Dismissing the Patriots is the right move

In Opinion

The New England Patriots shouldn’t be allowed to play in the upcoming Super Bowl if the NFL finds them guilty of intentionally deflating the balls that were used in last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Football players are idolized in today’s society and the Super Bowl is the most viewed program on television, with millions of dollars going towards advertising.

As news broke over the past few days that the Patriots were being investigated for possibly deflating 11 balls used in their game against the Colts, it was infuriating.

This isn’t the first time the Patriots have been involved in questionable activities.

In 2007, they were involved in Spygate, in which they were fined $500,000 and denied their first-round draft pick because they recorded sideline signals used by the New York Jets.

Tom Brady and various other players on the team are held up as role models for impressionable young fans, and this sends a disturbing message that cheating is acceptable.

Reactions have been mixed, but even professional athletes like Russell Sherman said, “Whatever they did, the risk-reward was greater.” Now, are we simply going to stand by and say, “Well, everybody cheats, and it is justified because they wanted to win.”

This points to a larger issue played out in high schools and colleges, where cheating is significantly on the rise. courtesy_flickr_2

75 percent of high school students have admitted to cheating on tests and homework, according to a recent study from the Josephson Institute of Ethics.

One out of every three students has used the Internet to plagiarize assignments, and research indicates similar trends among undergraduate and graduate students.

The value of hard work and putting off the need for immediate gratification has become an old fashioned ideal.

The reactions to the allegations brought against the Patriots indicate that people don’t think cheating is cheating unless they get caught.

The reactions also show that as society becomes more and more competitive, our culture expects people to cheat because it shows that they are always looking to advance themselves.

The cheater gets their reward and then feels justified in their actions, despite the fact that they didn’t earn it honorably.

“It’s certainly accepted as part of the culture that you game the system as much as you possibly can, and if you don’t get caught, it ain’t cheating,” said Stephen Mosher, a sports ethics professor at Ithaca College, in a recent article from the New York Times. “I’m sure the Patriots are not the first, nor are they the last team to do this kind of thing.”

The Patriots are currently valued as a multibillion-dollar team according to Forbes.

The highest penalty they will probably pay for the “deflate-gate” controversy is $25,000.

This seems like a slap on the wrist. Although it’s still an ongoing investigation, if they’re found guilty, what should their punishment be?

Could there have been a different outcome to the game? It’s definitely an intriguing mystery, but the integrity of the game must be preserved, and since the Patriots didn’t learn their

lesson after the hefty fines from Spygate, they shouldn’t be allowed to play in the Super Bowl.

 

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