Pro Athlete Misconduct Has Always Been There

Bad behavior from professional athletes has been around as long as professional sports betting, social media simply shines a light on each and every misconduct. But while social media has been useful for calling out abhorrent behavior, it can also turn minutiae in sensational scandal. Social media platforms are a double-edged sword.

There is proof that misconduct among pro athletes has been the norm for decades and it comes in the form of a book. Ball Four by Jim Bouton exposes, in diary-like detail, the repugnant behavior of the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros. The book tells you how players used to go “beaver shooting,” ogling up women’s skirts by sneaking under the stands or using binoculars. It details rampant use of the drug speed in order to “wake up” for games after a long night of drinking, or to get through the dog days of summer. And it details how ballplayers prefer “wham, bam, thank-you-ma’am” arrangements over real relationships.

Major League Baseball, including the commissioner, called Jim Bouton a liar and blacklisted him from baseball. In typical fashion, the league moved quickly to dismiss and sweep the issues under the rug in order to protect the league instead of moving to change the behavior of its employees.

It continues today. The NFL initially swept the Ray Rice issue under the rug, only to later make a mountain out of a molehill with “Deflategate.” And that is the dark side of social media.

All professional athletes, especially skill players like a pitcher, quarterback or kicker, have preference when it comes to the ball. Each of them works with the ball until it is comfortable. Tom Brady just so happened to get called out for liking less inflated footballs. Social media erupted and much was made about nothing.