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Braylon Edwards: Time to Step Up and Be Responsible, Black Athletes

Jukabiea BarlowContributor ISeptember 21, 2010

Ray Lewis, Ricky Williams, Cedric Benson, Mike Vick, Plaxico Burress and Braylon Edwards. What do these men have in common? They are black athletes in the National Football League that have been arrested for some type of offense.

Theses men on the list are just a few out of many black athletes in the NFL that have had their share of problems with the law. Is the justice system heavy handed on athletes based on color? Your answer depends on whom you ask. Personally, if you break the law no matter what color you are, you should be held responsible. With that being said, this article is not for racial bashing, this article is a plea from a black sports fan to black athletes.

Please stop giving yourselves and the black community a bad name. Yes you black athletes, you give our community a bad name. Your skill and athleticism is greatly appreciated but who cares if you break the law.

You are an immediate role model because of your privilege to live a dream held by many young children and young men. Your actions have a direct influence on all aspiring athletes, fans, and your home communities.

Substance abuse, domestic disputes, and other numerous cases constantly invade the media with the name of another black athlete at the front of the story.While black athletes aren’t the only ones that get in trouble with the law, the percent of the black athletes that do get in trouble is staggering.

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According to an article in USA Today written by Dr. Lapchick 75% percent of all athletes in trouble with the law are black. What then are the standards that the media and people in general have for the black athlete? Don’t be surprised if they expect you to slip up eventually. Is it right? No, but based upon the statistics of your peers you are deemed to follow the same trend.

It’s a shame that Braylon Edwards couldn’t learn from his friend about drinking and driving. No more excuses for these grown men. Where is the pride and respect for yourself and for the men who came before you?, like  Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Mike Singletary, Barry Sanders,  and Robert Smith just to name a few.  They were outstanding black athletes who respected themselves, and lived up to a higher standard on and off the field.

Step up and be responsible for your actions, use the recourses you have around you to make an informed and safe choice rather then riding around illegally potentially harming yourself or someone else. Ask Braylon’s friend Donte Stallworth about that. 

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