By Stanley H. Teitelbaum
At the court docket and at the box, they're the world’s winners, displaying a average grace and prowess their adoring fanatics can basically dream approximately. but so frequently, whilst off the sector, our activities heroes lose: their standpoint, their stability, their position. In a piece as well timed because the most recent fracas at the basketball courtroom or the newest drug-induced scandal within the dugout, Stanley H. Teitelbaum appears into the situations in the back of such a lot of celebrity athletes’ precipitous fall from grace. Why, he asks, do those activities heroes who appear to have all of it additionally appear, more and more, to have a superhuman proclivity for self-destruction? In his psychotherapy perform, Teitelbaum has labored broadly with specialist athletes and activities agents—work he attracts on the following for perception into the psyche of activities figures in addition to the off-the-field demanding situations they face. contemplating either ancient and present instances, he indicates how, routinely, the very elements that raise athletes to superstardom can give a contribution to their downfall: the adulation of enthusiasts and obsessive cognizance of the media and the distorted self-image and private demons that regularly accompany a headlong force to prevail. An evenhanded and sincere examine athletes who've faltered, Teitelbaum’s paintings is helping us see earlier our activities stars’ exalted picture into what that image—and its frailty—says approximately our society and ourselves.
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Extra info for Sports heroes, fallen idols
But a woman who sleeps with Magic Johnson is a woman who has slept with Magic Johnson. ” 18 The language he uses suggests that he was a good boy who took a somewhat passive, compliant approach to predatory women. To accommodate means to provide, supply, or adapt to the needs of others. His statement overlooks his own motivation in these trysts. Was he simply a poster boy for predatory females to hit on, or did his own strong sexual appetite color his judgment? While it is easy to cast aspersions on such predatory females, many sports stars evade responsibility for these sexual episodes—which in many instances have led to pregnancies and paternity suits.
A heightened sense of entitlement and runaway egos can lead to lapses in judgment that set the stage for destructive behavior—generally gambling, drug-related crime, and abuse of women. Gambling and drug-related behavior reflect destructiveness toward the self, while violence and other abuse toward women channel destructiveness toward others. Until recently, the major sports leagues have assumed a somewhat lenient and forgiving stance toward athletes who self-destruct through drugs or abuse women, in contrast to a long-standing and consistently hard-line approach in dealing with gambling offenses.
It requires great emotional maturity to maintain relationships based on equality and reciprocity when you are surrounded by people eager to anticipate your every need. Many star athletes have been catered to since childhood and have come to accept special treatment as their due. Celebrity status can be intoxicating, and as athletes come to believe in their press clippings, they feed off the constant attention and acclaim bestowed on them. The roar of the fans becomes necessary to their survival—a form of emotional oxygen.