust and disdain. I was thoroughly disappointed.
I don’t think you’ll find much argument on that, Brendan. But it’s good to know that athletes are indeed paying attention to the goings-on in the world. Too often they come across like they don’t.