Ravens don’t mix personal lives with business; how do sports affect our lives?

Many fans of this city’s beloved football team have all dealt with the stereotypes of who that team is.

A team of thugs.

Baltimore is well-known for having many of its players have a criminal past during their career and before. Many people choose to not be a fan of the Ravens simply because of this.

But this offseason, owner Steve Bisciotti noted that when they choose their next seasons players on who to draft and pick up, they aren’t going to look for who has a clean record.

“You’re not going to have 53 angels, and you probably wouldn’t have a very good team if you had 53 angels,” said Bisciotti during a state of the team press conference.

“I’m probably the biggest risk-taker,” said Bisciotti . “I like the fact that [head coach John Harbaugh, team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome] care about our image, and they pull me back from the rail because I’m ready to take chances on people. I really am. I think that’s kind of what life is about and I think there are opportunities like that.”

Ray Lewis' mugshot in 2000

When you look at the Ravens records of players with a past, you might be more surprised then you thought. Most have heard of Ray Lewis’ murder charge, remember Jamal Lewis serving time for drug charges, and recently Terrell Suggs’ domestic violence dispute that was dropped last week.

Now, the team is looking into possible off-season talking to wide receivers Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers’ Vincent Jackson, have had repeated offenses with the law. Will this add to the Ravens’ reputation of being a team of criminals?

But should this matter? It has shown how sports can change a kids life…help keep them off the streets, away from drugs and make them feel important to a big group so they don’t want to let them down.

Couldn’t this same idea be placed on these players?

Donaldson and Ronan  in their study using a Youth self-Report tried to determine if there was a connection between playing sports and behavior in youth.  They realized that “some less well-behaved youth may have been ‘gated’ at early stages and prevented from participating in more organized sports.” (Donaldson and Ronan, 2006).

Results indicated a negative correlation between the “number of formal sports, length of participation in formal sports and reduced social and externalizing problems” (Donaldson and Ronan, 2006).

Can sports change a life? I believe it can, whether it is playing or watching your favorite player and looking up to that person.

How have sports changed you, and did a coach, parent or teammate make a difference in your life?



<Donaldson, S.J. & Ronan, K.R. (2006). The effects of sports participation on young adolescents’ emotional well-being.
Adolescence, 41, 369-389.>



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