Sports have had a huge influence in this world. Ever since the 1950’s, mass media has brought a mostly negative perspective in the area of athletics to the public. Many professional athletes have been perceived to be above the law. Sometimes, athletes will commit various crimes. If and when this occurs, mass media will plaster the event all over the airwaves for the whole world to see. This can result in the end of a player’s career. Sports have been getting way more intense since the 1950’s as well. Substance violations have been increasing over the years showing that more and more players have been taking and using performance enhancers that are illegal when it comes to their sport. Trash talking that is being expressed in professional games on national television gives the term “sportsmanship” a huge blur. Mass media has shown the spectators that athletes are being greedy when it comes to their contract worth millions and wanting more. Since the 1950’s this world’s sports have changed tremendously.
The law and view of athletes from the public’s perspective of being a role model has been bent ever since the 1950’s. If you have ever watched (MLB) Major League Baseball then you know that pitchers can throw a baseball up to 100 mph. If a batter is crowding the plate and the pitcher gets frustrated by this he will throw one high and tight. A high and tight pitch means that he will throw a fastball up towards your upper body. If you do not react right away he might hit you in the face, upper shoulder, back which is never a good outcome. A 100 mph fastball is known to shatter faces, elbows and definitely bruise the arm and back. Once the opposing team sees this and it is their turn to play defense, or pitch, the pitcher will send a message back. Sending a message back means that they will purposely throw the pitch high and tight giving you a warning that you never throw it at my teammate again or they will hit your player on purpose to stick up for their teammate. The right thing to do when playing a game and a pitcher beans, hits, your player is to come up to the plate that same inning and hitting a home run giving you a two run advantage to the team.
Other messages are sent between two teams if a base runner is running from first base to second on a ground ball. As the defensive player gets it and tries to turn the double play, the player that is running to second slides with one of their cleats off of the ground and injures the second baseman or shortstop of the other team because of a collision. Messages like that can be prevented in all circumstances making baseball a much more respected sport to watch. In Professional football, cheap shots are very common. A cheap shot is like hitting the quarterback after he has passed the ball and has taken a step or two or hitting a player after he steps out of bounds. Many Penalties and fines have been established to limit these cheap shots but many still happen. Quarterbacks are being protected more and more now because it is being proved more and more that a good franchise quarterback will turn a team around and that if the quarterback is injured off of a cheap shot than the team could potentially lose a great amount of games.
Other players like wide receivers are protected as well. Defensive backs, also known as cornerbacks or safeties cannot hit a wide receiver going down the field as he is catching the ball. The penalty for a cheap shot against a defensive receiver going down field for a pass is fifteen yards, automatic first down, and a 50,000 dollar fine for the defensive player who makes the hit. When a big hit occurs and is not penalized for that, the sports shows, like Sportscenter, Mike and Mike in the Morning, Jim Rome is Burning, and First Take Ed Reed, Defensive Safety for the Baltimore Ravens, has been fined many times for cheap shots across the middle of a field. He was banned a game this season for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the head neck area who was going for a catch downfield. Ed Reed was banned a game because it was his third violation of the rule prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players. Ryan Clark, Safety of the Steelers, tweeted, “tough on Ed getting suspended.
I can’t say that I agree with that. It was a penalty but I don’t believe he was intentionally trying to harm E” (Clark). Ted Cotrell, who heard this appeal, viewed the tape of Ed Reed and his blow to the head neck area of Emmanuel Sanders and Ed Reed appealed his banned game later that week and had won the appeal. Ed Reed along with Steelers James Harrison and Lions Ndamukong Suh both were fined 50,000 dollars for illegal actions during their games this past season. Ndamukong Suh who is a defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions was brought into Roger Goodell’s, NFL’s (National Football League) Commissioner after kicking Green Bay Packer’s Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving Day of the 2011-12 football season. Evan Dietrich-Smith states, “I don’t even think about it anymore. I think writers and stuff try to make more about it than it was, but it’s not really on my mind” (Dietrich-Smith). A professional athlete today, whether it is the star of the team or the last man on the roster, is under the mass media.
Anything and everything that you do to your team, say to your team, or say about a different team will be brought to everybody’s attention on some type of mass media. Since there is so much technology now, everything you do on and off the field can be caught. Ndamukong Suh was wrong for stomping on the arm of Dietrich-Smith but was unlucky because of the all the cameras around in the stadium. Since it was Ndamukong Suh’s rookie season he did not end the season with a good reputation and is known to be an extremely dirty player after that play. Ndamukong Suh, being the dirty player that he is, was accused again of kicking another player. After rolling on the ground trying to miss Matt Schaub, Quarterback of the Houston Texans, he accidentally kicked Matt Schaub in the groin area and was penalized for his action even though he unintentionally did it. These actions by these professional athletes just show how they are showing that they cannot be good role models for their young fans and that athletes are above the law.
Many athletes stretch their limits to the fact that they are caught for violating the league’s substance policy. Many professional athletes that have been known to use anabolic steroids, or other performance enhancements that have been displayed by the mass media has shown the young environment that it is okay for them to use these substances and supplements. The mass media has a negative point of view sometimes because they are not always right. Ryan Braun, Outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, was accused of using performance enhancements and failed his urine test. He took his test on October 1st, 2011 and on December 10th, 2011 just three weeks after being named the NL (National League) MVP (Most Valuable Player) the test came back positive for the use of PED (performance-enhancing drugs). At first it was quiet but once the media got ahold of it. It was talked about on sports talk show, sports radio station and many other news stations for the next month.
Ryan Braun was under a 50-game suspension for the use of PED, and after countless amounts of press conferences of Braun repeatedly saying no to the use of PED nobody knew who to believe, the test results or Ryan Braun. After numerous counts of tests on the one test that he failed, a solution came up. The urine was brought into the system of the MLB by Dino I. Laurenzi Jr. who did not handle the urine sample correctly. He held onto the urine sample for 44 hours and by doing this caused the testosterone levels to increase significantly. Ryan Braun won the case of being banned 50 games because the urine sample was not handled correctly. Since everybody has the idea in the back of their head that Ryan Braun did take a PED he had lost voters for awards. Ryan Braun was ranked in the top 4 for all offensive categories and got second in the NL MVP and did not even reach the All-Star ballot voting due to the fact that he was accused of using a PED. Mass medias that had Braun violating the substance policy as their top headline has screwed up the rest of his career because spectators have the idea in the back of their heads that Braun has taken steroids before and will never view him as the same player as he still is today.
Many other violations of professional athletes brought upon us by mass media have shown the public that athletes believe that they are above the law. There are many examples where a professional athlete thinks they are above the law that the mass media has blown out of proportion and that has given a negative aspect on our public. Breaking news on November 27, 2009 that Tiger Woods ran into a fire hydrant and got into a car accident at 2:25 a.m. Tiger Woods was rushed to the hospital and neighbors heard fighting going on between Tiger and his wife Elin. The fight was only two nights after articles were published about Tiger having an affair. “Tiger Woods was accused of having an affair with a New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel” (Gardner).
They both denied having an affair with one another and once the word hit the airwaves of the internet, television, and radio shows many different rumors came out about Tiger and him having more than one affair. More and more women spoke out about having an affair with Tiger Woods. 13 girls made it public that they had an affair with Tiger Woods totaling more than 120 times. Mass medias that have aired the different stories about Tigers affair ruined his career. Many jokes were made to Tiger Woods about having these affairs and as a golfer had lost many of his fans. His endorsement deals were also dropped with Nike, Buick, and Gatorade as soon as these affairs went public. Tiger Woods stopped golfing for less than just half a year to deal with family issues and Justin Robinson states in his article that “this was a case of a man who made a mistake in his personal life, which otherwise did not impact the public.
He was not the first, nor will be the last athlete to make such a mistake; after all, despite the pedestals we place these individuals on, they are still human” (Robinson). Robinson later stated in his article that this situation “should be a personal matter between Woods and his family. It also points to a failing that is common throughout the news media” (Robinson). Tiger Woods is now golfing again and is still in the PGA (Professional Golfers Association). He golfs in all the major events and tournaments and is still making millions today even though his personal life is screwed up.