Success or morality?

There have been many reports across the media of celebrities and sports personalities getting into trouble with the police and other authorities. This behaviour, which can occur within and without their place of work, includes drunken debauchery, assault, stealing, harassment and picking up prostitutes.

A common opinion is that because they are celebrities, they do not get as heavy handed a consequence or punishment than the rest of us. I am not sure if that is true or not and I’m certainly not justified in giving my opinion. But the recent cases got me thinking in a slightly different direction.

When it comes to celebrities – particularly those involved in competitive sports – does the line between success and morality become blurred?

For example: let’s say that you are a hardcore fan of your home side, MadeUp United. The old MadU haven’t been doing too well but this season they are flying! The miraculous has blessed your home side as they sail through the league and reach the finals of every cup. The deciding match of the league arrives. And you want your team to win so much, you know that there will be floods of tears either way. The first league win in 37 years!!

In that situation, would we all be a bit guilty of allowing lines to be blurred and accepting behaviour that we would usually condemn?

“Ref!! REF! Did you see that? Clearly a foul, ref!” you shout as one of your players hits the ground after a soft tackle.

“Play on” says the referee as your favourite striker goes tearing up the pitch. Undeterred, the defender puts in a successful challenge and your player loses the ball. Enraged, your striker turns on the defender and not only takes him down hard, but decides to give him a little kick and punch while he is down there.

“What?! A red card?! No way ref!! He was clearly provoked! Unfair tackle!! You’re blind mate!”

An extreme example perhaps. But what about us? When we watch competitions, sports, our heroes; do we excuse behaviour we usually wouldn’t?

Does success become more important than what is right?