The ‘boys will be boys’ attitude

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 13, 2011

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — As all Americans prepare to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on Monday, males and females in the sports world have failed to understand what it means to be true to your loved one.

Not to mention showing respect to American females on university campuses or on the playing fields, courts, golf courts, boxing rings, hockey rinks and baseball or softball diamonds throughout this country.

In 1999 through 2004, this attitude pervaded a Midwest college campus and its football team created a major problem. Colorado Head coach Gary Barnett turned his head while his players created chaos for many co-ed students and a fellow female player. This was not the first time the Buffaloes had sexual incidents. How many more college football teams in this country have this same mindset, this same attitude regarding female athletes, female students, and young female teachers on and off campus?

Are we skating on thin ice?

Duke University somehow cannot get out of the steamy headlines. Karen Owen had a rendezvous with various athletes on campus and she chronicled them on her computer for her senior thesis.

Duke had just gotten over the racial and sexual scandal of their Lacrosse team in 2006 but Ms. Owen put them right back in the news.

Early in the last decade, Shaun Kemp of the Seattle Supersonics apparently never got the meaning of fidelity. Kemp had seven children from seven different women. The NBA All-Star was the original “Rain Man” and could dunk on anybody in the league, but where were his responsibilities?

It has also happened in tennis when Jimmy Connors broke Chris Evert‘s heart. He was seeing another woman publicly at the Wimbledon finals in England.

At the time, Connors and Evert were dating. They were a so called couple. Evert lost the quarterfinals match in straight sets in which she was favored to win handily.

Andre Agassi took nude photographs of his wife Steffi Graf who was from Germany. Andre made them public in Taiwan, something a husband should never do to his wife.

Is this respecting and loving your mate?

Another tennis star, Boris Becker lost an early round at Wimbledon in 1999. He had an affair with a Black woman that produced a child. The two are still in court over the custody of the ten year old. Is this parental responsibility?

Back in 1994, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson went to a beauty pageant in Indiana and made a date with one of the contestants. The long night ended with Tyson going to jail over the alleged rape of Desiree Washington. Most older sports fans remember basketball Hall of Famer, the late Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. He bragged about his nightly jaunts with various woman, in various cities. The “Big Dipper” thought performing this way was accepted, nothing could be wrong and their were no consequences. We all need to take a real hard look at this kind of risky and irresponsible behavior. Is this breaking the moral fabric of our nation? Magic Johnson behaved just as badly as Chamberlain had some 30 years earlier.

This time it had greater consequences it affected the health of two individuals. Johnson sent another warning throughout the sports world when he contracted the HIV virus in 1993.

Today many sports athletes still pattern their relationships after players like Wilt and Magic. Many think its still okay to have intimate relations with as many women as they can when they are young.

This is unnatural and not safe.

Young women groupies follow football, basketball, baseball and hockey players all over the country. The results can often happen like that of another Laker back in 2003, All-Star point guard Kobe Bryant.

In that summer in Denver, Bryant got into serious legal problems that were settled out of court for millions of dollars.

The untimely murder in the mid 80’s of Nicole Brown Simpson, theformer wife of O.J. Simpson, brought America face to face with spousal abuse, drug abuse, and homicide.

This was rampant in America the past 20 years.

This super star had a history of violence against women. This is now being told by his past girlfriends (Asian and white cheerleaders) during his time at the University of Southern California. Many of Simpson’s friends told America about the body bruising of O.J’s fist. The Simpson-Brown case forced America to discuss the ugly issue of spousal abuse.

This public court case revealed to John Q. Public that there were men and women in the sports world living together in a house of violence.

Last year, Pittsburgh Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger was under the microscope of an alleged sexual case on a Georgia campus bathroom. Nothing was proven, but this was the second time Mr. Roethlisberger was accused of sexual misconduct.

“Big Ben” was just doing what he saw others in the football family had done years earlier disrespecting women. It has not changed.

Minnesota’s Brett Favre (retired as of now) sent photos of himself to a female employee of the New York Jets. Favre was a married man and playing for New York at the time.

Also, the All American quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, had a child out of wedlock a few years ago and nobody batted an eye.

Former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was arrested for the alleged solicitation of a 16-year-old female. He was given probation and a fine and his life will continue.

But what about her life?

In 2010, pro golfer Tiger Woods went to rehabilitation for his sexual addiction and ended up divorcing his Swedish wife last year. Tiger was just doing what other golfers had done in the past on the PGA. (A very loud secret).

The one difference — Woods got caught by his wife.

These players are out of control and apparently have never been told NO. NO, you cannot act this way toward women, and if you do there are consequences. These immature players and women groupies pay heavy prices: mental abuse, breakups, injuries, divorce, imprisonment, abandonment, and even death.

Women are not innocent either. Goilfer Jackie Gallagher-Smith, was accused of allegedly seducing her male caddy in 2005. Also, Dana “Pokey” Chatman head coach of the LSU Lady Tigers’ basketball team in 2007 was outed by an assistant coach.

Chatman allegedly had an affair with one of her players. She disappeared in the European League and has never returned to the United States

It is obvious that without pain and suffering Americans can go forward in their private love lives. Athletes cannot be a role model when it comes to the issue of relationships.


Because America admires, praises, deifies athletes and want to emulate and duplicate these very gifted individuals skills they fall into the trap of incomplete or unfullfied relationships

The American universities, colleges, and professional sports are going to have to do a better job educating young people regarding stable relationships. They need to implement a course on what it really means to be with someone, and how to maintain that relationship.

A meaningful relationship that could lead to marriage and a family.

These young men and women especially sports stars have to act more mature about the subject of relationships because they are more visible. They will have to act more responsible.

One recommendation is that athletes should learn and understand that they are important and should not be used as play things. Young athletes have to learn to respect themselves and others. Then incidents mention above would not occur.

And, yes, there is hope that we can continue to make this nation a better place to live, work, and play through education and sports.

If not, we will continue to pay the price of individuals with low self esteems, broken relationships, unwanted pregnancies, and children.

Have a safe and sane Valentines Day and respect yourself and your partner this year. My thanks goes to Gibbs Magazine and Bleacher Report for the notes of this article.

NOTE: This is my 200th article on the BASN website. It could not have done without my four fine editors — CEO Roland Rogers; Mrs. Joan Gray; Editor in Chief Tony McClean, and Associated Editor, Michael Louis Ingram. This could not have never happened without these fine individuals.