Thursday, July 19, 2007

The audacity of the entertainment industry

The recent indictment of Atlanta Falcons QB, Michael Vick, is causing much speculation on whether he should be suspended immediately or after a court verdict. The answer to me is very simple, he must be suspended immediately and fired if found guilty. But this is not an isolated incident as we must look at the bigger picture. Illegal activity and cruel behavior is not just an issue with the players in the NFL and the NBA, but exists throughout the entertainment industry. These singers, athletes and actors are emulated by our children and our star studded culture. What kind of message are we sending to the youths of this nation? By turning our head to illegal behavior, we are telling our children that violence, drugs and lawlessness is OK. Yet later we wonder why more and more minors are severely injurred or killed by other minors. A study conducted in 2001, shows that 25% of Chicago Public School children have witnessed a dog fight. 2007 has been the most violent year for Chicago school children, with 34 children dead. Most at the hand of another minor. With great power comes great responsibility. Our sports stars, our music artists and our actors wield a great deal of influence on the youths of this nation. Negative influence can no longer be tolerated. I would like to see immediate contract release including a void on all salary caps for any star convicted of violent crime and immediate suspension for any star indicted for violent crime. Michael Vick still stands to earn 15 million dollars by 2008, regardless of suspension or release. By signing our stars to 6 figure incomes with salary caps, we are ensuring they get paid regardless of any judgement against them. Then of course there are the inevitable movie and book deals that follow. The entertainment industry must stop scratching it's head and debating what to do. It is time to stop glamorizing violence

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