Too many chances for today’s athletes

By The Columbia Chronicle

Rob Steva

Sports Editor

Just when you thought you had seen it all, the Nevada State Athletic Commission reinstated Mike Tyson by a 4-1 vote, allowing him to fight as early as Dec. 5. All it took was a pathetic plea of desperation and two legendary athletes testifying on his behalf. With basketball superstar Magic Johnson and national hero Muhammad Ali in Tyson’s corner, lawyer Jim Jimmerson constructed the ideal way to take the focus off of Tyson’s lengthy and most embarrassing track record. You can bet somewhere Latrell Sprewell is licking his chops.

Time after time, Tyson has violated proper conduct, not including his share of run-ins with the law. Although he has suffered the consequences, he is forgiven time and time again. Why? Because he is an athlete who draws big money to his sport.

It’s absurd that the commisioners would even consider allowing him back into boxing. I suppose that the commision is trying to tell us that biting a portion of Evander Holyfield’s ear off really isn’t a big deal. Tyson’s reinstatement is nothing more than a perfect example of a wounded sport seeking exposure and the spotlight. More so, its just another example of how today’s athletes are forgiven for their negative actions. No matter if it’s drugs, alcohol, fire-arms, or physical abuse, athletes are walking free.

“I’m at your guys’ mercy. Don’t torture me anymore sir… I’m just a human being trying to live,” said Tyson to the commisioner’s panel. Let me fill you in on what torture is. Torture is seeing him back in the ring on pay-per-view fights where he will earn millions. Trying to live? At $50,000 per second per fight I can see where he is struggling to make ends meet!

People all over the world are dedicated to working hard in hopes for a chance, or an opportunity, to one day box profressionally. For years Tyson was the fan favorite and the champ. He had the spotlight, glory, fame, and money. Allowing him to box is a slap in the face to all those who struggle daily for that chance. His reinstatement is fictitious in comparison to the real world. People are not fortunate enough to receive second chances as often as athletes like Tyson.

It’s unfortunate that owners and league presidents are too shallow when it comes to money matters. Instead of loading professional sports with a bunch of repeat offenders who have abused the privilege of being an athlete, consider taking a stance. Clean up your image and replenish sports with athletes who cherish being viewed as role models and not prisoners of guilt.

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