People are Dumb
Michael Vick topped the list of most disliked athletes according to a recent poll. This is not all that surprising. Despite keeping his nose clean since his release from prison, there are some people who simply won’t forgive him for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring. I may disagree with these folks, but I find there opinions valid and reasonable. But the rest of the list? Ugh…
Coming in second is Manti Te’o. Forty-eight percent of respondents indicated they disliked the rookie linebacker. This isn’t entirely unreasonable: depending on whose story you believe, Te’o is either a fool who perpetuated a lie because it worked to his advantage or a sinister mastermind of an exploitive hoax. Both are reasons to dislike the man. Oh… and he went to Notre Dame.
Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit defensive linemen, ranks third. Suh has a reputation as a dirty player, perhaps the dirtiest in the game. He has received seven fines totaling over $200,000 in his three and a half years in the league. That makes him an easy target for dislike. But off-the-field, Suh is a straight arrow. He is intelligent, an excellent interview, and remarkably generous; before even signing his pro-contract, he donated over $2M to his alma mater, with a good portion of it going towards an endowed academic scholarship.
So far, this list seems pretty reasonable. All these guys have fairly obvious black marks on their record which no one would blame anyone for holding against them.
So why are people dumb?
Because Ben Roethlisberger is number four on the list. Ben Roethlisberger, he of the multiple accusations of sexual assault. Now, the allegations surrounding the first case are admittedly questionable. As a result, Roethlisberger faced no discipline of any kind. However, the second one is far more concerning. While criminal charges were ultimately dropped, NFL commissioner Roger Goodel saw fit to suspend Roethlisberger for 6 games (eventually reduced to 4) and mandated that he attend a behavioral evaluation and follow through on any counseling recommendations. This is significant: as much as Goodel purports to be the Judge Dredd of sports commissioners, he is not particularly apt to suspend superstar quarterbacks. Though there was not enough to make charges stick, there was enough for Goodel to act, which indicates to me there was something real to these allegations. For this, “Big Ben” received negative marks from just 40% of poll respondents. This tied him with Mark Sanchez, guilty of little more than sucking.
That is pretty fishing dumb, if you ask me.