My husband watches sports and when I pass by the TV, I'll pick up a few bits and bobs of what they're saying but I don't really know what context to put it in. Sometimes I'll let it slide and sometimes I'll investigate further. It is in this manner that I discovered Reggie Bush's Heisman Scandal.
From what I can garner from reading a few other sources, he did not act in a becoming manner during his time at USC where he earned the trophy. Not knowing more than just a little bit about this, it is already a complicated issue for me. Should he be punished for taking gifts and favors offered upon him by his superiors? Does he have the power to say no?
We have Fraternization and Sexual Harassment rules and laws so that those in power don't abuse those beneath them. It is difficult to stand up for yourself when authorities above you are imposing poor morals down to you. Can you walk away and say you don't want to participate? Sure. But what if that is your only chance?
I admit that I don't know the circumstances of Reggie Bush's tale, but if he's just a good high school player - we'll say great - and he is recruited by school A, B and C. He will choose the one that will give him the best deal. He'll choose the one that will give him the best future. What other schools did he turn down to go to USC? Would he have ended up in the NFL had he gone to another school? Would he have won the Heisman if he had been at another school?
Can we expect a young high school student to stand up morally to a huge institution?
And then there is the question that I ponder in so many areas. Does a person's art stand alone or do you need to view it within the context of their lives? Miles Davis was a wife beater. I cannot stand Miles Davis. Axl Rose was also a wife beater. I like his music more than Miles Davis's, but I still cannot disconnect the information. I can't appreciate their art without thinking about their personal lives.
Can we appreciate great accomplishments without acknowledging moral failings?
There are people who stand up to moral dilemmas and make the right choices, even when they are hard, all the time. It should be something we all should strive for in our own lives and we shouldn't idolize cheaters. But when you make mistakes, do they have to follow you around for the rest of your life? Should you be able to make amends? Should Bush have his trophy for what happened on the field taken from him for what took place off the field? Perhaps. What if he showed remorse and performed public service or gave scholarships to less fortunate athletes? Can moral character be improved? Can mistakes be forgiven?
I don't know. It's complicated to me. Is it complicated to you?