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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    When Will Athletes Learn?

    Joba Chamberlain, the phenom.

    Carmelo Anthony, the superstar.

    Tony La Russa, the World Champion coach.

    Kareem McKenzie, the Super Bowl Champion left tackle.

    All these sport figures can also add one more to their list of “accolades”- they’ve all been arrested for DUI.

    Luckily, in their drunken endeavors these figures hurt no one-but what if they had? What if one of these athletes, who in between salary and endorsements make millions, had killed someone. It’s happened before, and unfortunately, because of their stature they have gotten off relatively easy.

    In 1998, Leonard Little, defensive end for the St. Louis Rams, got drunk and barreled his giant supped up Lincoln Navigator through a red light and into the side of a car driven by a wife and a mother. She died a few hours later.

    At the scene, Little told police, after his blood alcohol level was tested at .19, “The (expletive) ran a yellow light and hit me, wrecking my $45,000 (expletive) car.” At the trial, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, got 90 days in jail and was suspended for eight games, losing $125,000 in salary.

    The man killed someone, and he talked about a wrecked car?

    I like how he conveniently left out, according to the BAC chart, he had at least 13 drinks, and he was wrong and should have taken a cab or spent some money from his recently inked $1.2 million contract.

    Little was given a second chance by society, and even with this chance, he still didn’t learn his lesson. In 2004, he was arrested again for drunk driving and speeding. According to the officer, he had bloodshot and watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and failed three sobriety tests. Tried as a felony case, Little was acquitted of driving while intoxicated, but was convicted only of the misdemeanor speeding charge.

    Athletes shouldn’t get the easy way out. They are setting the wrong example for the children and teenagers of this country-“It’s ok to drink and drive if you’re rich and famous, because you’ll get off.” As role model’s they should be setting a good example.

    Charles Barkley once said, “I AM NOT a role model! I’m a professional basketball player. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models!”

    Well that’s too bad Charles, because a person in your position has the power to affect a lot of people, and you’re just sending the wrong message.

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