Hair Dos and Don'ts: The Double Standard of Playing Professional Sports

TJ BuzzeoCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

LAKE ELSINORE, CA - JUNE 27:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Inland Empire 66ers waits on deck against the Lake Elsinore Storm on June 27, 2009 at the Lake Elsinore Diamond in Lake Elsinore, California. Ramirez is preparing for hsi return to the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 50 game suspension.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Why do athletes seem to always get a pass when regular people don’t?  I am not talking about autographs getting them out of speeding tickets or pictures to get a free meal in a restaurant. I am talking about hair styles.

Do you think anyone but Dennis Rodman could get a job let alone a raise? No, not unless it’s for a carnival.  How about Johnny Damon during his caveman days? Well, maybe he could get hired for Geico commercials.

Life is not fair, so why should the way we wear our hair not matter?

Nick Swisher is sporting a Mohawk. What do his fans think?  They say things like “It’s cool” or “Awesome.” If Swisher was not a home run-hitting outfielder, what would people say? “He looks stupid,” or “What an idiot.”

Why is there a double standard for athletes?

If you could slam dunk or score touchdowns, does that allow you to go against conventional hairstyles? 

Doctors save lives and teachers educate children, but if you showed up to an appointment and your doctor had Troy Polamalu’s long hair, or you walked into class and your professor had Chris Anderson's spiked hair, what would you think?

However, if you want a big interception or a big rebound, then you have your guy.

The different hair styles do not just keep themselves to the top of the head, as we have seen them move down to the faces of our athletes, as well.

Everyone remembers Scot Spiezio’s red soul patch during the Cardinals' World Series run in 2006.  Thankfully, Chad Gaudin decided to get rid of that beard before he decided to become co-NL player of the week and would start being interviewed nationally.  If that was not bad enough, how about the side burns on Drew Gooden. Will anyone forget those?

The worst case of the double standard scenario was just put on hold with a 50 game suspension, but now the minor leagues are graced with its presence.  If you have not figured it out by now, I am talking about Manny Ramirez.

While Joe Torre was with the New York Yankees, he famously had all of his player’s clean shaven and respectably dressed.  How would he deal with Manny who famously led a team known as “The Idiots” to two World Series titles?

Torre’s response is to let Manny be Manny, which worked. Manny hit home runs and played happily with long dreadlocks barely keeping hats and helmets on his head, and Torre got the Dodgers in the playoffs.

The double standard is everywhere in sports, and there is not a thing I, you, or any one else could do about it.  It happens with their hair, facial hair, and don’t even get me started on tattoos, jewelry, and clothing. We’ll save that one for another day.