It really bothers me when I hear the way some commentators or sports figures talk about leadership. Just because a player can hit a lot of home runs or throw a football sixty yards from his knees does not make him a leader. When I see players in the news for a DUI or for getting into a bar fight and then hear all of his teammates talking about his leadership on the field it just drives me crazy!
Leaders lead both on and off the field, in and out of the clubhouse. For those of us who work for a company, we must demonstrate leadership both at work and at home. I think some who call themselves leaders believe leadership is like a hat you can put on or take off.
Currently, there is a scandal going on with the Miami Dolphins in which one of the so-called leaders on the team is accused of hazing a fellow teammate. This same person doing the hazing was elected to serve on the team's leadership counsel. REALLY! This person that is accused of the hazing has a history of misconduct and yet, someone thought he had the qualifications to serve on the counsel. What's worse is that he has the support of the majority of his teammates.
With all of this being played out in the media, what is the message being sent to our young people, especially ones playing organized sports? It's ok to haze a teammate, spew all kinds of racial epithets all in the name of toughening a player up. Is that the message we want to send?
Some say this has been going on, and is going on right now on many NFL teams. I DO NOT CARE! Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about harmless traditions like having a rookie carry a veteran's equipment or buy donuts for the team. What I am talking about is the malicious and downright evil abuse of a person. I do not see how using racial name calling is going to make a person better or tougher.
What if the person who was being hazed hauled off and knocked the teammate out and hurt them where they were unable to play football? Or worse yet, what if the player got sick and tired of the abuse and went to his car and pulled a gun and shot the bully?
Would he be justified? NO! What would happen is that the media would start the whirlwind of trying to figure out how this happened and would begin to speculate as to what would motivate a player to shoot one of his teammates.
Well who is to blame? I blame the league and the team who allowed this type of behavior to take place. I blame them for a lack of leadership. I blame them for not going after this behavior with the same vigor as helmet to helmet hits or "Bounty Gate." From what I am hearing from current and former players, the teams and the league know this is going on.
For those of you who condone this type of behavior, let me ask you this question, how would you react if someone called you a vile name? What if the person said they would slap your mother or kill you? If you can honestly say that it would be okay with you...let me stop there.
I normally don't vent like this, but I just could not hold back. Bullying must stop! If you are a leader on a team or working in a company and you witness this type of behavior, step up and be a real leader and demand that it stops!