Jewish World Review May 14, 2003 / 12 Iyar, 5763
In sports, talking the truth can get you in greater trouble than breaking the law
No one should be surprised that the Cincinnati Bengals standard
contract includes a clause that if a player criticizes the
organization, he can lose his signing bonus.
The NFL's top draft pick Carson Palmer could lose $10 million
if he says anything negative about the Bengals. So much for
freedom of speech and First Amendment rights but in sports the
less said the better.
Professional sports have tried to weed
out athletes with opinions. General managers and coaches
don't want someone who is willing to say what is on his mind,
someone like Brett Hull is poison to sports.
Hull said National
Hockey League players are overpaid and that hockey is kind of
Hull can get away with stating his opinions. He scores goals.
but numerous good players have been traded because they
make a basic mistake.
They speak honestly and that is something
not appreciated in sports.
In this day and age where athletes
are routinely charged with drunk driving, domestic abuse and
other criminal infractions, talking the truth can get you in
greater trouble than breaking the law --- just ask a Bengal
player, if you can get him to give you an answer.
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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business
of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.
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© 2003, Evan Weiner