There is a sickening trend going on outside the lines in sports. Athletes, some from as early as grade school, are being coddled and given a sense of entitlement that has them feeling they have a place above the law.
The most disturbing aspect of this centers on the abuse of women. I have seen far too many of these stories where the likes of TMZ now has a devoted “sports” section where the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Lawrence Taylor, and the worst of these actions, a UVA lacrosse player, George Huguely, murdering a women’s lacrosse player, Yeardley Love.
Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins may have said it best when she penned a column on Saturday saying, “It’s a bad stretch for women in the sports pages. After reading the news accounts and police reports, it’s reasonable to ask: Should women fear athletes? Is there something in our sports culture that condones these assaults?”
In my 50-plus years in sports as an athlete, coach, academic advisor, athletics director, and agent, I have a strong feeling that if sports had more female coaches, administrators, and agents we would see some changes in our sports culture where we would witness less of these tragedies – tragedies where male athletes treat women as trash, and the word “boorish” seems wholly inadequate a word to articulate their behavior.
To be clear, I do not condemn all male athletes nor am not saying all problems will go away with installing more females in positions of power in athletics. What I am saying is there is a culture now where male athletes are taken away from the mother and grandmother at the age of 18 and placed in a purely male dominated culture where machismo is a way of life, and women can be described more in terms of property than with respect.
Women can provide a checks and balance in our world in a beautiful way. In a tip to Mother’s Day this past Sunday, think about becoming a Sport Leader! We will always need you in all Walks of Life, on and off the field.