View Full Version : Scared straight? McNair case has negligible impact on NFL infidelity

12-16-2009, 11:30 AM
Really well written, thouroughly researched and thought provoking article on a side of the sport you really don't see discussed much - Infidelity among NFL players. (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/12665091/scared-straight-mcnair-case-has-negligible-impact-on-nfl-infidelity/rss) It is long, but well worth the read. I'll post a few of the parts I found interesting -

In the days following the gruesome death of Steve McNair, a current NFL player who was actually a friend of the Tennessee quarterback made several hurried phone calls.

There were five to be exact, he says. They began with one to each of his four girlfriends. He was, and still is, married to a former business executive.

"I broke it off with them immediately," said the player, who like others for this story requested anonymity for fear of public ridicule and reprisal. "What happened to Steve scared the hell out of me. It finally scared me into monogamy."

The fifth call? "It was to my wife," he said, "to tell her, 'I love you.'"

Another current player had a different reaction. He too was married at the time of McNair's death, and he too initially broke off relationships with girlfriends, in this case, two of them. But months later, he reignited them.

"I admit once time passed," he said, "I went back to my old ways."

Over the past five months, CBSSports.com has interviewed dozens of current players from almost half of the NFL's teams -- as well as some recently retired ones -- and asked a simple question: Have some married players changed their womanizing ways since the tragic killing of McNair this past summer?

Some married players said they ended relationships with girlfriends and strengthened their marriages after the circumstances of McNair's murder became public. But as time passed, many others returned to their lifestyles of mistresses and frequent trysts outside of marriage.

The answers from players interviewed provide at least a partial glimpse into why the reported divorce rate among NFL players is between 60-80 percent, according to various polls and statistical data. Players and team officials believe those numbers might be higher, and infidelity is a key reason. The divorce rate among average Americans is believed to be about 50 percent.

On one team, players describe two married players who got into a heated argument over the same girlfriend and are no longer speaking.

On another, a player described an informal meeting with a coach and a small group of players.

"After McNair died, our coach warned the team, 'Keep your [penis] in your pants.' A bunch of us just laughed. 'You keep your [penis] in your pants, Coach, we'll keep our [penis] in ours.'"

The Facebook pages of some married NFL players (and married athletes in other sports) post-McNair remain full of attractive young women. Players say it's not uncommon for intimate relationships outside of marriage to start with an initial Facebook or Twitter contact

Among Ortiz's current writing projects is Forbidden Sex: Groupies and Threat of Marital Infidelity in the Sport Marriage. He has identified four factors why little has changed post-McNair:

Stereotypical male dominance in which women are given subordinate status;
Issues with masculinity, in which players need to feel good about themselves, and sleeping with multiple women, despite being married, helps achieve that goal;
A factor Ortiz sums up as a culture of adultery and how marital infidelity is institutionalized in sports;
The spoiled athlete factor.
The common thread through all of the factors is the wife being subordinate to the player's career.

Ortiz said one thing that came up consistently in his research and interviews was that when athletes married, they put their wives in the role of their mothers. This de-sexualized their own wives and hyper-sexualized other women.

That, combined with the masculinity and machismo issues, is what separates the athlete marriage from the "normal" marriage.

"The groupies are rewarded because it improves their low self-esteem," said Ortiz, "and the [married] players are rewarded by proving their masculinity."

Teammate Garrard, speaking of his wife, Mary, added: "We're best friends as well as husband and wife, and we've got a beautiful son [Justin Thomas] now and I want to be able to raise him to be a great man. I don't want him to think about women as just a piece of meat or something like that. Being raised by my mother, she definitely instilled a lot of that in me and I do have that respect in me for females and I want to make sure my son has that same respect, too. That's what I believe."

Much more at this link (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/12665091/scared-straight-mcnair-case-has-negligible-impact-on-nfl-infidelity/rss)

Hardcore Texan
12-16-2009, 11:53 AM
Ironic that when I open the link there is a viagra commercial playing in the browser. Nice touch by cbssports.

12-19-2009, 04:18 PM
So Tiger Woods would fit right in on most NFL teams