Should Professional athletes be treated differently than the average person?

Athletes around the world are role models to many people and held to very high standards to uphold. Recently there have been instances where big names have been in controversy, one of whom wasn’t punished by their organization and the other fined heavily. We will look deeper into this ahead. 

On April 19, Kyrie Irving was fined $50,000 for “making obscene gestures on the playing court” and “directing profane language toward the spectator stands” during game one of the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets series. This event occurred on Apr 17, 2022 and Irving immediately received backlash from the media. After discussion the NBA board decided that Irving should be given the maximum fine of $50,000. Since then Irving has not apologized and has stayed firm with his statements saying “All’s fair in competition. So if somebody’s going to call me out by name, I’m going to look them straight in the eye and see if they’re really about it. Most of the time they’re not.” Personally I think this punishment is very justified since Irving has such a big brand with his name and partnerships. In order to uphold the brand’s integrity and the NBA’s reputation as an organization this is necessary to be an example for all other players.

Less recently but also in the same month Cristiano Ronaldo slapped an Everton supporter’s phone out of their hand. Ronaldo was frustrated after Manchester United’s away  loss against The Blues and retaliated by smashing the kids phone. After this massive backlash went out and Ronaldo apologized. Local authorities were investigating Ronaldo but charges were not filed in the end. Ronaldo offered the 14 year old a free game to watch at Old Trafford. “It’s never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

“I would like to apologize for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship.” Ronaldo’s club Manchester United did not punish him and I think this is very unprofessional and makes the integrity of the organization questionable. 

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