Much attention has been paid by the media in recent weeks to misbehavior by
players and the punishment doled by the NFL and the NBA. While, most people
agree wholeheartedly that they do not condone such behavior in sports,
there appears to very different opinions among people about the "right"
punishments for these actions. Broadly speaking, I have observed that as
long as you are a superstar that strongly influences TV ratings for the
good or bad reasons, you will be let off easy, while a player on a sorry
ass loser team which no one cares much about gets all the punishment so
that the league can "set the tone" for the future. Let's focus on specific
1. Bobby Knight is probably the biggest repeat offender for abuse of
players over the years; Judgement: "He is a tough coach who wants to get
the best from his players" Punishment "None" !!!
2. Charles Barkley spits on a ***ager and gets a five game suspension.
Tacit message "Charles is one of the bad-boys of the league, but we can't
afford to suspend a superstar for a season"
3. Bill Romanowski spits on J.J. Stokes. Punishment: "$7500.00$. Reasoning
"Bill is one of the valuable linebackers for a team needing him to ensure
homefield... we shouldn't suspend him"
4. Alomar spits on a referee. Punishment: "A major furore all over the
country and he gets decked for 5 games"
5. I am not sure of this one .. but heard it on the radio .. pl. let me
know if this is true. Michael Jordan beats up Steve Kerr in practice.
Punishment "None". Tacit reasoning "His Highness Michael can't be
touched... out TV ratings will suffer
6. Hockey players beat the shit out of each other.. that's supposed to be
"entertainment" People don't even want to talk about that as a big deal.
7. Dennis Rodman kicks (?) the camera man .. 5-10 games (?)
8. Barkeley mauls the poor dude from Angola and gets punished mildly (do
you guys remember what was the punishment ?)
Having seen the above examples, it's not a stretch to say that in the
Sprewell incident, the punishment was too harsh. All these players/coaches
are jerks and need to be dealt with severely .. they set bad examples for
children.. my only problem is that there is simply no consistency in
I have a suggestion.. people should be treated as people .. a coach
attacking a coach is no different from a player attacking a coach, a player
attacking a player or a coach abusing a player. There should be common
policy across the board among the major leagues (ok.. let's leave out rowdy
Hockey from the discussion) NBA, NFL, NCAA and MLB. and be consistent in
the punishment starting 1998. All this negative publicity is not good for
the sports in the long run.
1 Sir Winston
Clifton Park, NY-12065