WTVM 9/20/14 Editorial: Respect before football

(WTVM/AP) - In all the recent stories about bad—even criminal—behavior in the National Football League, it may seem that the media in general is painting all the players with the same broad brush.

But professional athletes are not all the same.

There are 53 players on every NFL team, so with 32 teams, there are almost 1,700 players in the NFL. Most of them are law abiding, responsible and hard working. They have to be in order to earn their high salaries, and enjoy a career in such a tough sport.

Somewhere along the way, most of the successful players have been taught respect, like at the high school level, from coaches like Phil Marino, head coach of Columbus High. He told News Leader 9 he regularly counsels his players to show respect on and off the field.

And Joe Kegler, the head football coach of the Carver Tigers in Columbus, who says his message to players is family, faith and then football.

In this area of the country, football is a secondary religion, so that's an important message.

Being aggressive on the field is a necessary skill that can be learned. But young players who may or may not ever play in the pros need to learn that real life and solid family relationships take patience and understanding—traits that can also be learned. The earlier the better.

Great football coaches make sure their players are always taught to be gentlemen first.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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