James Hock - MRH Faculty
Sports teams Have a responsibility of holding their players accountable
By Jackson K
Having Integrity and being a reputable figure can lead you down all the right paths in your career. Sportsmanship is something that many coaches and teams look for on and off the field, and being a good human being is something that everyone looks for. But underlying all the good is plenty of bad that quite a few players (professionals included) have been held accountable for. While some think that it is a team's responsibility to hold their players to a standard off the field, others believe that what goes on in a players personal life is their business, and their business only. With that being said, teams should feel obligated to intervene, and hold their players accountable.
While all athletes should refrain from including themselves in any sort of behaviors that could tarnish their reputation, or engage in any sort of inappropriate actions off the field, many argue that what goes on off the field should stay off the field. Why bother? If it has no effect on how they perform, why should we try to do something about it? The answer is, that's not how it works. Teams have ways of going about things. Codes of conduct. And not just teams, but entire organizations. If a player goes against those codes, they must face the consequences.
Major League pitcher Trevor Bauer, was suspended by Major League Baseball in April for violating their domestic violence policy. According to Aiden Gonzalez, an ESPN staff writer, Bauer was set to serve a 324-game suspension (2 full seasons), and the Dodgers aren’t allowed to release him until he has served his full suspension.
In 2014, former NFL player Ray Rice embroiled controversy during the offseason after video surfaced of him committing aggravated assault against his wife. After being charged, Rice was released by his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, and was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, and hasn’t played football since.
The point being is, actions have consequences, and in order to avoid having to hand out any sort of consequence, you must have a standard. And that standard of conduct must be explained clearly to all athletes (student athletes, amateurs, pros, etc.). If an athlete is not capable of meeting those standards, if they are not capable of promoting values and good sportsmanship across the board, then teams must take action. Teams and organizations have a responsibility to hold their players (as well as coaches) accountable no matter the circumstances.