If there is one thing that we know about the NFL, it’s that football itself typically trumps anything else. Getting a DUI, busted with drugs, collecting a nice assault charge, or even murdering a person can be excused as long as you’re either really good at getting touchdowns or really good at preventing others from doing so — it’s just how the league works. But even though the NFL loves to let less-than-admirable players play, at least the general public often views poor role models negatively — it’s nice to see that sports still have (some) morals, at least.
Just a few days ago the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced, and now candidates for 2016 are starting to be considered. One of the most interesting cases will be that of Darren Sharper, longtime safety who happens to have multiple rape charges against him in several different states. While he was definitely never a “lock” to get into the Hall, he still has a pretty decent argument — if you ignore all of his off-field troubles, of course. This is where the idea of legacy comes into play — even if a player’s NFL career was great, should that player be given the game’s greatest honor if he was a terrible human being?
Prominent NFL writer Peter King of Sports Illustrated took to Twitter tonight to argue that Sharper’s rape charges should not affect his bid for the Hall of Fame at all — it’s a pretty strong take, especially considering he is a voter himself.
Do you think that voters should “punish” Sharper for his off-field charges or should his play on the gridiron matter above all else? Social issues are certainly more important in sports now than they’ve ever been, and it will be interesting to see if the Hall of Fame voters take a stand on Sharper — we know how one voter feels already.