Players cheat. Why are we still so surprised?
Radio and television personality Lala Anthony and her basketball player husband Carmelo are headed to Splitsville. When news of their looming separation made headlines, folks took to social media to express their shock, as well as speculate the reason for the “mutual” decision. What seemed like only moments later – unable to catch our breaths from the first wave of crazy – allegations surfaced of Carmelo having an affair with a stripper – pregnant, and possibly being the father of the child. People had put a lot of stock in the LaCarmelo relationship (my supercouple name for them, although not as great as Billary or TomKat) – and I just could not understand why! When the topic of cheating and athletes would come up, I would often hear “..but Carmelo does not seem like the type”. Does not seem like the type? The reality is that we are all capable of cheating, but the athlete lifestyle makes it that much easier. Think about it: Easy access + lack of accountability = nothing great for the other side. I do not believe relationships with athletes could ever be successful. Here are my reasons why:
TIME The body and mind of an athlete are overworked. If they are not playing, they are practicing to play or working out to get ready for play. Much of their time and effort goes into perfecting themselves for the pro life. Daily routine does not factor in the spouse and so, trying to squeeze in a romantic date or family dinner is futile.
TRAVEL Athletes circumnavigate the world more than Marco Polo ever did. There are frequent flyers, travelling to and from different cities to play on a demanding schedule. Very few athletes accept for their spouses to accompany them on the road. It is not typical and is often discouraged. Travel expenses for a non-player will not be covered and coaches tend to see spouses as distractions. They may bring family and/or drama – both of which engage them outside of the focus of the game.
ACCESS In their own right, all athletes are famous. And with fame, comes access. Access to perks – plentiful and endless. For the most part, they get things that they want, need, and did not ask for, sometimes for free. On the long list of perks money, drugs, cars, and women are included – which brings me to my next point.
WOMEN Imagine a player walking to his hotel room after an exhausting game. He opens the door and sees not one, not two, but maybe three women scantily clothed lying on his bed. Now unless he screams for hotel security to rescue him from the strangers that are in his room, Mr. Athlete will more than likely engage in some inane dalliance. Let’s be frank! Many WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) met their sport player husbands in this very way.
HISTORY Unfortunately, many athletes raised in single-parent homes never had a defining example of marriage. There was little to no value put into obtaining healthy relationships and thus, they may not work to achieve that. How can you pursue something you do not know or cannot recognize? So many players today marry because it looks good on paper or makes them appear more marketable to prospective buyers and sponsors, a.k.a. endorsements. Small interest and intention is burrowed into being a devoted and faithful spouse.
ACCOUNTABILITY Another story of an athlete cheating, begets a few rumblings and then it is on to the newest hot topic. Despite hurting and embarrassing their families, cheating athletes are almost never held accountable for their relationship actions. I suppose as long as they are making the establishment their ching-ching, there is no problemo.
SELF-WORTH This one is for the WAGS! The trophy wife remains a coveted image and position that society teaches most women to strive for. Luckily, I did not get that memo. I could never understand why a life devoid of any respect and authenticity remains top of the heap. We see time and time again, WAGS breaking down and crying their hearts out because so and so cheated and they are left in big empty houses with tons of cars by themselves. We have seen the loneliness and discontent experienced by these women, yet so many others want to live their lives. The only answer I could come up with is self-esteem. How you allow someone to treat you is what you think of yourself.
I think the most interesting thing about the LaCarmelo split is that Lala does not fit the description of a gold digger or fame whore. She had/has a great radio and television career and I am pretty sure, she had her own nickels to rub together sans her estranged husband’s money. Unfortunately, the influence of the athlete lifestyle torpedoed this relationship and obviously, Carmelo’s judgment. It was doomed from the very start – athletes are just not the marrying kind.
-ED the reporter
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