The word character is thrown around a lot these days in sports. Organizations claim to want athletes and coaches of character. It’s thrown around as a buzz word when translated means this: “We do not want criminals, people who are associated with criminals, or who have the potential to commit crimes affiliated with our team.” If team officials actually came out and said that I think we would all be a lot better off. Instead, they choose to use the word character. This ultimately gets them into trouble.
Jeff Ireland, general manager of the Miami Dolphins really stepped in it when he interviewed wide receiver Dez Bryant before the 2010 NFL Draft. Bryant was eventually selected by the Dallas Cowboys but had workouts and interviews with several teams before the draft. During his interview with the Dolphins, Ireland asked him if his mom was a prostitute. I can honestly say that Dez Bryant is a man of greater character than me. My mom passed away more than 15 years ago but there isn’t a man alive who could ask me that about her without consequence.
Details of the Dolphins interview weren’t made public until earlier this week. Ireland apologized to Bryant by telephone when the story broke. However, the main point here shouldn’t be overlooked. No opportunity for fame, prestige, or money is worth your dignity. It does not matter how much money someone is willing to pay you or what opportunity they have to give you. Your personal integrity is priceless. Have limits for yourself and others. Being a person of character is not synonymous with being a doormat. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!