It seems that every day we are reading about this athlete or that athlete, about this celebrity or that celebrity, who either pushes the envelope or goes way outside the envelope, with unacceptable and at times illegal behavior.
Currently, Braylon Edwards of the New York Jets brought upon himself a situation that he never should have placed himself in. He was arrested for DUI Tuesday morning, and I do mean morning. It was somewhere between midnight and 6 AM.
My first question is—and I do understand that he is a grown man—what is he doing out at that hour when he should be sleeping and getting ready to do his job? Edwards' job is to catch footballs for the NY Jets, and he is paid rather well.
Moreover, I do fully understand that he is young, playing and living in the greatest city, but he needs to exercise a modicum of common sense and better judgment.
Furthermore, Edwards' passengers included D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Vernon Gholston, along with two friends coming from a party. Was there any common sense employed here by any of the passengers...I THINK NOT!!!!
Imagine what would have happened if Edwards caused an accident injuring others, or an accident resulting in a fatality? I cannot imagine the outcome and results. This action is contemptible and cannot be excused.
Braylon Edwards, when he was with the Cleveland Browns, was a witness to what can occur when someone does not use their gray matter. Does the name Donte' Stallworth mean anything? Arrested for DUI, convicted of the manslaughter of a family man, and spent 30 days in jail. THIRTY DAYS!!!
If a common man was involved in a similar circumstance, the authorities would throw away the key. Celebrity does have its perks.
As I said, his actions cannot be excused. The NFL has a program to prevent this. Why did Braylon choose not to use a program he is contributing to? He thought he was above it all.
At this point in time, the only punishment the NY Jets can hand out is not to start him this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. What kind of message is that sending? The NFL is replete with offenders. The punishment doled out to NFL players borders on ridiculous.
Michael Vick murdered dogs. He is playing again. Ben Roethlisberger faced allegations of sexual assault and was suspended six...oops, I mean four games. He will be playing soon. Rae Carruth is in jail for conspiracy to commit the murder of his girlfriend, the mother of his children. He can possibly be released in 2018.
Finally, the dumbest of all, Plaxico Burress. No need to go into detail on this clown. They all have broken the law, and their celebrity saved them.
The lack of common sense spills into all aspects of society. Paris Hilton can play in the NFL. Tom Sizemore can play in the NFL. Mel Gibson can play in the NFL. Lindsay Lohan can play both sides of the ball in the NFL. Amy Winehouse can play football/soccer in England.
The list can go on and on, but again, these celebrities had their celebrity save their bacon. The worse part is that people actually look up to these "stars" as role models. Pathetic.
As I grew up, I had hero worship of professional athletes. Some of my favorites included Jean Potvin of the New York Islanders, Ken Boswell of the New York Mets, and Joe Namath of the New York Jets. Over the course of time, I came to realize that athletes are people also and can make mistakes. However, their mistakes hurt people, and not in the physical sense.
When I read Jim Bouton's book Ball Four, it really opened my eyes. Nonetheless, I had the opportunity to meet, at some point, each of the aforementioned people, and I can tell you, my hero worship with Potvin, Boswell, and Namath is still very much intact.
I have great admiration for a number of today's athletes. The sad thing is that a minority ruins it for the majority. I can only imagine what is going on with Jets management and the image they are attempting to project. Braylon Edwards almost sank and torched the Jets faster than President Kennedy's PT-109.
An apology and losing his starting position for one day is not enough. I am not asking for an execution, but a suitable punishment and suspension, along with a substantial fine, is going in the right direction.
Edwards should be absolutely ashamed of himself, as should Ferguson and Gholston for not stopping him. They are also culpable for not thinking and hurting the New York Jets franchise and insulting the Jets fan, of which I am. A professional athlete is not indestructible, and neither is the "common man."
Enough is enough. They should be made to pay back society for their actions. Give the "common man" a break. We deserve it.
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