Johnny “Football” Manziel’s antics and reactions to them say a lot about 2 different types sport fans and athletes.

1. “Rule followers” follow Sports Rules and Social Rules and Laws. Good Sportsmanship requires playing by the Rules of the game. There is no room for “showboating”, “hot dogging”, trash talking, cheap shots and playing the games “out of bounds”.

We believe there is a distinct difference in right and wrong in sports and life.

2.“Non-Rule Followers” are the opposite. Some fans and athletes have been called hoodlums, hooligans. Many of today’s Athletes are not what we want our children to be. Some are druggies, gamblers, have rap sheets, even murderers.

“Top athletes are idolized by adoring fans and impressionable children, who want to imitate their heroes.” Experts have identified ‘football hooliganism’ as harmful and damaging to children, everyone in the sports community and society itself.” [Clay Travis, Fox News Sports, Sept 3, 2013] [The hoolifan: Positive fan attitudes to football (soccer) ‘hooliganism’ International Review for the Sociology of Sport April 2012 vol. 47 no. 2, by Joel Rookwood, et al]
Sports spectators amuse and even masochistically misuse themselves, it seems, every possible opportunity, attending games, watching and listening to sports telecasts, television, and radio programs and attending sports movies, viewing electronic media communications, sports theater presentations, documentaries, films and especially music. Music containing sports hip hop, vulgarity and immorality are widespread.

Sports have been incorporated into every aspect of entertainment and everyday life. Sports are not just “leisure times”. Nowadays, Sports are big business. Money is the root of the sports evolution to evil. Corruption is far-reaching with universal beginnings.

The corruption of sports is not geographical, social, racial or religious phenomena. Although, sports history indicates its roots are in some particular neighborhoods. Now, its origins are virtually ubiquitous and some of America’s most celebrated sports figures act like lawbreaker hooligans. Glamorization of these sports personalities is appalling.

Has the drug culture invaded sports for marketing their illicit services and merchandises?

“When hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow released his single “Basketball” in 1984, he verbalized a connection between hip-hop and basketball that is more real now than even Blow himself could have imagined when he originally spit the lyrics to the song.

“Now, 20 years later, the combo of hip-hop and basketball is as common as Will Smith in a summer blockbuster, and the connection is only getting stronger.

“For the first time that year, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced each other in the NBA finals, while Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were the 3rd and 5th picks in the draft that summer.

Many of theses basketball athletes helped transform the NBA from being perceived as a league of “overpaid black drug addicts” to its current status as a preeminent sport around the globe.

“When Michael Jordan arrived at the 1985 NBA All-Star Game as a rookie, he didn’t rock the traditional Eastern conference warm-up suit, he wore his own Nike Air Jordan warm-up.”

Many pros began wearing gold chains. When Jordan debuted his new Air Jordan sneakers, the league not only fined him but they banned the shoe as well. Jordan, though, in defiance of the league continued to wear them. The notoriety surrounding the shoe, along with Jordan’s funky fresh game, quickly propelled Jordan and his sneaks to legend status.

Defiant pro athletes began doing their own thing. defiance of convention early on in his career was not unlike what the trio Run-D.M.C. was doing in its music. “The Air Jordans, along with the Adidas “Shell Toe” favored by D.M.C., went on to became staples of the hip-hop wardrobe. Jordan’s shaved head and his long baggy shorts eventually became the style as well, both on and off the court.”

He was not only a trendsetter and style arbiter, but he went on gettin’ money and dominating the game. These things would become mantras in hip-hop, too, over time.

“College basketball too had its moments in this evolution.

“Barkley became the embodiment of the hip-hop phrase “I’m gonna do me” and hip-hop loved him for it.

Some of our outstanding sports performers have migrated back to themselves from their early days. Some have become role models, successful businessmen and upstanding citizens.

“When the Philadelphia 76ers made Georgetown’s Allen Iverson the first pick in the 1996 draft, the connection between hip-hop and ‘ball entered a new more overtly dramatic phase. AI was the living embodiment of hip-hop in a basketball uniform.

‘His own take on stylish penitentiary chic involved wearing his hair in cornrows and more tattoos than a Hell’s Angel. He refused to bend over backwards to accommodate the tastes of the mainstream.

Some pros associated with old friends from back in the day who had bad habits and got caught with illegal drugs. They had “I don’t give a f—” attitude and provided hip-hop’s “Answer” to a world of potential haters.”

Many pro basketball athletes “pioneered a way of behaving that set the tone for the league. The baggier-than-baggy shorts that were popularized even cost some players a little cash when the NBA fined them for wearing their shorts too long.”

“Though there may still be many haters out there among us, it doesn’t matter. hip-hop and hoops are as tight now as Halle Berry’s catsuit, and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon.

“The connection between basketball and hip-hop may have started in the ‘hood, but it has taken over the suburbs, and the style that comes from this merger also influences the many foreign players around the world”, now, who aspire to be the next rapper or the next basketball athlete.

“Meanwhile, young black men look to hip-hop and the NBA as their way out of impoverished circumstances, and as they travel “on the road to riches and diamond rings,” as Jay-Z said, they recast the American Dream in the process. In my mind, it’s all good, with more to come. As Biz Markie once said, “Damn it feels good to see people up on it!” No doubt.

[By Todd Boyd, Special to Page 3, ESPN, Aug 19, 2004] [Dr. Todd Boyd, author of “Young Black Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, the hip-hop Invasion, and the Transformation of American Culture,” is a Professor of Critical Studies in the USC School of Cinema-Television]

{aside} The hip hop subculture also includes rapping, scratching, break dancing, and graffiti. Other elements include sampling (or synthesis), and beatboxing. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music. [Wikipedia]

“Popular accounts of ‘football hooliganism’ have identified the phenomenon as being harmful and damaging for both the sport of football (UK soccer) and the interests of spectators who attend matches.”
[The hoolifan: Positive fan attitudes to football ‘hooliganism’ (UK Soccer) International Review for the Sociology of Sport April 2012 vol. 47 no. 2 p.149-164 Joel Rookwood, Geoff Pearson, Liverpool Hope University, UK, Joel Rookwood, Faculty of Sciences and Social Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK.]

“Top athletes are idolized by adoring fans, particularly young and impressionable children…. Industry
that capitalizes on this innate tendency among youth to want to imitate their heroes.”

Unfortunately, so many of today’s sports figures are not what we want our children to be. From drug possession, to gambling, to murder, many professional athletes are building up rap sheets faster than their careers.

Perhaps the most disturbing incident was a pro athlete who was recently convicted and sentenced to 19 years in prison for his role in the ambush killing of his pregnant girlfriend and another arrested and charged with murder for the stabbing death of two men outside a nightclub following the Super Bowl.

It has ranged from drug addiction, athlete murder trials, biting off a piece of an opponent’s earduring a boxing match.

Fortunately, the sporting world has delivered a few exemplary athletes.
[Heroes and Hoodlums in the World of Sports 4/27/2001, IV0104-1380Number of comments: By: Iviews Staff]

But the bad guys get the publicity and, sometimes, the notoriety. What are the characteristics of the Hooligan and Hoodlum Athlete?

SPORT HOOLIGANS / HOODLUM ATTITUDE/PHENOMENON are characterized sometimes by the following:

• Bullying
• Extreme Defensiveness
• Chip on the Shoulder
• Discontent
• Aggressiveness
• Hate
• Violence
• Harassment
• Foul Language
• Foul songs
• Inferiority Complex
• Persecution
• Jealous
• Envy
• Uncivilized
• Intolerant
• Bad Habits
• Alcohol Abuse
• Drug Abuse
• Poor Study Habits
• Lack of Self-Discipline
• Fear of Teammates
• Disrespect
• Insults
• Belittlement
• Contempt
• Disregard
• tattoos
• Bagginess
• Jewelry, Bling-Bling

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post writes that Kenneth Faried, the former Morehead star and newest Denver Nugget could “change the way you look at society.”

Hochman writes about Faried’s Muslim background and how he was brought up by his mother.

An excerpt: Faried is fascinating. He plays basketball the way he lives his life – unwavering, headstrong and proud. And he comes to town carrying an amazing life story in his gym bag.

“As far as him being strong as a person, he got that from me, his father and my wife,” said his mother, Waudda Faried, from back home in Newark, N.J. “He grew up in the ‘hood, but he’s not ‘hood.’ It was a totally different attitude. And I’m just proud of him. I’m so proud of him, I can’t express the words of how proud I am.”

Hochman also references Chris Jackson, the former LSU star and former Nugget who became a Muslim and then created a controversy by not standing for the national anthem. Faried has a chance to show Denver residents a different side of the religion, Hochman writes. [Kenneth Faried creating a cultural buzz in Denver Published July 4, 2011 NBA John Clay’s Sidelines, Kentucky Sports and Beyond]

“It would be a mistake to dismiss the monstrous allegations facing Aaron Hernandez as an aberration that says nothing about American sports and American society.

“Aaron Hernandez, the 23-year-old former Patriots tight end who police claim orchestrated an execution, is, if the allegations are true, a natural byproduct of a culture pervasively diseased by corruption.

“He is, in my eyes, a symbol that popular culture has installed Tony Soprano as America’s most celebrated and revered icon above Joe Montana.

“For nearly two decades, I’ve been writing columns detailing the impact on the sports world of popular culture’s glamorization of prison/gangster/hip-hop culture.

“There was a time when mythologized caricatures of Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron and Johnny Unitas were the most important influencers of American culture. There was nothing cooler and more respected than being a red-white-and-blue sports star. Movie stars and singers wanted to be in the company of America’s best and bravest athletes. Celebrities mimicked celebrity athletes.

“This is no longer the case. Jay-Z, a rapper who glorifies his former life as a drug dealer, has far more cultural influence than LeBron James. Jay-Z is this generation’s Joe D, and Beyonce is Marilyn Monroe.

“Al Capone is a bigger deal than Babe Ruth.

“Aaron Hernandez is a reflection of where we are as a society. Like Allen Iverson and an endless plethora of fatherless and directionless modern athletes since the end of Michael Jordan’s reign, Hernandez saw his athletic gifts as a platform to represent where he was from, not where he hoped to go.

“But we should not be shocked that a professional athlete possibly crossed the line into sociopathic killer. The unhealthy side effects of drug prohibition and popular culture have made murderous drug dealers respected members of American society. Random, murderous violence and the people who commit those crimes have been normalized in America, thanks in large part to popular culture.

“I am not surprised to learn that a 23-year-old professional athlete covered in tattoos is linked to several violent acts, including “accidently” shooting a man in the face. Modern athletes carry guns. They do drugs. They mimic rappers and gangster pop-culture icons.

“Athletes want street cred, and they costume themselves in whatever is necessary to get it. Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc., were the first to recognize the importance of authentic street cred when it came selling product to American youth.

“This is not written to suggest that athletes of the previous generation were angels and choir boys. They weren’t. It’s written to argue that athletes of the previous generations belonged to an athletic culture that sat atop American pop culture. There was no incentive for Hank Aaron to acquire street cred. He was the gold standard
“Bad is good in today’s society.

“When he stood in chains before a judge at his arraignment, in a white T-shirt and his arms decorated in ink, Hernandez did not look out of place. Guilty or innocent, he looked like someone who had prepared for this moment. He didn’t look like an athlete. He looked like an ex-con.

“Like nearly everything else in this society, athlete culture has been hijacked by mass incarceration and the pervasive gangster culture it has produced. Mindless rebellion is not a part of sports culture. Sports culture is steeped in patriotism and the ideals and values we claim make this the greatest country in the world. It’s not by accident the national anthem is played before every sporting event.

“Rappers and musicians are rebels. They look normal in prison tattoos and white Ts.
Read more: [Hernandez case was a matter of time Fox sports, Jason Whitlock JULY 1, 2013]

Why any person, white, black, red, Hispanic, oriental, poor, wealthy, atheist, Protestant, Athlete and so forth would don the Hooligan Attitude is inconceivable, senseless and counterproductive to mainstream American matriculation.

Few Athletes achieve Superstar Pro Status with the wealth and legal representatives to back-up their “errors in judgment”. For the others, their dreams should be supplanted with an attitude for success aka good behavior.

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