The American legal system was designed to enforce peace among the masses — to pacify the millions of spectators never blessed by athletic genius. Applying the laws of men to professional athletes is a mockery.
While we frequently praise athletes’ talents for hard kicking, fast dribbling and punctual punting, it is rare that we celebrate the sublime perfection of their infallible moral compasses. Guided by an immaculate sense of right and wrong, they exist on a higher plane than we can fairly judge. Even when their actions are inscrutable, it is a travesty of justice to permit lawmen and lawyers to meddle in their affairs.
Perhaps if we better appreciated their ethical superiority, we could avoid exposing our sports heroes to the harshness of the courtroom and the jailhouse.
Unfortunately, our nation’s law enforcement can, on occasion, be strangely inflexible in its treatment of professional athletes, as testified to by the fates of these five upstanding men.
Dwayne Gratz, American Football, Bubble Gum Money
If you were as rich as a professional athlete, you’d never feel the urge to dabble in currency creation. But athletes’ vast wealth is accompanied by an equally vast generosity. That’s why Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Dwayne Gratz tried to pay his convenience store bill with bubble gum. Alas, the clerk didn’t see the potential of the pink gold, and Gratz was arrested for trespassing.
Gilbert Arenas, Basketball, Fireworks
In the wrong hands, fireworks can be deadly. But to suggest that three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas’s hands are the wrong hands is a ludicrous suggestion. Yet, that’s just what the California State Patrol suggested when it arrested Arenas for driving a pickup truck full of illegal fireworks. The arrest was totally unnecessary, since Arenas has been given the nickname “Agent Zero” due to his extremely low tolerance for fooling around.
Shaun Rogers, American Football, Airport Handgun
The contemporary airport is a place demanding the utmost protection. So it’s strange that anyone would object to a 350-pound man employed by America’s most patriotic sports league defending Cleveland travelers with a loaded .45-caliber handgun. Here’s hoping Browns tackle Shaun Rogers continues to fight for the security of our airports despite the Cleveland Police Department’s ungrateful jailing.
Jae-kuk Ryu, Baseball, Osprey Strike
Baseball fields are sacred spaces that must be cleansed of impurities at all costs in order to preserve the sanctity of the game. So when an osprey roosted in fair territory, above the left field wall, at Florida’s Jackie Robinson Ballpark, minor leaguer Jae-kuk Ryu was obligated to remove the fowl.
Ryu’s decision to throw a baseball and knock the osprey down from its perch may have seemed barbaric to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but we must remember that the purification rituals surrounding baseball fields are ancient and mysterious.
Clay Buchholz, Baseball, Stolen Laptops
Admittedly, it’s hard to think of a good excuse for why Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz stole 29 computers from middle school students and sold them on the campus of McNeese State University, where he’d been given a baseball scholarship. But this list writer just knows he was stealing the laptops for a good reason.