With Plaxico Burress healing his self-inflicted gunshot wound to the thigh and now facing criminal charges, I started thinking about the root of the problem with these athletes who find themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Before I go on, I want to state that I am in no way being an apologist for these men. What they do criminally comes with no excuse and they should be held accountable just like every other normal person.
If an athlete feels they may be placed in a threatened position, they have a few options.
1) Hire protection.
2) Enter a safe establishment. Don't go to a club that has to check for weapons or make you feel like you need to strap the gat.
3) Stay home, play scrabble.
These options are some ways to ensure the safety for athletes however I think that there may be one more that could prevent any future-related problems. Should professional leagues make player salaries public? In more ways than one I am beginning to think that they shouldn't.
I think of Wal-Mart, Sony, Tim Horton's. Do these companies release this information about their employees to the public? No, nor should they. What about actors? We may know what a movie pulls in from the box office, but we only sometimes hear what the actor actually earned for his/her performance.
If this private piece of information is withheld it might provide a sense of security for athletes, actors or anyone else making the millions I wish I had. And really, is there any reason for John Q. Public to know this information? Not really. If worried about a salary cap for our favourite sport, then just have the league release the status of the team's payroll as a whole. If John Q. Public then thinks that this release of information isn't accurate, who cares. It doesn't change anything for the sports fan.
Listen, a bad apple is a bad apple. If someone would act against league conduct regardless of this idea then so be it. However this could be a method of protecting a league's assets and maybe Plaxico then doesn't bring the gat to da club.
At least we wouldn't have to hear about the Yankees ridiculous offers anymore.