Living a life in the public eye, as André 3000 recently stated, “isn’t normal.” And with that much of a microscope on you, your misconduct is easily magnified. Whether it was Miles Bridges‘ assault charges or Ja Morant’s irresponsible behavior with guns, misconduct seems to be a constant issue.
In recent weeks, there have even been sexual misconduct allegations levied against former NBA star Dwight Howard. Any time a new claim comes forward it gives me cause to pause. Most recently, given the current climate we’ve been in, in the entertainment world, I wondered, “What’s at the root of all of this lousy behavior?”
On the surface, I think it’s easy to point to an athlete’s affluence. Their affluence may create hubris within them, and allow them to feel that taking advantage of people is alright. The types of people that they keep around them may also insulate them and enable abhorrent behavior.
Furthermore, American culture has also not held men of influence and power accountable either. A recent former president of ours still can run for the highest office in the land. This is after outing himself as a proud violator of women. We do a poor job in our society of telling the truth about the ills of the people around us. We’re two weeks past a whole debacle with Sean “Diddy” Combs and a settlement tied to domestic violence and sexual assault. So, these issues aren’t only associated with athletes but overwhelmingly with men as a whole.
As an athlete or entertainer, it just so happens that all of what you do is magnified, whether it be good or bad. About a week ago, Von Miller of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills was accused of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend. The alleged victim has since recanted her statements and Miller will soon be able to play. Now, we don’t know in this instance what remains to be true, but in this country, you’re innocent until proven guilty. However, this scenario still exhibits what I’m relaying to you. There’s a real microscope on every aspect of your life when you’re in this position. Now, whether innocent or guilty of this behavior, this affects how many people may view Miller’s character as a man.
The negative behaviors that we see notable people take part in are only a microcosm of our society. In a way, we should take these issues of misconduct and hold them up as a mirror of our society. We must continue to call out what’s wrong, as well as hold violators accountable for their actions. That has to be the baseline.
Without us continuing to shed light on things like this, we’d be perpetuating the cycle. As much as I may be dismayed when I hear of an athlete getting involved in a legal dispute, I have to remember they’re only human. I have to be able to quell my expectations of people. They have an infinite propensity to disappoint you.
As men, we have to cultivate a culture where we aren’t complicit in the abuse of other people. That means admonishing people who we love if it has to come to that. Things reach these levels of disrespect because these behaviors go unchecked. We can’t continue to report on stories of this ilk and not create actionable ways in which we promote the protection and respect of one another.