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Celebrities, their shenanigans wrongly promoted

“There is no such thing as bad publicity,” is a phrase credited to circus legend Phineas Taylor Barnum. In this era of pseudo-celebrity we in the media are guilty of promoting the agenda of people whose only apparent talent is to be famous.

In the case of 49er football player Colin Kaepernick, his asinine behavior of refusing to stand for the playing of the National Anthem has garnered far more attention that any accomplishment he ever achieved on the gridiron.

Why do talented people believe the rules of common decency don’t apply to them? Hey I can hit a ball with a bat or kick a football farther than anyone else. And the world should make me rich and kiss my ring.

John Tortorella, the head coach of Team USA during the World Cup of Hockey announced that he would not tolerate any national anthem protests from his players during the tournament. He has the right idea.

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella told ESPN.

The San Francisco 49ers should invoke the morals clause in Colin Kaepernick’s contract and fire him. The owners of NFL franchises should exercise more control over their players’ behavior.

Years ago local Madera football hero Mark Barsotti talked to me about how disillusioned his time in the NFL left him. Players showed no respect for the coaches and the women that flocked to team events.

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been banned from competition for 10 months for his part in the illegal shenanigans in Rio. I think he got off lightly. He went to Brazil to represent this country and he ended up depicting the stereotypical ugly American; very sad indeed. His appearance on the television program “Dancing with the Stars,” drew protestors who attempted to attacked him during the broadcast.

News reports about the incident state that the alleged attackers, Sam Satoodeh and Barzeen Soroudi, are quoted as saying they pulled this stunt because Lochte embarrassed the USA in Rio. Do you suppose their families are as proud as can be of their trick on national television?

Athletes and artists are treated like gods, is it any wonder they begin to believe their own press?

A few years ago I had a discussion with Pam Beecher, who served as executive director of the Madera County Arts Council. She told me a story of the requirements of one of the performing groups from Concerts in the Park. Their contract included a case of chilled Perrier water and other special considerations. She reasoned that since their fee to perform was relatively low their demands were acceptable. She couldn’t seem to accept the reason the performers acted like brats was because she encouraged their behavior.

There are many good people in this country and yet it is those who misbehave that get most the attention. It is disheartening when celebrity role models turn out to have feet of clay.

Actor Bill Cosby’s reputation has been permanently damaged by the charges leveled against him, but shouldn’t the women involved bear at least some of the responsibility? Dangerous behavior leads to poor choices. What did they think the rich, married, famous man’s intentions were when he invited the pretty girl to his hotel room late at night?

According to etiquette guru Miss Manners, a lady or a gentleman should only see their name in the newspaper three times in their life, birth, marriage (just once) and death. That would be the end of media outlets everywhere.

Have a great weekend.

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