For most Americans, sports is an escape. A chance to forget about the world and all that is taking place. Whether it is watching and event on television or reading about sports in the newspaper or magazines, American relish the chance to step away from life’s pressures and regal in the drama of sports.
Recently a disturbing trend is creeping its way into sports. It is not really that new but it seems to have a new veraciousness about it. The most recent incident involves the sport of hockey. The Dallas Stars of the NHL have just suspended Sean Avery for a comment he made to the press involving his former girlfriend. The scenario is simple. The Stars’ player commented when asked about his former girlfriend dating another NHL player. He remarked that it seemed that several NHL players enjoyed his “sloppy seconds” in dating former girlfriends of his. While the remark may be in poor taste on a couple levels, it is certainly not something one would expect warranted a suspension from his job. The Dallas Stars were quick to take action stating they would not tolerate this type of behavior in their organization.
A closer look at this situation makes it seem even more inappropriate. While there are no woman players in the NHL, of course the league strides to treat everyone with respect, men and women alike. Any attempt to make Sean Avery’s remarks appear to be sexual harassment is downright foolish. Sean Avery made his comment in the locker room, a place where there are no women. While the remarks may be rude and in poor taste, men do talk to each other like this. It is not uncommon. Does that make us pigs? NO, it does not. Forever in time men and women have conversed among themselves much differently than in the company of each other. This is no secret to anyone.
But allow the media to come in with their do no wrong attitude. The media are trying to set the agenda in all aspects of our lives. Letting their liberal attitudes take over sports is a mistake. A player in any sport should be able to say whatever they want. It is their opinion and that is all it is. Apparently the media would like to pretend that the population as a whole is stupid. That we are incapable of drawing our own conclusions on anything. But alas media moguls, we are more than capable of understanding situations which arise without counsel from the media.
If the media had not made such a big deal out the the Stars’ players remarks, it would have died out and it would have been no big deal. But they blew it out of proportion and the Dallas Stars acted as if they have no backbone and caved in immediately suspending a player in the vain of political correctness. Couch it however you choose, but it is what it is, an organization caving to the political righteous ambitions of the press. Sean Avery’s comments have no bearing on anything. They do not effect their fans lives at all, they do not effect the cohesiveness of the team. The remarks simply do not matter to anyone besides the player himself, his former girlfriend and the player she is now dating. Thats it.
The net effect of this to sports fans is a negative. Players in all sports will see what has happened. Instead of freely giving interviews after sporting events, players will be clamming up and having no comment on anything. Sports as a whole will suffer as information form our favorite players is going to be withheld. No player in his right mind is going to risk reprisal for remarks made in the heat of the moment. Surely the Stars’ player has been hurt by what is going on in his relationship with his girlfriend. It is not uncommon for either sex to make rude and harsh remarks after a breakup. It is simply the way of life.
Perhaps the media should show some level of intelligence and not ask these kind of questions or delve too deeply into a players personal lives. It is no one’s business but their own. Certainly the player should not have remarked openly as he did, but in the heat of the moment in a setting which is private I for one cannot fault him for his comments. All of us have been hurt in relationships and have lashed out in conversation with friends, similar to what the Stars’ player did and our jobs saw no reason to suspend us for it or even reprimand us for it.
Shame on the Dallas Stars’ for caving in to the perceived sentiment on the situation. Most Americans are learning of this and siding with Sean Avery. Most are calling the ordeal insane. All the while the press is patting itself on the back for forcing their will once again. We are reminded of the former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, who made some insensitive remarks about riding on the New York Subway. In expressing his opinion that day years ago, he ended his career. Less than a year later Rocker’s career was over. The media did not like the homosexual remarks made and so they forced their will once again.
If we as fans want to continue to hear what our favorite players have to say after games and events we have to let the press know they are not the ones in charge of anything. Reporters with agendas will not be allowed in the sacred halls of the locker rooms. Soon enough access to such areas will be gone and we will have to hear the rehearsed remarks made in the press conferences held afterward. If that happens the fans lose out. They will be the only losers because the media will still get quotes and information from the press conferences, but the fans will be deprived of candid remarks made by players especially those who do not get on the press conference stage.
It is high time for the media to take a step back and do what it is supposed to do, report the news. The media feel their role is to make the news. They are doing it in society more and more everyday. As sports fans we need to stand up and say no, we will not tolerate this. My part to protest will be to not watch or attend any Dallas Stars games and encourage as many folks as I can to do the same.