Typically, I get royally pissed off when I hear athletes complaining about their lives. People bother you. You have no privacy. Blah, blah, blah. To that, I usually say, you get paid a shitload of money to play a game. I'd kill to do that.
And while I still feel some of my sentiments are true, the reality of the situation is that athletes carry a lot of burden that your average person simply does not. Their livelihood depends solely on their physical skills, which can be taken away on any given play. That has to be tough. And they get publicly scrutinized for everything they do, on and off the field. Every time I misspell a word, I don't think I'd like the whole world to know.
Even more frightening, athletes are targets. Targets of women looking to get impregnated unbeknownst to them. Targets for people looking to start a fight and lawsuit. And targets to rob and maybe even kill. That's something the average fan doesn't think about, but on the heels of the one year anniversary of Sean Taylor's death, ESPN touched on the subject of athletes, specifically in the NFL, living in fear off the field.
It's a chilling read that really shares with the world what it's like to walk out of the stadium in an athlete's shoes, with perspective from Taylor's former teammate and close friend Clinton Portis, Ben Roethlisberger, Kevin Mawae, Dunta Robinson, Fred Taylor, Derrick Brooks, Brandon Albert and Broncos security coordinator Dave Abrams.
Check it out.