Home Ethics Sociology Professionalism in sports is a thing of the past

Professionalism in sports is a thing of the past


Odell Beckham Jr. was suspended for one game after his escapade on the field against the Carolina Panthers defensive back Josh Norman. The finger pointing has begun in the media about who’s to blame for HIS actions. As a twenty-six year veteran of the coaching profession it sickens me that he was allowed to continue playing Sunday after his helmet-first launch into Norman’s head. Odell Beckham Jr. is totally at fault for the way he behaved the entire game Sunday. However, either the referees should have disqualified him immediately or at the least, the head coach should have sat him down for the remainder of the game.

In less than two seasons as an NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. has already been fined three times for a total of $29,706. One of those suspensions was for kicking an opponent. The other was for hitting an opponent and now we have his antics on the field from this past Sunday. At what point will the NFL, the New York Giants, the NFL officials, or the coaching staff take issue with this type of behavior? There really is a simple solution for this type of behavior. Eliminate the problem! Take Odell Beckham Jr. out of the equation. He has proven in less than two seasons in the NFL that he is not capable of controlling his anger/temper and should be held more accountable for his actions. A one game suspension will do nothing to curb this behavior.

Are the New York Giants saying that they would rather have someone with this type of behavior in the public eye representing their football franchise? Is one wide-receiver that important to this organization? People in sports wonder why there are high school athletes targeting officials during a high school football game in San Antonio, Texas. Do coaches and administrators think this may have just a little bit to do with it? As a professional educator and coach it certainly should be a concern for the profession.

Would any other kind of employer allow this type of behavior within their company or organization? The answer to that is very simple, NO. An employee in any other organization that behaved in this manner would simply be fired. That sends a serious message to other employees of that organization. Therefore, it is baffling as to why this type of behavior is acceptable in what is call Professional Football. If the athletes want to be considered professionals then they should certainly be expected to act as such.

Dr. Bret Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the USSA.He can be reached at <bsimmer@ussa.edu>

22 December, 2015

Bret Simmermacher, DSM


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