Unhealthy Habits? Leave Butler Alone and Talk To Barkley

Gregg RContributor IFebruary 25, 2010

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 17:  NBA legend Charles Barkley kisses referee Dick Bavetta after they competed in a full-court race in the Bavetta/Barkley Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the term and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The NBA has decided, for legitimate reasons, to force Caron Butler to stop chewing straws during games.  Okay, this makes sense the last thing that needs to happen is Butler collapsing in a wheezing mess at mid court and choking to death on national TV.  

Although I am supremely confident in Mark Cuban's CPR skills I will once again concede that for the overall health of the players chewing plastic probably is not the best move, but for the sake of argument let's take a look at another health issue the NBA chooses to ignore.

The NFL has the Play 60 program which tries to promote physical activity in youth which I think most people would agree is a good thing.  However the NBA seems content to promote an unhealthy lifestyle with its's association with Charles Barkley and Taco Bell.

First Charles Barkley is the model of physical unfitness and the fact that he swelled up like a hot air balloon almost immediately after leaving the hardwood could be the subject of a Men's Health article.  Then the NBA has to go and make matters worse.

The most recent advertising campaign for Taco Bell features Charles Barkley lumbering around peddling the high fat Taco Bell food.  The ad also features the NBA logo in the bottom corner of the screen towards the end of the spot.     

For a league that is so worried about its' image that it forces players to wear certain types of clothes during post game interviews, David Stern certainly does not seem concerned over the fact that the NBA is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.  

This is just another circumstance of hypocrisy that is so prevalent in professional sports.  The NBA as well as other professional sports leagues demand that their players be but role models but refuse to follow the same example. 

This ad does however show Barkley getting the most exercise he has gotten since his infamous race with the corpse Dick Bavetta.  

So go ahead America grab another box of grease from Taco Bell but be careful of putting the straws in your mouth.