When I woke up Sunday, there really wasn’t much news in the sports world. There was a lot of Jeremy Lin speculation and a couple of passing stories. The truly ugly part of Sunday’s news lineup is that I considered a boring day in sports and two all-stars were arrested. Elmis Dumervil, pro-bowl Defensive End for the Broncos, was arrested on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge and Jason Kidd, a 10-time all-star and NBA champion, was arrested for DWI.
All too often in sports, these sort of events go unnoticed. It seems as if crime and sports go hand in hand. On any given day you can find an arrest of another player or coach who foolishly thought they were above the law. It’s a sense of entitlement that makes fans that would give up drinking for a lifetime to play professional sports angry and disgusted. Jason Kidd signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the Knicks Thursday. Part of his responsibility was to mentor Jeremy Lin, by Sunday he was arrested. The worst part is he’ll pay a fine, maybe a stern scolding from management and move on like it never happened. Just another drunk athlete behind the wheel, a millionaire basketball player putting everybody on the road at risk.
It’s a frustrating battle for fans looking to find relatability and normalcy in athletes. We want to connect and we often do, but it’s the actions of those like Kidd and Dumervil that alienate us. Dumervil really had to get into an argument with another car on the road? He really wants to live a thug life so bad that he just had a gun on him? Really? His $61.5 million contract through 2015 wasn’t enough? Setting a payday record for his pass-rushing position just wasn’t enough of a motivation to lead a respectable life?
Jason Kidd couldn’t have gotten a driver? He got in the accident a mile and a half from his house. He couldn’t have planned before the night to get as plastered as he wanted to, but have a cab come? I’m a broke 21-year-old and I figure out ways to get sober rides home. So when athletes tell us they made a mistake, and that we all make mistakes, it’s just not true. Dumervil and Kidd won’t pay like your average citizen would, and until we as an audience react differently to incidents like this, it’ll continue happening.