Doug Barry writes a great piece about our culture’s worship of sports heroes using the real-life inspiration for The Natural as his starting point. He doesn’t make the obvious next step of connecting that hero worship to the kinds of attitudes that enable a thing like Steubenville, though. And he’s so close! I kept waiting for that leap, but he never took it.
The way we whitewash the actions of these dues is both surprising and saddening. Athletes aren’t, and shouldn’t be, heroes. They’re good at playing a game and that’s fun to watch. It’s fun to root for your team. But let’s not hold up skill at a particular task as a referendum on a person’s character.