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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Favre’s folly far from unique

Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and Roger Clemens. You want more? Babe Ruth, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Steve McNair and now Brett Favre. All allegedly adulterers.

If I were to type out all the professional athletes who have participated in extramarital sexual activity, I’d be typing for a long time.

Brett Favre is at the center of the current controversy, which stems from Favre’s stint with the New York Jets in 2008, during which he apparently sent inappropriate pictures of himself to female members of the Jets staff and repeatedly made sexual advances toward those staffers. The fact that the advances were denied is of great fortune to everyone involved. Temptation rarely goes without action.

Favre is the latest in what seems to be an ever-increasing collection of professional athletes getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar. The lifestyles of professional athletes — many days spent on the road, fame and a culture of sexual escapades — is too much for the athletes to resist in many cases.

Let’s be clear: Infidelity isn’t more common today than it has been in the past, but athletes, and all public figures for that matter, should be warned that cheaters are getting caught more now than ever.

Emails, phone calls, text messages, social networks and the ever-present videos have created a media-enriched culture that provides caught-you-in-the-act evidence that didn’t exist 10 years ago.

Plus, the price of fame is always steep. Any Joe Schmo can have an affair and even if he is caught, rarely is he held accountable. Meanwhile, Brett Favre texts pictures of his genitals to members of the Jets staff and the whole nation is aghast.

Who doesn’t have an affair in pro sports? Brett Favre, his fans hoped. He was one of the most wholesome figures we had in football, a 20-year starter quarterback with more career records than you could shake a stick at. How could he?

Or, how couldn’t he?

Temptations abound; who can resist? Sexual drive, when given the opportunity, proves to be a stronger persuasion than any promises, rings or preconceived societal notions of faithfulness. Human nature is flawed and professional sports are the perfect stage to exploit this.

We all can say what we will about how disappointed we are in the actions of these athletes, but would we be any different in their position? It takes a supremely confident and secure person to resist even a portion of the temptations that are thrown at or pursued by these athletes. Are any of us this strong?

At the end of the day, we need to recognize these athletes for what they are: physical role models, not examples of personal conduct. The division must be made and expectations off the field must be kept in check. If you’re looking for role models in the home, look to the old couple next door that has been married for 60 years, not to your favorite sportsman.

Many athletes have recovered from unfaithful actions and media blitzes upon their character, most notably Kobe Bryant, and my suspicion is that Tiger Woods will be just fine. We love to hear these stories — they make us feel better about our own uneventful lives — but if the athletes keep winning, eventually nobody cares.

Brett Favre is paid for one thing: throwing the football. Keep throwing touchdowns, keep winning games and he can keep “”sexting”” women. We won’t care.

Let’s just not confuse athletes with role models anymore.

— Brett Haupt is a journalism junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

 

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