All eyes are on you. The world hinges on every word you say. Change your socks? It's the top story on every sports media outlet. Don't change your socks? Same result. The sports world hinges on every word you say and everything you do.© 2010 Steelers Universe
This situation has never happened to anyone reading this.
Being a sports celebrity puts you in a different world, and that has been a fact lost to the public.
The most notable occurrence that represents the above has nothing to do with Pittsburgh sports. Rather, it was cross-state rival Cleveland and the LeBron James saga. The city of Cleveland became devastated after James left to play in Miami. King James drew even more criticism by announcing his choice on an hour long special, entitled "The Decision," on ESPN. That information is nothing new and has been retold a thousand times.
But should anyone be upset?
How can we expect anything different from one of the most hyped and iconic players in all of sports? This is a person who has been touted as "The Chosen One" by the media when he was still in high school. He's been called King James, appeared on the cover of more magazines than you can count, and adored by fans across the country. It is not reasonable to expect a person to stay humble on top of all that. LeBron, and sports icons in general, are assumed to be perfect. They are not, and only treated as such. Perception is much different than reality. If you don't want a player to show that sort of arrogance, don't help create it.
If anything, the blame should be on us. The media, the fans. Not LeBron.
Their sense of entitlement is fueled by praise. Closer to home, players like Ben Roethlisberger have fallen prey to the inflated sense of self-worth. Roethlisberger, who earned the nickname "Big Ben" early in college, admitted to getting away from his core values in part due to an inflated ego. This does not excuse any alleged illegal action, this applies to all players, as that still comes down to personal responsibility and the difference between legal and illegal.
It is simply unfair to put players on a much higher pedestal but not expect them to act as such. It's great to cheer on your favorite sports players and to treat them as great players, but that's all. Don't expect them to live their life off the field by the way you would.
We're living in two different worlds.