Same Paths, Same Results


By Stefan Anderson

Always we as human are deemed to make mistakes in our lives because it’s simple, no one is born perfect. But to make the same reoccurring mistake is irresponsible for adults. At some you have to accept your wrongdoings and move past the things that are holding your life hostage. To use a sports analogy, if the opposing team locks off the left side do you continue to go left or try to go right ?

P.J. Hairston and Josh Gordon are two athletes who have found themselves in the topic of discussion once again. For the same kind of absent minded mistakes.

Hairston, just drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in the past draft, en route to transgressions filled path to the NBA. Following a season where the Greensboro native, led North Carolina in scoring, Hairston was suspended for receiving improper benefits that violated NCAA regulations. Hairston kept his hoops aspirations alive after the Tar Heels declined to issue his reinstatement, by filing his papers to the NBA’s Development League where showcased his talent for the Texas Defenders, a Dallas Mavericks affiliate. On the Defenders, Hairston averaged nearly 22 points a game and looked to a steal in this year’s star studded draft, becoming the first D-League player selected in the NBA Draft’s first round. A week later, Hairston finds himself in facing assault and battery charges stemming from a fight with a high school youth at a local YMCA.

Josh Gordon, a rising star in the NFL had just began to make his mark the on the NFL this season.

Gordon received a scholarship to football at Baylor, but failed to return after being caught up in an off campus marijuana incident. Gordon was forced to transfer to Utah and enter the NFL Supplementary Draft. After being drafted in 2012, finished his rookie season with over 800 yards receiving and 5 five touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns. Gordon returned to be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Returning from suspension, Gordon went on to lead the NFL in reception yards, 1,646, despite missing the first two games of the season. To begin the 2014 season, Gordon was suspended after another failed drug test which results in a season long suspension.  Just this past weekend, the wideout was arrested for a DUI in North Carolina.

The irony that the car was in the name of P.J. Hairston and Gordon was then bailed out by the same guy who gave Hairston the gifts that got him suspended from UNC doesn’t make the situation any better but ties all together.

Everyone has chimed in about these two professional athletes from former players, coaches, favorite sports analysts and even your social media philosophers. But all parties involved suggest that these two need serious help and guidance.

But who can pass judgment on another person based on their actions, well a lot people do when you’re a professional athlete with all eyes on you. Repeated offenders none the least but these men are fairly young and have not met their coming of age and never received the proper tutelage some of the college coaches. 

I agree that some can grow up missing the pivotal years of your early 20’s especially when you spend the majority of your time in trouble or on the athletic field. These players are given life from a different spectrum and fail to realize the importance of where they stand as professional.

Both Gordon and Hairston need some guidance from veterans who understand professionalism and how to carry themselves as players held on a higher pedestal.  No one needs one more than another, although Gordon might need to check himself to into rehab to treat what from the outside looking in looks like addiction, Hairston need to surround his self with a better supporting cast and with people who actually want to see him prosper in life.

The talents the two possess are a specialty and are rare today, but if they cannot solve extra circular activities, we will never be able to acknowledge their gifts. Two things make an athlete what they are, physical and mental attributes. Physical attributes include the god given talents, and the mental features which brings it all together. Gordon and Hairston do not lack the skills set to become superstar athletes but they do not posses the mental aspect of becoming a professional causes them make these same mistakes, they both have long careers ahead of them and with the right guidance can be yielded in the  right direction to become the professionals they have potential to be.  

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