Date: September 11, 2018 02:45PM
I was writing this out when the Williams cartoon thread closed. Remarks about criminal records between Jay, Lot's Wife and others got me to thinking. I think I have something here, and it actually relates to LDS issues. My "essay," as I had it before that thread closed:
I think the matter of criminal histories with pro athletes is common enough, and is caused by a sense of entitlement and privilege. This is not defined by race or gender.
Sports victory is prized in all cultures, and youngsters who show promise are identified at an early age, whether in suburban primary and middle schools, the Soviet block, or runners in Ethiopia and Somalia. (This applies to ballet, too. These youngsters are identified as special, and may be separated into special programs and schools, and learn that they are "special." As their cohorts become smaller and more refined, they are recruited by coaches and pursued by prospective sweethearts. Their sense of elite identity is reinforced and they are often protected from the consequences of misbehavior. When they get to high school, they may be placed in special academic programs, given tutors, and their teachers are told to make sure they pass.
Relevant to this discussion, when they screw up with the law, or a sweetheart, or a motor vehicle (etc.) important people are contacted, and the problem is fixed. Sometimes repeatedly, and they learn (wrongly) that their wrong actions will not have negative consequences. So the likes of OJ get away with abusing women over and over, and this was how he defined his relationships: I get what I want, you better do what I want, cause nothing's happened to me so far, and you know what I mean.
As a cop, I once pulled over a pro athlete, whom I did not identify as such, on operating with an invalid license. Although I had a "right of arrest," I was simply going to tow his car and issue him a court summons, which I regarded as sufficient for the violation. When I called in his name for a check, a sergeant showed up. He had me write a minor ticket on a vehicle malfunction (to justify the stop), let him call a friend to drive the car, and cut him loose. (BTW, he was not a starter.)
This does not define professional athletes, but I think this "syndrome" shows up often enough, so it gets the headlines.
This happens in other milieus, also. Consider the LDS elder, RM, BYU business or law major, sure to make bishop someday, a golden boy in his particular universe. How many times have we had posters bemoan these men who abused or cheated on their wives, exploited their business connections in unethical or criminal ways, violated the WoW, and still maintained their callings and TRs? They learned from an early age that they are "special," and negative consequences that other people suffer do not apply to them.
And don't get me going on political connections!
So the problem is very common to human society. In sports it is more conspicuous. Because they are rich, elite, and very public, we love to read about it and talk about (that was a long thread!), and indulge in schadenfreude.