Surprise, Surprise: Another Athlete Gets Into Trouble At The Strip Club!
Over the course of the last year, just about everything has gone right for NFL quarterback Vince Young.
After his Tennessee Titans started last season a dismal 0-6 with Young on the bench, Titans coach Jeff Fisher put him in the starting lineup and he led the team to a respectable 8-8 record, earning his second Pro Bowl nod in the process. Earlier this year, Young’s hometown of Houston, Texas declared January 10 “Vince Young Day” to honor him for his stellar character both on and off the football field. And, most recently, Young appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine and was a subject of ESPN’s show E:60. Not a bad year, right? Especially when you consider that, just two years ago, reports surfaced saying that Young was depressed and suicidal after a September 2008 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But, after the events that went down this weekend, it’s safe to say that not everything has gone right for him in the last year. Over the weekend, Young allegedly got into a fight at a strip club called Club Onyx in Dallas. The fight, which was caught on video by the club’s surveillance cameras, reportedly began after a patron at the club taunted the former University of Texas QB by throwing the trademark “Longhorns” hand signal at Young upside-down and making several disrespectful remarks to him. Young allegedly responded by attacking the man. On Sunday, Young was issued a misdemeanor assault citation and could face a fine of up to $500.
The incident raises a familiar question: Why are athletes still putting themselves at risk by hanging around strip clubs? After seeing what happened to Adam “Pacman” Jones during NBA All-Star Weekend 2007, you would think athletes would have learned their lesson. If you’re rich and famous and you’re throwing money around in a strip club, you automatically make yourself a target for trouble. Even if you’re not throwing money around and you’re not being particularly flashy, you’re placing yourself in an environment that has the potential to turn volatile.
Most of all, you’re putting yourself in the position to hurt your public perception. For much of the last year, Vince Young has done everything to make himself look like one of the NFL’s good guys. He’s taken former NFL star Steve McNair‘s two sons under his wing and helped them work through the fact their father was tragically murdered last summer. He’s helped raise money for those hit hardest by last month’s Nashville floods by selling autographed pictures of himself and donating the proceeds to charity. He’s come a long way and grown a lot since entering the NFL in 2006.
But now, that’s all gone. And, for what? To prove himself—at the strip club? To defend the honor of his alma mater—at the strip club? To show how tough he is—at the strip club?
The truth is that Vince Young’s infraction isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. He didn’t hurt anyone permanently. He didn’t get slapped with criminal charges that could impede his career. And he didn’t injure himself in the fracas. But it’s bad enough to change the way people look at him, despite the success he’s enjoyed this year. And, hopefully, it’s bad enough to deter another athlete from doing the same thing anytime soon.
Because Vince Young just proved that it takes a lot of hard work for everything to go right. But it only takes one wrong step for it all to go wrong.