Athletes should be more responsible with their fame and fortune

Some professional athletes just can’t get a clue. The law and their respective league officials have told them what not to do, yet they’re either too dumbfounded or naive and do it anyway. I’m talking about professional athletes who tarnish the image of themselves and their leagues with headlines of drug possession, reckless driving, illegal firearms, assault and a plethora of other broken laws.

I don’t know what compels athletes who are making more than six figures to act so irresponsibly. They risk their money, anger their fans and ruin their image.

Just take the recent case of NBA player Gilbert Arenas.

Arenas brought guns into the Washington Wizards locker room to settle a disputed bet and play a prank on teammate Javaris Crittenton.

Arenas has since pleaded guilty to a felony conviction of carrying a handgun without a license in the District of Columbia and is facing possible jail time.

NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas and Crittenton for the rest of the season. He lost his sponsorship with Adidas and could lose the rest of his four-year $80 million contract.

If the worst does happen to Arenas, then it’s quite fitting that his nickname is Agent Zero. It’s the amount of people that will feel sorry for him: zero.

You would think that he would have learned from Plaxico Burress not to mess with guns.

In November of 2008, the former New York Giants receiver brought a gun he didn’t have a license for into a New York City club. Well, Burress, it seems to me that if you feel the need to bring a gun into a club you probably shouldn’t go in there.

Burress learned the hard way when the gun went off and he shot himself in the leg.
New York doesn’t like when a person has an illegal firearm or when someone brings it to a public place, especially if it goes off. Now he’s serving a two-year prison term.

Hey, at least those two guys didn’t hurt anybody but themselves, unlike former Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth.

On March 14, 2009, Stallworth hit and killed construction worker Mario Reyes with his Bentley. He pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter in Florida. He had a blood-alcohol level of .126 after the crash, well over Florida’s legal limit of .08. He spent 24 days in jail, got two years of house arrest and eight years of probation.

My one question for Stallworth would be, “Why not just take a cab instead of drinking and driving?” It’s not like he couldn’t afford it.

A word of advice to athletes putting themselves into questionable situations: if you’re going to be stupid, you better be tough.

Too bad some have to find out the hard way.