All Major Sports Should Agree To Strict Universal Suspension Rules

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

If you look at the rules for all of the four major sports, you’ll find that their suspensions rules all differ when it comes to getting into trouble off the field. Whether it is illegal drugs, performance enhancing drugs or being arrested for any reason, each sport has a different way of handling the punishment. If these sports are serious about cleaning up their image and producing role models for the younger generation, they should get together and have universal rules for punishing players who break them.

I realize it’s easier said than done because each sport has a players union but if they could all come together and agree on one set of rules it could make a big difference in how some of these athletes live. Harsh, universal penalties and suspensions may make athletes act more responsibly.

For instance, if a player gets arrested for drunk driving, then they are suspended for a year without pay. No waiting for a trial or for the legal process to play out, if your blood alcohol level is over the limit, you shouldn’t be driving. If you get arrested for anything, you should get a year off from any sport, period.

The same can be said for performance enhancing drugs, if you get caught using them once, none of this 50 game suspension or a four game ban crap, you get suspended for a year without pay. Get caught a second time and you’re banned for life. You have to make the punishments more severe than the crime because if you don’t then they will continue to try anything they can to gain an edge, just like we’re seeing now.

The four major sports like to say they want to clean up their image and have their athletes be role models but talk is cheap. If you seriously want to clean up your sports, there needs to be strict rules applied to those who aren’t responsible enough to follow them. It’s a privilege to play a professional sport and whether you agree with it or not, kids do look up to athletes, its part of what they sign up for. If they aren’t responsible to handle it then go do something else, all jobs have consequences and if they don’t like them they don’t have to play.

I also believe the four major sports should have blood testing for HGH. If these sports want to continue to claim they’re doing all they can to clean up their sport but still don’t test properly than they aren’t serious about cleaning it up at all, it’s just another case of talking instead of doing.

The four major sports unions have an opportunity to get together and make a statement about their players being better people. They can show the next generation about honesty, integrity and doing what’s right by implementing universal rules that apply to every player, no matter what sport they play. If the four major sports can do this, perhaps other sports will follow?

Of course, the idea has little chance of working since the agents would riot in the streets because their clients and themselves would be losing too much money if such a deal was made. But at some point it has to be about more than the games, it has to be about doing what’s right and each of the four major sports has failed miserably to do that. I realize money makes the world go around but there’s no better time than the present to show that there are more important things in life than sports.

Sports play a big role in everyday society and the four major sports can make a huge statement by coming together for a common goal, the question is, are they brave enough to make it?

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi


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