Athletes are modern day saints. Or at least they're supposed to be, according to some people.
Sports figures of this day and age are some of the most scrutinized individuals in the world. We praise these men and women and judge everything that they do. But what is the price of fame?
Recently I went out and got Call of Duty Black Ops for Playstation 3. It's a great shoot em up game and one of the best in the series. Then while watching a Lakers game a few days ago, I saw my favorite player, Kobe Bryant, wielding a gun and playing a live edition of Call of Duty. I thought it was cool.
The message of the commercial is that there's a soldier in all of us. Even a sports star like Kobe could be online playing this game along with other celebs and everyday blue collar workers like most of us.
You can have fun with the soldier in you. Take a little time out of your day, (or a lot) and enjoy pleasing the soldier in you. That's the message of the commercial.
Then I was watching ESPN First Take and saw Skip Bayless arguing that it was dumb for Kobe to take part in the commercial, smiling and shooting a machine gun.
Since when is it a crime to be on a commercial about a video game? The people who usually argue this point will point out that Kobe is a role model for children and that he should set an example—not by wielding a gun simulating a mature game.
Then I thought about something else. Where have the parenting skills gone that we now rely on an athlete to raise our children? Is Kobe going to come over your house and play Wii sports with your kids? Of course not!
Yes, Kobe is a role model and kids look up to him. However, it is up to the parents to ultimately decide what their kids should be playing on the video game systems. Not Kobe Bryant.
As a fan who watched him scowl his way through the playoffs and only smile when he's hoisting the championship trophy, it's good to see him having fun at something. I thought it was one of the more cool things that he's done.
Then I get on TV and people are asking, is it over the edge? Was it wrong?
Well to all the parents out there who oppose it, here's an idea: Don't buy the game! It doesn't matter what Kobe is doing on TV, if you don't want your kids having the game then don't buy it! If your child is of age and you don't want those kinds of games in your house, then tell them not to get it.
As big of a fan of Kobe's as I am, I'm not gonna let him raise my kids. If I don't want them to have a game he's endorsing, it won't make it anywhere near my house. Case closed.
So why is it that all of these people are so outraged at Kobe and saying David Stern should do something about it? What is really the big deal?
Maybe I'm crazy, but I just think the only person who should be mad is Gilbert Arenas. Agent Zero himself. Oh but wait, Kobe didn't pull a gun on a teammate.
So the point is simple: Leave the man alone! It's a commercial. He didn't air footage of him firing a gun to innocent civilians on YouTube so what's the big deal?
Please comment, and let me know what your thoughts are.