By Amber Leigh Hartman
Lately the headlines have been filled with the negative actions of athletes (old and new). Let me remind you of a few. . .Lawrence Taylor (accused of sexual assault), Ben Roethlisberger (accused of sexual assault), Shaun Rogers (carrying a gun through security at the airport) . . .the list goes on.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Your Dallas Cowboys have been devoting some of their pre-season time to give back to the community.
Martellus Bennett (#80 TE) and his brother Michael Bennett (#71 DE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers) were spotted at Stars of Texas…Racing Against the Odds benefiting the American Diabetes Association. The night was star-studded with guests such as Joe Avezzano, Steve Buechele, Kevin Burnett, Tony Casillas, Mike Doocy, Walt Garrison, Burton Gilliam, Jason Garrett, Rudy Gatlin, Dale Hansen, Norm Hitzges, Michael Irvin, Daryl Johnston, Jerry Jones, Babe Laufenberg, Nancy Lieberman, Eugene Lockhart, Frank Luksa, Terence Newman, Preston Pearson, Charlie Pride, Nolan Ryan, Newy Scruggs, Marcus Spears, Jim Sunberg, Everson Walls, Rayfield Wright, and Roy Williams.
Ballin’ with the Boys benefiting “Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas and Unique Athletes in Action” also included an entire line-up of your favorite Cowboys. They took on the Legends in a celebrity shootout basketball game (the New School Players beat the Old School guys).
If you were there you probably had a chance to hang out with current players: Patrick Crayton, Marcus Spears, Tashard Choice, Martellus Bennett, Andre Gurode, Terence Newman, Jason Hatcher, Marcus Dixon, Orlando Scandrick, Mike Jenkins, Michael Hamlin, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree and legends: Everson Walls, Tony Dorsett, Michael Irvin, Mike Downs, Jessie Penn, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Tony Casillas, Thomas Everett, and Randy White.
There are charity events constantly being held in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and there are athletes from every sport that come out to support each and every one. That information rarely makes the headlines, however, as the media chooses to highlight the failures and flaws of athletes (in every genre) instead of promoting athletes’ accomplishments.
I wonder how the stereotype of athletes would change if they got a little credit for the things they are doing right. That isn’t to say there aren’t some bad seeds in the bunch (because there are some dirty athletes), but why not give more incentive to do good things and give back to the community?
If the media was constantly featuring the athletes who did so, more would contribute their time, more outlets would broadcast the information, and more fans would show support. This would create a cycle which would end up benefiting many more people. Then, when an athlete makes the news for their lack of judgment/ignorance, they will be more embarrassed by their actions because people won’t be as accepting of the behavior.
Fans should stop expecting athletes to be stars on the field and duds in reality and encourage them to achieve their highest potential (while keeping in mind we all make mistakes).
Maybe someday the headlines will read: “Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Miles Austin Helps Save the Tatas with Susan G. Komen”….instead of “Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Miles Austin Ditches Practice for Playboy”!