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The Corner of Controversy and Criticism: Player Holdouts Should Be Punishable

Earlier this week, multiple reports have surfaced that Ezekiel Elliott will not play another down for the Dallas Cowboys until he receives a new contract. In his specific case, with all the trouble and headaches he’s caused for the Cowboys, he is in no position to want more money. He has been a public relations nightmare for the Cowboys from the beginning. His on-field performance have been incredible and he definitely deserves a raise, but not until his current contract is up. I believe in honoring your agreements, working hard and earning things the right way. I also believe in the arbitration process where if player deserves money they go before the arbitrators and give their case as to why they should be getting more money. The typical reasoning for more money is performance and overwhelming statistics that show they are deserving. Even when they are deserving there is a right way to go about things and a wrong way.

If an average American walked into their job demanding more money, and didn’t get that money would they not show up until they got the money? The answer is no. If an average American didn’t show up to work for any reason than they would be fired and not making any money at all. The NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB all need to start holding their athletes more accountable for their decisions. If you are drafted by a team, you don’t refuse to play because you don’t like the team. If you sign a contract and don’t honor it properly you’re out of a job, and you can’t play or sign with another team until the duration of that contract has ended. I believe in re-negotiating but there is a right way. If you don’t do it the right way then there should be consequences. I am personally sick and tired of athletes feeling entitled to everything and anything.

When athletes hold out, it sends a bad message to the team, their sport and to the kids that look up to them. It’s basically sending a message that you don’t have work hard or earn what you want. I’m not saying that athletes don’t work hard, but there are proper steps in the way an athlete handles things. I doubt leagues will ever have stricter rules about players holding, but the fans can use their voices and wallets to send a message. If my favorite player was not honoring their agreement than I would stop buying their merchandise and supporting anything with their likeness and image. I would also be vocal about my disdain for them using an outlet like a blog or YouTube video. I know athletes regret hurting the fans and a prime example of that is Le’Veon Bell. He recently came out and apologized to his fans, and fantasy owners who had drafted him last year. At the end of the day, an athlete shouldn’t have regrets or apologize to their fans. An athlete should do the right thing and honor their agreements. It’s simple, it’s fair and it’s the absolute right thing to do.

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