In the midst of fame and fortune is a seemingly perfect world on the outside looking in at many celebrities and athletes of today. As of late, modesty and ethics seem to take a back seat to power and arrogance in modern-day sports. In a recent case, New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards was pulled over by New York City police officers and clapped with a DUI charge, just another example of bad representation of an athletic organization.
What did the New York Jets do as Edwards' consequence? Let him play the next game on the schedule, of course. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum seemed very disappointed about Edwards' actions in an interview on September 21. "We are very disappointed in Braylon's actions this morning. The Player Protect program is in place for our organization to prevent this situation. Braylon is aware of this program and showed poor judgment."
In Tannenbaum's words, Braylon Edwards failed to follow Jets guidelines of discipline. But what has been done to punish his offense? A lashing from the media and dead silence from the Jets organization (other than the vague press conferences.)
It is ridiculous to think that an athlete, a representative of a prestigious organization, can escape from punishment such as driving while under the influence. Why can this happen? It seems that the players themselves operate some teams, not the staff.
Without their starters, how are they supposed to win? It is quite simple—better discipline leads to a more organized and successful program. Braylon Edwards is the most recent fallout to this kind of behavior (not to rip on the Jets) it has happened many times in the past where NFL regulations and guidelines were not enforced.
What's the solution in Edwards' case? Suspension is the first step for recovery in dealing with "misguided" athletes. It is an enigma as to why our society today rewards bad behavior. Are these the values the next generation need to envy? Fame and fortune takes precedence over rules and regulation, not just in recent NFL matters, but in celebrity fallouts.
Success needs to be rewarded, but not for people who violate the law. Even if Braylon Edwards "recieved enough punishment from the media," bite the bullet and take responsibility for your actions.
More leadership need to be taken. Celebrities and athletes need to realize that they do not just represent themselves, their organizations, and their teams; but they also show an example for spectators and sports fans. Punishment needs to be justifiable, where a suspension is the necessary tool to setting the example that a team does not house negative conduct (in Edwards' case.) Discipline is the proven first step to a positive outcome in the long run. It needs to be utilized, not broken down.