Athletes too heavily scrutinized


A majority of sportscasters have recently focused their opinions and talk shows on Tiger Woods and his personal life. The sports world has talked about Woods nonstop since a flub of choices led the golfer down the road to ruin.

There have been many articles published trying to explain the burdensome lifestyle of the professional athlete. Spending more months on the road than at home and working on relationships from afar, it is not surprising that human beings make mistakes.

I am not in any way, shape or form condoning this behavior. However, I feel the public has, over the past decade, changed — in an ugly way — how we handle this information.

First and foremost, individuals have more responsibility to their families than to the public. Given the tremendous amount of pressure they are under to try and fix things in their own lives, the public outcry for an apology is absurd.

Does not the old adage ring true that the person will be the most hard on themselves? Public figures like Tiger Woods do not just attain such a status overnight, nor do they dismantle it without regret and self-loathing.

The plain fact of the matter though, is that we are destroying the lives of those who we have lovingly followed for so long. We make mistakes every single day, whether on the same playing field or not, and we ought to be scrutinized just as much, according to our standards.

It would be bold to say that we, too, would not want to maintain our own level of privacy in dealing with such a sensitive matter. We already try to hide our own unfortunate choices from our friends — can you imagine everyone finding out your darkest secret across the nation?

My point however, is not to object to the criticism for such an error but to the gross overemphasis we place on it as a society. Digging into other people’s lives is not neighborly at all. Why have the masses become such grubby little lie-seekers?

This continued destruction of role models in sports has a second and more devastating consequence — the removal of heroes for the children of our time.

Not to say that role models living a life of distaste are good for children, but that seeking to uncover every truth in life has produced a much greater level of scandal in our day and age. The boyhood heroes from generations past were not always the wonderful truth-tellers either, but they still managed to inspire many.

Letting athletes play their game and letting them deal with their own troubles should be not so overlooked. While agreeably, when such incidents become public, they cannot necessarily skirt around it.

Looking for the worst in people is a characteristic of jealousy and insecurity and has weaseled its way into almost every sport. The fans want to see the game — that’s why they watch and that’s what they expect to see. The time for drama and soap opera lifestyles is not on the field, in the rink or at the court, but at home in privacy.

– Aaron Weiser is a senior in economics. Please send comments to