Athletes Need To Learn One Simple Thing In Order To Avoid Being In Career-Ending Situations

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Athletes need to learn how to walk away and not put themselves in potentially bad off-the-field situations.

Kareem Hunt has been in the news nonstop ever since a video was released that appeared to show him getting physical with a young woman. The Kansas City Chiefs quickly released him, and his career now appears to be in serious jeopardy. (RELATED: Will A Team Sign NFL Player Cut After Alleged Violence Against A Woman? Here’s What Executives Are Saying)

Hunt has claimed the unidentified young woman used racial slurs after he kicked her out of his residence. He later took responsibility for his actions in an ESPN interview.

Listen, there’s a very easy way for NFL players, other pro athletes and people with lots to lose in general to not find themselves in off-the-field situations that could change their lives forever. They need to not put themselves in situations with people they don’t know, which is something Hunt has admitted about this woman.

If they do find themselves in an escalating situation with a group of people they don’t know, then they need to walk away. Let me say that again. Walk the hell away. I don’t care if a woman is slapping you, I don’t care what is being said to you, I don’t care if they’ve insulted your dead parents. I don’t care if they repeatedly shout that you have a small penis and are the worst person in the world at having sex.

Just put one foot in front of the other, and get the hell out of there. It’s the easiest thing to do. We learn to walk as a child. It doesn’t get any harder as an adult.

Now, I’m sure that some idiots on the internet are going to try claiming that I’m excusing violence and not taking the situation seriously. I’m not. I think violence against men and women is totally unacceptable on every level. Any adult who puts their hands on another person in any situation other than one with a clear threat is an idiot who should be punished. They should be arrested and charged. I’m trying to explain how we can avoid situations that could escalate, ending in violence or other stupid actions.

When I was a young man about to go to college, somebody much smarter than I am sat me down and explained to me there was the chance somebody might try to bait me into a situation in order to exploit me down the road. One comment caught on video, one punch thrown or one accusation of any kind and my life could change, and it wouldn’t be for the better. We’re surrounded by cameras. That’s the world we live in, and we have to accept that’s simply the way it is.

That thought was always in the back of my mind. Is the person or group of people I’m with in any given moment looking out for me? Am I going to get a phone call down the road that is going to have a monumental impact on my life? You’d be surprised how easy it is to avoid dangerous situations when you don’t associate with people you don’t know.

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t have a ton of fun in college and since, but I still don’t spend a lot of time with people I don’t know. You can call it paranoid. I call it trying not to get screwed over.

If a regular kid from Wisconsin was given that advice at the age of 18, then why the hell wouldn’t athletes with millions in the bank follow the same advice? I presume Kareem Hunt has more money than I do, he has more name recognition and yet he put himself in a situation that resulted in his actions getting him a spot on the unemployment line.

I don’t care if a woman is slapping you in the head. You or the guys in your crew have to be smart enough to walk away. That woman likely doesn’t have a multi-million dollar contract that will go up in flames for slapping a guy. We know NFL and NBA players have money on the line, and their falls from grace will happen in public.


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Here’s another piece of very real advice for people with a lot of money or any kind of public persona. Don’t have sexual relations with women you don’t know that well. That one night stand could easily turn into a lifetime nightmare. I’m not saying the woman is going to accuse you of rape, but you don’t know anything about some woman you pick up at the bar. You simply don’t most of the time. You don’t know if she’s on birth control or how trustworthy she is. That’s not to say most of the time things won’t go fine. They almost always will. You could have 99 sexual encounters with strangers end perfectly, and then it takes the 100th one to cause major problems.

Hockey legend Jaromir Jagr was once blackmailed over a photo of him in bed with a young woman. He did the right thing and didn’t give an inch, which resulted in the photo being released. You know who is unlikely to tweet photos of themselves in bed with a guy? Women who actually know the man they’re hooking up with. This might not be the most comfortable advice to hear, but it’s true.

If the advice is good enough for 18-year-old David Hookstead, then it’s good enough for star pro athletes. Trust me, they’ve got a hell of a lot more money on the line as of today than I do.

I know plenty of feminists out there will want you all to believe that my argument is somehow sexist or misogynistic. It’s not. I’d say the exact same thing if the roles were reversed. Would it be smart for somebody of Emma Watson’s stature to be having one night flings with strangers or getting into hallway arguments? No, that wouldn’t be smart at all.

Here is the most simplified way I can explain it. People with stuff to lose need to think with their brains and wallets over all else. Trust me, I can promise you Kareem Hunt would have behaved differently if somebody was in his ear constantly reminding him that his bad decisions are going to cost him millions of dollars.

I guarantee those women might never have even been there that night. You can disagree with me all you want, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

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