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Oh, Delmon!

May 1, 2012

I’m used to professional athletes making hundreds of millions of dollars a year while the important people in the nation’s infrastructure – our nurses, teachers, military soldiers, social workers and engineers – struggle, but what I’m still not able to get a handle on is athletes who are above the law.

The latest such athlete is Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young. An allegedly drunk Young was arrested outside of his Manhattan hotel early last Friday morning after an altercation involving a hate-crime component. The altercation involved a tourist, Jason Shank, who was in town for a bachelor party. From the reports I read, Young spit his anti-Semitic epithets at Shank and his three friends after Shank’s group gave a panhandler wearing a yarmulke* and a Star of David $20.00. Young went on to physically assault Shank by pushing him into a wall and tackling him to the ground. Delmon Young stands 6’ 3” and weighs 240 pounds. Tom Metzger would be proud.

As you’d expect, Young is apologetic. And why shouldn’t he be since he receives no real punishment to speak of from Major League Baseball. Young was charged on a second-degree aggravated harassment charge which, according to the New York penal code Article 240 – § 240.30, is a class A misdemeanor and should Young be convicted, he could face a sentence of up to one year in jail. But from his employer, Delmon Young’s punishment is a 7-day suspension and league mandated alcohol and anger management evaluation with an independent evaluator. Based on his salary of $6.75 million for the season, Young will lose about $259,000.

I’m not saying that big mouths like Delmon Young, or Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen who earlier this month was suspended for five games for saying, among other things, “I love Fidel Castro”, should be fired or banned from the game, but it does bother me that these people have apparently never learned any type of self-control growing up. They’re adults who behave like spoiled children and they’re allowed to get away with it so they never learn from their mistakes. They’re sheltered as athletic standouts in high school and college and that continues when they’re professionals, and I don’t know if that should be an excuse for a person basically having no human decency, no common sense or being socially maladjusted.

Up next on the list of pampered, law-breaking athletes is Minnesota Vikings cornerback Caleb King who was arrested for beating up a 22-year-old man at a birthday party last weekend. The 22-year-old had a fractured skull, facial fractures, had to have his nose completely reconstructed and received 50 stitches. It’s unknown yet if he suffered a serious brain injury. What set King off? The other man told him he thought King looked like actor Eddie Murphy. According to the man’s sister, he is about 5’ 6” and weighs 130 pounds. Caleb King is 5’ 11” and weighs 212 pounds.

Go Vikings!

Go to Los Angeles for all I care.

* A yarmulke is a skullcap worn by Orthodox Jewish men all the time.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brandon Scott permalink
    May 1, 2012 9:03 am

    The thing here is that it isn’t just overpaid athletes who conduct themselves in this manner. There are a lot of people who act like spoiled children. You just don’t hear about most of them because they aren’t professional athletes, actors, etc. I was just saying the same thing about the whole Jennifer Hudson’s family being murdered thing. Yes, it sucks that her family was murdered, but it happens every day to people you usually never hear about because they aren’t famous.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      May 3, 2012 9:42 am

      You’re right, Brandon. Sometimes we’ll hear of murders/tragedies of ‘ordinary’ people but then it’s usually because the circumstances surrounding the event are so out of the norm.


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