Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Double Standard?

Ok, so I just heard the news this morning while driving into work listening to ESPN’s ‘Mike & Mike in the Morning.’ Female golfer, Michelle Wie will to turn pro sometime before her 16th birthday, October 11th. The second that this happens, she’ll become the world's highest-paid female golfer. Golf World is reporting that she’s already got at least three big endorsements with major companies worth almost $10 million. This doesn’t even count what she wins on the LPGA tour

Surprisingly enough, Nike happens to be one of those ‘big endorsements’. I’m sure Gatorade is also lining up for their chance too.

I have nothing more to say about this – I really don’t. Nobody’s making a big deal about this girl turning pro – how come? Where are all of the same critics who moan and cry all day long about kids who enter the NBA draft? Or when Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams wanted to turn pro and play in the NFL after just one season in college – where are the people who were so adamant that they shouldn’t? She’s only going to be 16-years old…that would be a sophomore or junior in high school, correct? Or how come none of the MLS fans were ticked off that Washington signed Freddie Adu when he was like 6 years old. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but he was 14 years old…some kids aren’t even freshman in high school yet. How does this make sense?

I’m happy that this girl is going to make her family very comfortable. Only people who have been truly blessed with talent and have incredible work ethic and desire are as great as she already is. But I’m sick and tired of the ‘double-standard’ in sports and in this country. If a high schooler who wants to go pro in either football or basketball has to wait, then so should she.

Every commissioner or presidents of all professional sporting leagues need to sit down and set an age. Personally, I think it should be 18. When a kid turns 18-years of age, they can do whatever they want. And if we get another Maurice Clarett who wants to turn pro after his freshman year of college, fine. It’s his head on the swivel.


At 9/21/2005 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with you on the 18 yrs old rule. The other thing that ticks me off is that she will compete in many PGA events, FURTHER abusing the system. She is a phenom, even more so then Tiger or Lebron but there should be a limit. DEFINITE double standard here. And there shouldn't be since the chances of injury, thus eliminating or limiting one's earning potential, in golf are VERY SLIM compared to football and basketball. I would also bet that the athletes' and their respecitve families / communities in football and basketball are in much more financial need compared to the affluent/stable golf culture.

At 9/21/2005 9:55 AM, Anonymous honest abe said...

i agree homey...what's good for the goose ain't good for the gander.

Make her WAIT!

At 9/21/2005 1:02 PM, Anonymous J-Birdee said...

The only reason the NFL instituted an age requirement (the NBA foolishly did not) is to preserve it's farm system (NCAA Football). College basketball and football are free marketing machines for their professional counterparts. This phenomenon does not exist in sports like tennis and golf where minors often compete. This isn't about being fair or double-standards regarding minors, it's about cash-money homey.

At 9/22/2005 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is BS. Morgan Pressell was not allowed to turn pro due to her being under 18. Now Wie can? Thats in the same sport, apples to apples. Just because she is a marketing dream and a big money draw she doesn't have to follow the rules. A load of crap. Either all or none for the LPGA. Not the Wie exception.

At 10/05/2005 11:13 AM, Blogger SLBennington said...

Do I think ANY athlete should be able to turn pro before they can legally vote? No.

However, you really can't compare the NFL's and the NBA's age restrictions to other sports such as golf and tennis. While I agree that many of the NFL's and NBA's "concerns" about young talent are more about money than the athletes' well-being, they have valid reasons to force kids to grow up before they can play with the big boys. Last time I checked, the changes of being seriously injured swinging a golf club or a tennis racket were minimal (Monica Seles excepted) compared to the physical punishment football and basketball players endure.


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