Divas in Professional Sports: Why They Are Ruining the Game

Randy RatliffContributor IJune 16, 2008

Imagine that you are a football player for the Miami Dolphins.

You get up early for team workouts. You train your butt off all day as you help your teammates try and turn around the leagues worst team.

Then, you turn on a TV and see your teammate dancing around on ABC trying to get his face out in Hollywood, even though he is getting paid millions of dollars to be practicing and playing with his teammates.

This is what is wrong with professional sports—the athletes forget that they are getting paid to play.

I don't get why so many athletes are infatuated with becoming actors, musicians, or anything other than being an athlete. It really cheapens the game. Can't Jason Taylor wait until he is done playing football to pursue acting?

The Dolphins have paid him a lot of money to be at training camp with his teammates. Any respectable man would feel an obligation to show up and do what he can to improve the franchise.

I don't think Jason Taylor cares about his teammates or his franchise. His only agenda is money and fame. His teammates, and the Miami Dolphins' franchise, come in a distant second.

These types of athletes are in pretty much every sport.

If you listen to LeBron James speak, it is obvious he has a pretty large god-complex. You don't even have to walk into his house and see the statues he has had made of himself lining his entryway. Or, see his two-story 3,600 square-foot closet to know that he has an ego.

When asked what his goals are, he says he would like to be the richest athlete in the world. He wants to be the first athlete/billionaire. You'll hear nothing about basketball, winning championships, or being a good teammate.

The egos of athletes have extended far beyond the playing field. It seems like it is a contest of who can get their face in the most places. Players who make $10-15 million a year complain about their contracts. They even hold out and refuse to practice because another player is making more money than them.

For example, Chad Johnson said that he wouldn't play for the Bengals, even though he was under contract. He then took every interview he could get, and he made no sense at all with any of the random comments he made.

When Roger Clemens put the Red Sox, Yankees, and Astros into a bidding war halfway through the season, one couldn't help but to feel disgusted. He showed his team that he would put in the time it took to win when he flew off to play golf during some of his team's away games.

As long as he wasn't pitching, he didn't need to be there. It's not like he could give the young pitchers on the team any insight or knowledge during the game. He's only getting paid twenty million dollars.

I am pretty sure that it will just get worse in the years to come. As salaries skyrocket and the fame of athletes rises, commercialization will take over all of the old values and morals that shaped sports. Sitting down for a game will be nothing more than watching an over-glamorized TV show.