Trouble haunts sports

Today’s athletes are paid an immense amount of money to display their abilities on and off their field of play. The National Football League has been dealing with several players displaying their talents to get into trouble off the field.

A total of 27 active players have been arrested, most notably star New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. Since the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, NFL players have been arrested for common crimes like DUI and public intoxication, but also for things like street racing, child abuse and trying to solicit a prostitute.

This type of player should be suspended or banned from the game. It paints a bad picture for young football players.

Another issue the league must rein in is the act of bullying or harassment in the locker room. The rookies have plenty of issues to deal with on the team besides veterans and coaches dishing out actions that are detrimental to their organization and the National Football League Players Association.

Other professional sports are dealing with such issues on the track and hardcourt.

Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch are two high-profile drivers in the Sprint Cup series that have dealt with issues on and off the race track. Kyle, most recently, was issued several fines by NASCAR for comments about officials and the governing body. He has been dealing with emotional-control issues since joining the Sprint Cup series in 2005. His older brother Kurt has won the Cup series title once, but also has been dealt setbacks in the sport over the past five years. His temper and off-the-cuff comments were bad for his sponsors’ image. He was relegated to the single-car team at Furniture Row Racing during the 2012 season. In 2014, Kurt will drive a car for Stewart-Haas Racing, a four-car organization with plenty of financial support to compete for the championship. The Busch brothers are highly-emotional and vocal, but know how to drive a race car and win.

The National Basketball Association has been governing its players more severely during the past years to avoid the ghetto and streetwise image players like to portry. Players must now appear in business attire and maintain a decorum that shows respect for the league.

An issue that remains troublesome for coaches, owners and league officials is trash talking between players. This causes on-court problems during games and personal issues off the basketball court. A total of 10 players have been issued warnings and fines by law enforcement in the past month. NBA players make millions of dollars for their ability, but show little restraint in personal conduct.

Athletes need to show off their ability, not display their inability to be simple human beings.

  • Kyle Petty and Terry Labonte are candidates for U.S. Congress? Fox Sports TV analysts Richard Petty and Bobby Labonte could be candidates for U.S. Congress in 2014 from North Carolina. The district would be the one currently represented by Republican Howard Coble, who recently announced this would be his last term.

Contact Eddie Thomas at