Opinion: sports shouldn’t override morality


Photo Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office

Reuben Foster’s mugshot was taken this past Saturday following charges of domestic violence. He posted bail a day later.

Macy McClintock, Sports Editor

I would label myself a sports fanatic. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey- whatever the sport, I’ve most likely attempted to play it and continue to watch it on a professional level. Along with the games themselves, I enjoy following the athletes of my favorite teams as well. I look up to them, and I know that most youth do too. So I find it sickening when those athletes disregard morality, causing public shame on themselves, their team, their followers and society as a whole. I believe that when headlines scream of the most recent act of cruelty performed or crime committed by a celebrity or professional athlete, it shows the flaws in our justice systems and can often times encourage fans to commit these acts as well.

This Saturday, 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested right here in Tampa on domestic violence charges. This is the second time he’s been charged with that crime, yet he was out of jail the next day with a $2,000 bond. Now, he was seen before a judge early Sunday morning and all proper steps were taken, but I still find so many issues with that.

For one, the 49ers took no action the first time he was accused of domestic violence. Obviously he has some anger management issues, and the team just ignoring that could only set him up for future failure. Also, Foster is only 24 years old and makes $2 million a year as a professional athlete. A $2,000 bail is essentially pocket change for him, and in my opinion, is not guaranteed to teach him a lesson. I understand that domestic violence is considered a misdemeanor and that there is a limit to what judges can set as bail, but that’s a whole other issue.

However, I do think that the 49ers handled this situation well. They immediately fired Foster, who will now struggle to find another job. This could have potentially ended his career as a professional athlete as well. Domestic violence is a nasty issue that does not deserve to be treated nicely. The 49ers acting quickly also allowed for Foster’s story to develop on the national level- reminding people across the country of the negative effects of committing an act as cruel as domestic violence.

As much as I love professional sports, I believe that most teams are filled with hot-headed athletes who believe there is an exception to the laws for them. As harsh as that may seem, Foster isn’t unique in his situation. From Floyd Mayweather Jr. to O.J. Simpson, it’s almost common for professional athletes to have a history of domestic violence.

And that should not be the standard.