I was shocked by the behavior I read about last week in the sports world and it's difficult to shock me. I've read about athletes displaying similar behavior in the past yet never thought I would see this type of irresponsibility occurring in 2010.
Below is the beginning of an article (and the link) about a 25 year old athlete caught in a tangled web of women and children:
After fathering seven children by six women in five states, you'd think Antonio Cromartie would have trouble finding a new partner.
The New York Jets not only have a crush on Cromartie, they'll pay to help his bygones be bygones.
The responses were plentiful, diverse and poignant including two I will share with you.
The first comes from a believer in Christ - a man who has faced tremendous obstacles in his life yet has endured to become a good man and trusted mentor. Not only does he "talk the talk" in regards to the biblical teachings but he "walks the walk". His words are interesting and insightful whether you believe or not.
The second person is not religious and his view is heartfelt along with being very informative about life in the fast lane of sports. He's one of the most passionate and interesting people I know and a good friend. I enjoy most of the commentary he writes.
Both men are sports fans and have good knowledge about irresponsible behavior in and outside of the sports world. In addition, their responses had me reexamine my own insights about my article and look at some issues in a different light -something I embrace as it doesn't happen that frequently.
Enjoy their opinions below.
Happy Gswede Sunday!
A Religious View
Interesting read on Chromartie. Money doesn't change the character makeup of a person. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that in many instances money can take an individual who is devoid of character and ultimately metastasize their behavior issues. I often chuckle with laughter when I hear many who question the actions of those who have financially overachieved, and specifically athletes. Money does not equate to self responsibility, building moral character, and changing one's behavior positively. This is nothing more than wishful thinking and a false sense of reality.
What defines who we are as individuals is shaped and molded, nurtured and influenced early in our lives. Sure, we are all capable, and there are many examples of those who were able to radically change for the good. As a believer in Christ, my faith is predicated on the actions of a risen Savior who carried my sin with Him to the cross. Only God can change a depraved heart. There is no righteousness in us to do it alone. The flesh is inherently opposed to the spirit, and the spirit is in direct conflict with our fleshly desires. Change comes through accepting who we are and who we are not, and having the willingness to die of self to serve the One who is greater than us.
Sure, it is painfully sad to see young brothers like Chromartie deceived into making reckless decisions. Pilfering away tremendous blessings of personal and financial gain in the process. Yet, none of this should come as a surprise or shock. I actually expect stories like his to be common as society moves further away from placing God at the center of our lives. Hopefully, the humility of Chromartie's actions/behavior will be the catalyst for him to make fundamental changes in his life. The same can literally be said for Tiger as well. Nothing revealed about his infidelity took me by surprise. I've been there and lived that life in the past. I can only imagine how out of control my own behavior may have been if I had access to the financial resources that Tiger, Chromartie, and many of these athletes have? Thus, my words here are not meant to persecute and condemn, but to bring to light what the real issue is, and that's irresponsibly not having God at the center of their lives.
A Non Religious View
I appreciate the value behind writing such an opinion but I beg to differ about why the Jets would sign such a player. If the Bulls were afraid of Rodman's off the court antics, MJ may not have won his 6 rings (Maybe 4 but not 6). Rodman was all business on the court and whatever he does off the court is, quite frankly, none of our business. We pay to see a player play his game at his best. We don't pay to see him exhibit any of the qualities we bestow upon our youth.
If you want a good role model for your kids to follow, brag about their teacher, doctor, police officer, or Fireman. An athlete is paid big bucks to perform at a level most of us could never achieve no matter how hard we try. And many come from poor upbringings in the hope for a better life. They do need counseling before they get paid that whopping check but they don't owe the public one inch of any kind of moral fiber. If you don't like his lifestyle, then don't buy the ticket or switch the channel to figure skating. :-)
Southern Sweden - Easter Holidays by the Sea.