The Glorification of Sports Thuggery

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Robert Ringer


The uproar over the Ray Rice domestic-abuse incident cries out for a truthful, politically incorrect article, so I decided to volunteer for the job. Rice’s Ali-like left jab to his then-fiancée’s kisser is but a blip on the crime screen of the hoodlum-saturated National Football League. Stuff like this, and worse — much worse — has been going on at an accelerating pace since at least the late seventies.

Poor Ray just happened to get caught on tape. Heck, his “mentor” (Ray Lewis) pled guilty to obstruction of justice in a double homicide case in 2000 and got off without jail time in exchange for testifying against two friends. And now, to rub insult into the wounds of decency, he has been immortalized with a statue next to that of the legendary Johnny Unitas in front of M&T Stadium in Baltimore.

Thuggery has been a trademark in the NFL and NBA for decades. Who can forget Latrell Sprewell nearly choking his coach to death, Ron Artest (“Metta World Peace”) jumping into the stands and starting a brawl with fans, Ben Roethlisberger mysteriously not being able to avoid crossing paths with women who accuse him of rape, and, of course, Aaron Hernandez, now sitting in prison awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges, to name but a few of the more infamous acts of thuggery in pro sports?

What most everyone misses is that violent acts such as these are just symptoms of an underlying condition — the decadent, thug culture in professional sports that the power structure not only allows to flourish, but encourages.

Because of space constraints, I’m going to focus on just three of the most visible symbols of the thug culture in pro sports — symbols that most fans have come to accept as the norm. They are: long, baggy shorts (in basketball), outrageous hairstyles, and tattoo-drenched bodies.

Let’s start with the shorts. Mystified by the emergence of knee-length, baggy basketball shorts in the 1990s, the immortal John Wooden (of UCLA fame) aptly labeled them “bloomers.” Even though they look ridiculous on grown men, bloomers have long been a staple of basketball thuggery, so much so that clean cut John Stockton of the Utah Jazz used get laughed at for insisting on wearing regular basketball shorts.

As to tattoos, there’s nothing wrong with a tattoo here or there — and no doubt many people reading this article have one or more tattoos on their bodies — but plastering one’s face and neck with snake and spider tattoos is a bit over the top. It’s an act of pure defiance, a way of saying to the world, “Up yours!”

The champion in this category of decadence is a character known as “Birdman” (Chris Andersen). You’re probably dying to see his evolution from a once semi-presentable humanoid to a walking freak show, so get out the Pepto-Bismol and have a peek: The Evolution of Birdman

Finally, we get to thug hairstyles. In the NFL, in particular, for reasons that continue to mystify me, thugs love to flaunt their girly men hairstyles. The white guys have an affinity for blond strands flowing out from under their helmets and down onto their shoulders, while many black players are partial to dreadlocks.

Then, of course, there’s the Samoan Steel Wool look worn by Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu and a few others. As with tattoos, the girly man hairdos are a not-so-subtle way of giving the middle finger to the establishment.

Do I really believe that baggy shorts, tattoo-covered bodies, and outlandish hairstyles promote violence? Yes, I do. Do I have proof? No. It’s just the opinion of a humble social observer.

It’s also my opinion that it’s a way of arrogant but insecure athletes saying, “In your face. If you don’t like it, don’t watch the games.” But millions do watch, and with great enthusiasm. In fact, the sad truth is that most sports fans idolize these thugs (and live vicariously through them) and, by doing so, act as enablers for their bad behavior.

I’m probably a lone wolf here, but I believe that most of the violence in professional sports could have been avoided had the NFL and NBA set up stringent anti-thug (that’s anti-thug, not anti-drug) rules when they started welcoming miscreants into their leagues, beginning with a strict physical-appearance code.

By still refusing to do so (for fear of being accused of violating the “civil rights” of the players?), league owners are just as guilty as Ray Rice and all of the other bad dudes in professional sports who are involved in criminal activity.

Even now, if the powers that be had the courage to lay down a strict, civilized code of conduct that included physical appearance, language, and behavior on and off the court or playing field, professional athletes would think twice before engaging in criminal activity. The operative word here is strict.

I realize that some people might argue that a strict code of conduct would not have stopped Ray Rice from kayoing his fiancée, because he didn’t even stop to think about it. But that is precisely my point. If league rules outlawing thug culture were severe enough (the words lifetime ban come quickly to mind), his subconscious would have been preconditioned to think about the consequences of his actions even in a highly emotional and volatile situation. It’s called conditioned response — and it works. Just ask Pavlov’s dogs.

What’s the takeaway message for you on a micro scale — i.e., what lesson or lessons can you apply to your own life? I believe that the most important lesson is that you should not be afraid to lay down rules that people must adhere to if they want to be involved with you on either a business or personal level.

My memory takes me back to an actor acquaintance of mine (“Richard”) who practiced this rule religiously and unapologetically. One day, he invited my wife and me to dinner at his home in Pasadena (California), and after I accepted his invitation, he said, in a matter-of-fact way: “Great. Then I look forward to seeing you and your beautiful wife next Sunday. Oh, and by the way, I require that all dinner guests at my home wear a coat and tie.”

His words took me aback at first, but the way he said it, I knew there was no negotiation. And instead of being offended by his requirement, I actually respected him for it — and for the straightforward way in which he communicated it to me.

Straightforwardness is the key. You don’t need to be obnoxious when it comes to laying down rules, just unapologetic and clear — clear about what is acceptable to you and what is not. While decadence may be in vogue right now with a significant portion of the populace, always remember that you have the power to outlaw it in your “league” and lay down your own rules for those who want to be involved with you. After all, it’s your life.

When people know you’re serious about your rules, they are conditioned to fall in line accordingly. Unfortunately, in professional sports, the thugs know that no one is serious about any of the rules, so they don’t hesitate to push the envelope. Not what Pavlov had in mind.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

60 responses to “The Glorification of Sports Thuggery”

  1. chuck says:

    Three cheers for you. You are so right!

  2. Tom D says:

    It seems to me that the least inked up team in the NBA is the San Antonio Spurs. They also seem to be one of the most disciplined and winning teams of the last decade. It has often made me wonder if the owner and coaches have an unwritten/unspoken rule about the types of players they want on their team. If I'm right, it would seem that the team management can have some control over this thuggery

  3. Ragnar455 says:

    I really have to agree with you wholeheartedly. If enough people set limits as to what they would tolerate in interactions with others, society would certainly change. Perhaps slowly at first, but as more and more people found the advantages of setting reasonable limits the pace of change would pick up. But even if only a few set reasonable limits, in time they would affect a large group.

  4. Phil says:

    Robert, you just put into very straight forward words what many parents want to say to their kids, but feel that they will be judged as not being " HIP". Keep up your common sense, on the issues of the day.

  5. John Demato says:

    Shorts, hairstyles, and tattoos are not the problem. While there certainly are bad apples in the professional sports that fit the description of wearing baggy shorts and having non-traditional hairstyles and an abundance of tattoos, certainly not all players that fit this description are punching their significant others in the face.
    The real issue is that pro athletes make lots of people lots of money and many of those people value this more than anything else. Violence, infidelity, dishonesty, and an endless list of morally questionable acts that stem from this go unpunished or forgiven because a big part of society values the ability to make money over being morally good or ethical. It's ok to get punched in the face if the person doing it is making you millions. Heck OJ Simpson made enough to make it ok to murder.
    So the next time a guy with long hair, baggy shorts, and a bad tattoo walks by you… don't assume the worst, at least, not until you check the size of his wallet and entourage.

  6. Scuffy Rubric says:

    In my experience, everything Robert said is correct. As an example, when I went to high school, we had a dress code – cuffed dress pants, Gant shirts, shined harvard walkers, wing tips, penny loafers, nice belt, argyle socks or dress socks, blocked in the back "regular" haircuts – It rocked, I looked cool, and I loved the preppy look.

    Then in the final quarter of my Senior year, they dumped the code and I was in bell bottom jeans, motorcycle boots, work shirt, and I was also loving that, the freedom was cool too. But then I noticed something happening to the psyche of the kids. They started to not give a crap and within one year windows were broken out of the school, doors broke into, and there was no more paddling your ass when you messed up. The paddle was cool, you got to sign it after you got whooped. It worked.

    But now we have the political correctness police every where, and while the clothing and paddling went down the drain, so did the discipline. Is all this just a big coincidence? I don't believe much in coincidences, of course there is the odd thingy that has no explanation, but overall, no.

    Today they call it "artist discretion" or something similar, meaning do whatever you want because you are a celebrity, actor, artist, whatever, and we don't hold you to much, if any standards because you are cool…

    I'll bet when Robert was putting on his jacket and tie, he was secretly enjoying it, and to me it would seem like fun to go to a semi-formal dinner at a wealthy friends house, I know my wife would enjoy it too…

  7. John E. Gabor says:

    I graduated in 1969. In 1970, my high school did away with most all of the dress/appearance code. I heard that was happening all over the country. Schools have been going downhill ever sense – including academically.

  8. larajf says:

    I think it goes beyond that, and the heart of the matter is the breakdown of a family structure. That is where you learned rules and consequences. I disagree that if the NBA/NFL set rules that people would follow them. The players would sue and blame everyone else for their problems.
    No, we need to reduce the culture that rap has glorified – living life with no restrictions, women are 'ho's and those in authority need to be "capped." Bring back respect. Bring back accountability.
    And get those who are already there in counseling. Making gobs of money as an immature twit is ripe for problems, as we've seen. Maybe the money should be put into a trust that they can't fully access until they're 40. That would also prevent them from being worn out & broke after age 35 as well.
    The leagues should be counseling and mentoring these men rather then treating them like racehorses to be ridden hard and then sent to the glue factory when they're no longer useful.

  9. Andrew says:

    This could be the most ridiculous article ever written. How is what he is saying any different than any other kind of discrimination? Lots of tattoos, long hair, that guy must be a thug. Long, baggy shorts, he must be trouble. Sounds a lot like, "oh look, a black man, he must be a criminal" or "oh no, he's wearing a turban, he must be a terrorist". He points to Chris "The Birdman" Andersen and all his tattoos, never been accused of any crime. He points to model citizen Troy Polamalu and his defiantly long hair, ignoring the fact that Polamalu is Samoan and the hair is a part of his culture. Absolutely horrible article, period!

    • Jean says:

      It's not so ridiculous, Andrew. Nowhere in the article does it infer that all persons of a particular race have the same tendencies. What it DOES state – and what is actually common sense – is that the way in which a person presents him or herself defines the manner in which that person interacts with society at large. When Jesse Jackson admitted that he crosses the street when he is approached by a group of black teenagers, one wag made the statement, "Would he feel compelled to cross the street if those teens were well dressed, well groomed and carrying Bibles?"

      You can pretend that being grossly tattooed or wearing baggy pants / shorts has no relation to the attitude of the person presenting same, but I would also bet you are often greatly disappointed in interpersonal relationships. You get to choose, but allow me the liberty and discretion to do the same without judgment.

  10. Edwin says:

    I remember that the Yankees you had to have a hair cut and no beards allowed ion that team. It may still be taht way so I believe that if the owners have a back bone, they will set some rules and stick to them! Great post!

  11. Bryson says:

    This is a horrible article that is seemingly trying to label "black athletes" and predominantly "black sports" with the "thug" tag. This is absolutely wrong and borderline racist. If you think the problem with sports is the fact that blakc people do not wear their hair like white athletes or have the same "style", then you are missing the real point. We could point out the very similar issues of "thuggery" and negative culture in every sport where PEOPLE are apart of it. This post made me sick. Now you're saying that black people need to be "told" how to behave and act in order to help with these problems? Horrible. If you think "thuggery" is based on short-length, tattoos, and hairstyles (aka not looking "white"), then you are really missing the point.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      Last time I checked, neither Clay Matthews, Ben Roethlisberger, nor Chris Andersen were black.

      • Andrew says:

        Yea, but when have Clay Matthews or Chris Andersen ever been accused of any crime? I agree the article points to offenders of all races, but his facts are absolutely distorted! Yes, Ben Roethlisberger is a jackass and possible sexual predator, however, Troy Polamalu with his "defiantly" long hair is actually expressing his cultural beliefs as he has a Samoan background. To put him in the same category as Roethlisberger is absurd, bordering on libelous. This article is absolutely ridiculous in that it uses stereotypes to explain behavior without any real basis of fact.

        • John E. Gabor says:

          It's called freedom of speech.

        • Scuffy Rubric says:

          Unable to put 1+1 together, out comes the race card. Trust me, Robert does not even see race, I am certain that he, like me, only cares about how one conducts himself and the positive values he holds. In my experience I have found general stereotypes to have some basis in truth, or they wouldn't exist. We are all tribal to some extent. Sure we can go down the percentages and see exactly where the numbers take us, but that is ridiculous because the real problem is that a spiritual condition has darkened our etheric like a black cloud.

          It is much too complicated to address here – but Robert's article was very provocative and an excellent topic for discussion, as we see…

  12. M. Preston says:

    None of this would be possible without the "identity" of being a rebel or non-conformist, based on norms (really dysfunctionality) established by the 60s "in-crowd", as it relates to being part of "everybody". It would be as though, the legal maxim "the state is arbitrary and right" applied to celebrities as though there are the "state".

  13. John Abbott says:

    I tend to agree with MOST of the article. And some of the comments are funny, saying it is RACIST! Give me a break! The part I DISAGREE with is this
    ": By still refusing to do so (for fear of being accused of violating the “civil rights” of the players?), league owners are just as guilty as Ray Rice and all of the other bad dudes in professional sports who are involved in criminal activity."
    I agree the owners ARE enabling the players to be THUGS. But Ray Rice and others still have the CHOICE of whether or not to BEAT or KILL somebody. We are ALL accountable for our OWN actions. By the way, as a man, I have NOT watched an NFL or NBA game in over 10 years, partly because of the THUGGERY!

  14. James Parker says:

    I must respectfully disagree. If the clothes and appearance do not negatively affect performance or the team's (i.e. employer's) bottom line, then they should be considered irrelevant to the employment.

    My experience, in the field of Software Engineering and Research, has noted that there is an inverse relationship between the formality of dressing and appearance, and the quality of work produced; those who are particularly concerned about their image tend to put form over substance, which is reflected in their work.

    A number of years ago I was on a temporary assignment to Bell Laboratories research facility to lead a project to productize a research system. One day I was outside, with my long hair, a black leather jacket, and denim shirt, and my boss and the president of Bell Labs saw me from a distance. My boss told me afterward that the president had commented on my appearance, and said he liked to see people dress like that, because it told him that they were focused on the results, not the appearance. A year later, the project I was working on received a Bell Labs President's Award.

    Why should professional athletes be treated any differently?

    • imgettingdizzy says:

      At least in part, because engineers/programmers do not regularly appear in front of customers or otherwise represent the company they work for in the same capacity that professional athletes do.

  15. Greg says:

    Just one more of the many reasons why I'm a "sports atheist"…

  16. Jeremy says:

    I've bought and read all of your books Mr. Ringer, and in I may I have a few reasons why "this is really nothing new under the sun."

    Humans don't change. These guys have uncontrollable egos, and these egos clash with the modern "I don't care I love it" daughters of the feminist generation. Go back to the Beatles and you have Lennon beating his wife. Go back to The big bands and early jazz artist and you have similar stories. The main difference is that in today's 24 hour news cycle technology has bombarded us with the idea that these things are rampant.

    Women want to be equal (and they are under the law) and yet we see widespread outcries on how they need to be protected and men need to be preached to once again on how we are terrible and women are these precious little angles. (Not true with these modern girls. There is little they offer and don't respect each other let alone men or even violent men.) It's not so much of an issue of widespread crime and violence, that's the reaction to a society void of simple mutual respect.

    We're in the century of no accountability.

  17. Clydeof thehighland says:

    As the (black) music and social critic Stanley Crouch wrote about rap "music" and thug posturing "when a society aspires downward, it's over for art and culture". Tatooing en masse is an affectation of primitivism. Likewise , celebrating vulgar, subliterate speech, behavior and bully dominance betrays the historically repetitive crisis of a culture confused, valueless and hedonistically nihilistic. Misidentifying primitivism with "freedom" is utter ignorance and degenerate historical egoism.

  18. cspkeynes says:


    In a world where personal responsibility is bleeding into a cosmos of victimization , these high paid performers
    and their employers play to the " crowd " .

  19. Michael C says:

    The article is spot on. It's not the 3 items particularly that are the problem; it's the mindset of the people with these things trying to emulate a thug lifestyle.

    Typically, a couple of commentors suggest this is racist toward blacks. You are in a bad place. You get defensive anyone makes any negative evaluation of ANYTHING that ANY black person might do, and then call it racist. Reality check: black people do bad things too and need to be called out and held accountable for it just like anyone else. That is NOT racism.

    • Andrew says:

      Except his examples are terrible. He points to Chris Andersen's tattoos and Troy Polamalu's long hair, yet neither Andersen nor Polamalu have ever been in trouble. Moreover, Polamalu's hair is actual part of his culture as he is Samoan. Ben Roethlisberger has short hair and no tattoos that I've ever seen, yet he's a possible sexual predator. This article was so poorly thought out, it's as if the author got diarrhea of the mouth all over the page!

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      You hit it spot on – it's all about emulating a thug lifestyle, and, yes, people associate that with blacks in the hood. Which is sad, because it is anathema to black professionals in such fields as science, medicine, law, and business, as well as other highly educated and accomplished upper-class and upper-middle-class blacks.

      They realize that white kids and young adults who try to “act black” are sending a destructive message to young blacks who already have a difficult road ahead of them to reach middle-class or high-class status. Those who scream "racism" at the drop of a kernel of truth do the black community a disservice. It's a very sad situation, in my opinion.

      But, as I've said so often, most people do not love truth. Instead, they try to make true that which they love.

  20. George says:

    You are so right on on this one. I've felt this way about football and pro sports in general for years. Just read a great book on football and the NFL in particular called "Against Football" by Steve Almond. In it he reports on the insidious money culture pervading pro-sports and football in particular. It's why I will not watch or support pro sports in any form. It's all about money.

  21. Brian Brian Smith says:

    Wow! That's pretty harsh Robert, and I wont take sides.
    Having said that, I have always been amazed at the similarity of football teams in a stadium the movies depicting the gladiators in the Colisseum in older times.
    It is OK that the games and rules are different, but the crowds…… That "kill 'em" attitude is scarily the same.

  22. Linda Joy says:

    "he invited my wife and I " – ehhh – nails on a blackboard – should be "he invited my wife and me"

  23. american real says:

    Robert, you listed a few of the reasons I don't follow any sports — I prefer to be active instead of sitting inside watching TV or spending outrageous amount on going to sporting events.

  24. Georgio says:

    Robert, you know full well that pro sports is nothing more than entertainment, and the reason for this form of entertainment is the copious amounts of money it generates for its purveyors. If the owners and financial backers of pro sports thought that having straight-laced clean-cut athletes would generate more revenue than the thug culture they currently endorse, you know that they would enforce strict policies on the "performers" appearance and public image – after all, it is their money that's on the line.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      I agree. Since the devolution of American society began in the Sixties, fans live vicariously through the in-your-face attitude of athletes.

      • Liz says:

        The "devolution of American society" escalated rapidly in the Sixties, Robert, but I don't believe that was the beginning. I think it started with the industrial revolution and was advanced by modern warfare in WW1, the mass non compliance to prohibition, the acceptance of divorce by the middle class, the emergence of the teenager as a market, The Beat influence elevating the anti hero as an ideal … all of these things and more, steadily progressed to lay a ground for the explosion that was the 60s.

        I think the dress styles with the oversized look is part of the youth culture — grown men, even gray haired elders, dressed like toddlers with oversized tops and huge short pants, complemented with sport shoes and socks either pulled up to their knees or rumpled down at the ankles. What a clown costume! But I think you're right about the tats and other forms of self mutilation, along with the might-as-well-be-naked styles of female dress — it shows disrespect, for themselves, for others, and for civilization in general.

    • Scott theczech says:

      True that there are overlapping social-economic factors involved in this commentary; this is a case where if the free market were truly allowed to flourish, we may see a real correction of thug behavior. But alas, the free market is not promoted and encouraged; professional team sports are essentially cartels. Any competitive, upstart organizations are quashed by co-conspirators and collusion. Owners, advertisers, landlords, municipalities…are all in on it! The bread and the circus indeed.

  25. Richard Lee Van says:

    I graduated from high school in 54 and from college in 59. We had some foolish fads such as wearing pegged pants and duck-tails, and some thought that freakish. In college many of us went to class wearing shirt, tie and sports coat. I felt good dressed like that. When I returned summer school in the 60s, OMG! The campus rocked at night! Before that we had quiet hours for STUDY! And then co-ed dorms and the stories I heard about that! Yes, as of the 60s, things changed and not for the better! THEN, after 15 of teaching in various colleges, I decided to change professions. But during the "change time", I did some substitute teaching at my old high school. OMG again! I didn't last a week… in the interest of my blood pressure. What caused such a "cultural change"? I contend that the reason is obvious. In my generation a kid, low, middle or low class, we were taught How to Behave in the home while "growing up". How that Fine Art got lost is a subject for book-length discussions. Beginning as little narcissists, we all need to be "brought into line" before we enter the world on our own. When not… well, you see what you got! In my case, after parental stuff, I went into the U.S. Army for two years. That put the finishing touches on my learning (self) discipline! All in all, the way it is now, I think the situation is pretty much hopeless…. sad to say. But, we can hope for the best even if we fear the worst I guess. I do believe, however, that good behavior will rise again in some century up the way.

  26. Nightrider says:

    visible tattoos are so tantamount to the concept of 'thuggery,' also let's not forget long/thick facial hair – managers used to have a code but no more, succumbing to the overpaid multi-million $ players, wearing baseball caps backwards, having little rings on one or both ears, the list goes on and on.

  27. Beverly says:

    RIGHT ON RICHARD LEE VAN!!! I too hope and remain optimistic that someday society will go back to having manners and respect for one another – in the home, on the job, and especially for one another wherever we may be encountering one another. I too have stopped watching football because of the thuggery that is accepted – it's all about the money.

  28. Robby Bonfire says:

    I see Ray Rice is "suing" to become reinstated. No remorse, no willingness to undergo therapy, just cash in now for all the big bucks his notoriety can generate. And his "Until death do us part" mentality wife needs to have her head examined. Talk about low self-esteem, she's the one.

    If Roger Goodell was "wrong" for originally mandating a light two-game suspension for Rice, is not Rice also wrong and vulnerable to criticism for wanting to be reinstated, almost immediately? So many want Goodell to step down, how about also wanting Rice banished from the NFL for life, while we are at it? you mean to tell me Goodell should be axed, while it's o.k. for Rice to be reinstated? It's really about Goodell, not Rice? Who is the bigger culprit here? Oh, right, it's Goodell, thanks media, I almost missed that.

  29. Robby Bonfire says:

    Robert, good three-point list you cite. To your list I would add two points: 1. "Trash talking." And, 2. Those infernally ugly commercial billboards and patches plastered on helmets and uniforms, courtesy of the Riddell, Nike, and the rest of the glut of aesthetics polluters in this country.

    So that we have baggy pants ( actually rapper pants, with all the cultural fall-out that implies), tattoos, girly hair styles, trash talking, and the "this space for rent" uniform graffiti polluters.

    This league should thank God that the media promotes and updates the point spread numbers throughout each week of the season on these games because, without betting on football, football would be reduced to having the impact of girls junior high school recess volleyball, in popularity. I don't watch the games, anymore, I just do my weekly stats and take a shot with some point spread action, each week.

    The games are just a side bar to the money on the table now, from the owners enormous financial interests all the way down to the working class fans at the betting windows, unless you feel the compulsion to sit like a zombie in front of your TV set as a "fan" and suffer 50 commercials coming at you, every 3 1/2 hours, an enticement some of us really can find the intestinal fortitude to bypass.

  30. Jim Hallett says:

    Sports is but a mirror of the bigger culture, and since entertainment of all sorts is the #1 value in America, it should be no surprise that the place is tanking badly each and every decade. The lack of leadership and values is apparent in all areas, including the White House. Roger Goodell reminds me of Bill Clinton (stick your finger up and take a poll to decide what you will do, and then justify all of your behavior, no matter how wrong or poor). My interest in pro sports has waned over the years (don't even watch any NBA and much less NFL than before), and now college sports is following the same path. Jameis Winston of FSU looks like he will fit right in with the NFL culture. If values and character are missing, then it doesn't matter what someone is wearing, their hairstyle, etc. This is what you get when you have a nanny state govt. ruling the roost – dependent folks who easily cop to being "victims." Don't look for any of this to change soon.

  31. Hugh Jeego says:

    This thing with Ray Rice and his wife reminds me of Israel and Hamas.

    Ranay Rice spits and slaps at Ray doing virtually zero damage and Ray's vastly disproportional response is to slug her in the jaw knocking her unconscious.

    Hamas fires "rockets" into Israel doing virtually zero damage and Israel's vastly disproportional response is to kill hundreds of women and children.

    While the media and talking heads are aghast about a single women getting knocked out that same media is strangely silent about the death of hundreds of women and children.

    I gotta ask: Like Israel, doesn't Ray have the right to defend himself?

  32. tut says:

    I can agree with much of the Thuggery you speak of with the current Sports Leagues, but when it comes to hair, my mind instantly goes to Troy Polamalu, from the same Pittsburgh Steelers as Ben Roethlisberger (who you mentioned) and he has long hair. He is a great gentlemen, and a fine Christian, so I'm not sure if a hair is a show stopper?

  33. Don says:

    Your comment about the leagues being enablers is so true. Look at NASCAR as a counter example. Driver appearance is nothing like what is common in the stick and ball sports. And, If anyone were to misbehave, they're out — for a period or permanently, depending upon the severity of what they have done. For example, two years ago, AJ Almendinger (driver) had innocently taken a single Adderall pill offered to him by a friend when he was exhausted. He failed a subsequent random drug test and was suspended pending completion of a six-month "Road To Recovery" program. He did so, returned to racing and is now in the championship running. Stronger historical examples include when there was an appearance of criminal behavior or evidence of cheating or manipulation of results by any crew. That immediately resulted in complete suspension, etc. In short, no misbehavior is tolerated. Period. Real simple.

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  37. Great post! It seems to me that the least inked up team in the NBA is the San Antonio Spurs. They also seem to be one of the most disciplined and winning teams of the last decade. It has often made me wonder if the owner and coaches have an unwritten/unspoken rule about the types of players they want on their team. Thank you for sharing your post.

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