This week’s theme is all about ownership. It takes a special person to own up to their mistakes, display integrity, or stand by what they truly believe. Excuses are a dime a dozen and athletes, coaches, even fans make them all the time. As an athlete, you should be the first to admit that you messed up – whether it’s on or off the court. Ownership isn’t just admitting when you’re wrong either – it extends much further than that. Ownership can mean that you will fulfill your contract from the first to last day, regardless of whether you feel you are entitled to an extension – failure to do otherwise shows a serious lack of integrity. Ownership also means standing by what you believe no matter how much opposition you face. Just because someone shows a difference of opinion than you doesn’t mean you should back down. If you truly believe something in your heart of hearts, then backing down shows a lack of integrity. So without further ado, let’s get to the subjects of this week’s talk around the Haterade Cooler.
Amare Stoudemire Threatens to Opt Out of Contract
It’s another week and another athlete is disgruntled with their multi million contract. Aside from the fact that he is already the highest paid player on the Phoenix Suns who are arguably just a couple key players away from a serious championship run, Amare wants a new contract with more money. Now don’t get me wrong, Amare is a great player who probably deserves a lot of the money he is currently getting, but this goes back to the whole “Latrelle Sprewell” argument – how much money is enough to feed your family? Coming from someone who makes less than 6-figures a year, I don’t see much difference between 10 million a year and 15 million a year because I could probably never spend that much money. Maybe I’m wrong so if there are any millionaires out there, please let me know how you spend the extra 5 million.
With that being said, Amare needs to take ownership of his actions. Regardless of whether he deserves the money or not, he is playing one position in a game that requires 5. His team could probably afford a couple decent bench players if they weren’t paying so much to Amare, so he should be thinking about the team instead. One man does not make a team – he can improve it, but he cannot do it alone which is why it is so selfish for anyone who is already the highest paid player on the team to demand more money. In this era of free agency and multi million dollar contracts, it seems like just about every player has lost sight of the fact that they play for a TEAM. Shame on you Amare.
Ben Roethlisberger Gets “Caught Up” in Stardom
Over the past 6 months, I’ve seen a lot of apologies ranging from star athletes like Tiger Woods to CEO’s of certain British Oil companies who will go nameless. And every one of them was the same. In an attempt to salvage their public image, these pillars of the community resorted to playing the blame game – alcohol, addiction, misinformation. And that’s fine – technically, when something goes wrong, there is always a reason. But the fact of the matter is this – something is wrong, you are responsible, I don’t care how or why it happened, but it needs to be fixed. Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with countless women, he admitted as much and should have left it at that. Instead he tried to push blame off of himself and claim that he is an addict and needed help. No – you need to take ownership for your actions, be a man and keep it in your pants. End of story. Even if it’s true that you’re an addict, you had a responsibility to your wife to let her know that a little bit sooner than after years of marriage. You should have been responsible enough to get help before you hurt someone.
Big Ben came out and issued an apology, but he too sprinkled in some excuses and “reasons” why what he did might be a little more excusable. According to Ben, he was “young” and “caught up” in his stardom and because of all that, he lost sight of where he needed to be as a human. I was young once – in fact, many would argue that I’m still young, but I don’t see that as an excuse for assaulting young women. Word has come out that alcohol might have been involved – even better. Because being drunk is the ultimate reason to dismiss your actions. Ben – you should apologize to the girl, to your fans and move on – don’t make yourself out to be the “victim of your own stardom,” take some ownership.
We all make mistakes, but it is our responsibility as human beings to be responsible for those mistakes. If you have a drinking problem, take care of it, but don’t use your alcohol abuse as a shield for fending off accusations for your mistakes. Just say, I did it, I’m Sorry, I am fixing my life and move on.