Recently in the world of sports: Boxer Johnny Tapia dies from a possible heart attack. Tapia, a former title-holder had a history of drug and alcohol problems. Boxer Paul Williams is left paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident. Jacksonville Jaguars rookie WR Justin Blackmon was arrested with suspicions of a DUI, the same goes for Lions DT Nick Farley.
There have been a lot of professional athletes who have found trouble at their door step as of late. Seemingly increasing are the DUIs and I think that it should make us as a society pause and find the root of the problem.
In Paul Williams’ case, the question is why did he get on his motorcycle when he could have driven his car instead? His situation is somewhat unfortunate because he had just signed a deal to fight rising star Cano Alvarez the week prior.
Tapia had a party-hard mentality that seemed to have hidden some demons that we as fans may not be privy to. I have never done drugs and I have never drunk myself into oblivion where I could not remember what I did the following night. I come from a family that does and I have seen the damage that it causes. Tapia was an athlete that perhaps could have been saved if someone had intervened a lot sooner.
We tend to encourage and enable an athlete’s bad behavior instead of chastise it. What we in turn do is create potential problems later on for them.
That leaves me to cases like Blackmon and Farley.
I understand that young men make mistakes but these young men are role models for many people. It is sad to read about these stories with them getting in trouble with the law. We want them to help our team’s win, I get that but we should also want them to be good members of society.
We have failed in showing them that they can be and should be. We make fun of the Tim Tebows of the world because he is a goodie-two-shoes but when need more athletes like Tebow than we do like Tapia. Tapia was a fallen athlete whose demons got the best of him.
So many stories like Tapia that are out there. It is so sad.
Written By Ernest Shepard. Follow Ernest on Twitter: @ErnestShepard