Recently I wrote an article that was intended to be semi-serious but mostly humorous entitled “Tips For Young Professional Athletes.” In the article I described a few situations that professional athletes had gotten themselves into which brought them nothing but troubles and headaches. While the article was well received by my faithful readers here on AC (thanks for reading as always) it is clear that I forgot one big piece of advice.
STAY OFF OF MOTORCYCLES.
This isn’t rocket science. Professional athletes gets paid millions of dollars to play a game. Not only that but these same athletes make a ridiculous amount of money through endorsement deals. Why in the name of all that is holy would any of them do something that could jeopardize their careers let alone their lives?
Let’s all take a trip in Zac’s Time Machine O’ Shame all the way back to May of 2005. Anybody who loves the Cleveland Browns remembers that fateful day when Kellen Winslow Jr. took his motorcycle out for a joyride around a parking lot. K2 hit a curb going over 30 mph and was thrown from his motorcycle. He suffered a very serious knee injury that kept him out the entire 2005 season. Winslow also had to have another operation on that same knee during this off-season.
Out next stop is June 12, 2006, a day that Steeler Nation still breathes a sigh of relief over. Not learning from the mistake made by one of his opponents, Ben Roethlisberger was seriously injured when his motorcycle was hit by another vehicle. Like K2 before him, Big Ben was thrown from his motorcycle.
What ranks Big Ben as a perfect ten out of ten on Zac’s “Stupid Meter” is that Ben didn’t even have a valid license to operate a motorcycle. At the time he only had a permit. If that wasn’t enough he also wasn’t wearing a helmet. Ben suffered numerous injuries but fortunately didn’t miss any action do to the accident.
Quick aside here, readers. If you ever plan to get on a motorcycle when it is moving then please wear a helmet. I am speaking not from personal experience but as a spectator of a family tragedy, as the wife lost a member of her family because he wasn’t wearing a helmet when he wrecked his motorcycle. It’s common sense yet so many people don’t do it. Wear a helmet.
Our final stop is a recent event. On Monday June 18 of this year LaVar Arrington lost control of his motorcycle and hit a guardrail. ESPN reported that Arrington broke a bone in his arm and three bones in his leg. While the injuries were not “life-threatening” his injuries were still serious.
I’m well aware of what people will say to an article such as this. Motorcycles are no more dangerous than a sports car. Athletes have the same right to enjoy activities that every American can participate in. Young athletes love to partake in exciting and exhilarating activities and operating a motorcycle is just one of them.
First of all, a motorcycle is more dangerous than an automobile. A person on a motorcycle has absolutely no protection in the case of an accident other than a helmet which that person may or may not even wear. It doesn’t matter if the person on the motorcycle is in complete control. That won’t stop a bad driver from hitting that person.
The main point is that an athlete makes money off of his or her body. It is that body that enables them to break tackles or hit a baseball or run with incredible speed. Why would an athlete do anything that would endanger his ability to make all that money? It’s beyond comprehension to me.
The only good that may come from these accidents is that owners are putting stipulations into contracts stating that their athletes cannot partake in such activities. Say what you will about “taking away the freedom of athletes” but I am in favor of this. As a huge sports fanatic I don’t want anymore players on the teams that I cheer for being unable to perform because of something so stupid as getting into an accident while operating a motorcycle.