This is why athletes should never marry

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Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can't imagine or muster courage to address. His columns are humorous, thought-provoking, agenda-free, honest and unpredictable. E-mail him, follow his Twitter or become a fan of Jason Whitlock on Facebook.

I've never understood why a college or professional athlete would get married. They enter into the institution of lying/marriage with as much chance of remaining sexually faithful as I do entering a Wendy's and adhering to my diet. Their constant travel, discretionary income, peer-pressure influence and celebrity status expose them to women eager to please, adept at sleaze and scarred by emotional, mental and physical disease. Generally speaking, an athlete's girlfriend convinces him to walk down that aisle with heavy doses of pleasing and sleazing, and once he says, "I do," she spits out a kid or two and promptly says, "I only please and sleaze on your birthday and once per exotic vacation. I'm a mother and wife." I bring all this up because people are looking for the big-picture lesson in the Steve McNair and Arturo Gatti murder/tragedies. McNair, 36, was shot by his 20-year-old mistress, Sahel Kazemi, a waitress at Dave & Buster's. Gatti, 37, was allegedly strangled by his 23-year-old wife, Amanda Rodrigues, a former dancer at Scores. I'm not dismissing the smaller, more obvious lessons: 1.McNair needed to keep his butt at home with his wife and kids; 2. Middle-aged, millionaire men shouldn't romance 20-year-old children who are looking for their lottery ticket. And I'm not blaming the victims. McNair and Gatti did not in any way get what they deserved. No one deserves to be murdered. What I'm saying is the institution of lying/marriage is a horrible idea for athletes. I'm sure many honest men — or men reading this column outside the presence of their wives or girlfriends — believe marriage is just a bad idea, period, especially for men without children. And I'm certain there are numerous, rational women who understand the foolishness of judging a man's character and/or love based on his ability to control blood flow to his midsection. Now I could write an entire column clarifying the previous paragraph. Let me just say these few words of clarification. I'm not promoting irresponsible, promiscuous sex. I'm not defending the Shawn Kemps and Travis Henrys of the world. I'm not even remotely against the concept of marriage. I'm against all the lies that go along with the American institution of marriage. But that's a column for another day. Today's column is about the stupidity of athletes getting married. Besides a strip club, massage parlor or whore house, I can't think of a work environment less supportive of a monogamous, healthy relationship than a men's locker room. Strange Tang is the No. 1 topic of conversation inside a locker room. It's not steroids, the playbook or the next opponent. It's gossip about strip clubs, girls met in soon-to-be-visited cities on Facebook and Myspace and getting drunk. Oh, you might occasionally overhear someone on the God Squad chitchatting about the next Bible study or the evils of the Internet porn they accidently looked at for 90 minutes. But mostly the locker room is a haven for unapologetic sinners. It's a place where you pick up a lot of bad habits. A professional locker room is filled with in-shape, wealthy young men. They're carted around the country in private planes. They're at an age when they and their peers are supposed to do their hardest partying. They're members of an elite fraternity, and their membership in the fraternity can expire at any moment. What would you do? More than likely, you'd go as hard as you could for as long as you could. At the very least, you'd occasionally dabble. Why get married? The athlete and the wife know it's a lie on their wedding day. He knows he's on a moving train and he can't jump off. She knows she jumped on that moving train and it never really slowed the whole time they were dating. It might've momentarily stopped, unloaded old passengers and re-boarded new ones, but she knows exactly where the train is headed and has a pretty good estimate on just how many miles are left on the trip. The desperate hope is the marriage will survive until he retires and then the train will stop for good. That's the biggest pipe dream going. By the time the train stops, he absolutely loves the ride. He can't sleep without the steady hum of the tracks, the rocking of the compartment, the look and the smell of the new passengers.

He's a full-blown addict in desperate need of his next high when they retire his jersey. That's why he's hitting on teenagers working the drive-thru window at fast food joints. That's why he's proposing to 22-year-old strippers. He has a habit to feed. If you're a millionaire athlete and you haven't made the mistake of impregnating half the women in your old neighborhood/college campus, why not hire someone to clean your house, prepare your home-cooked meals and date whomever you choose, whenever you choose? Get over your insecurity that you better lock her up while you're in the league because she might not want you when you get cut and she figures out the only money-producing skill you have is throwing a football, fielding a groundball or hitting a three off a screen. There's a damn good chance she's just as insecure as you are and has less to offer. She'll wait. Or someone just like her will. They say it's cheaper to keep her. The truth is, most athletes should never purchase anything. Just test drive. That way, the new car smell they love never goes away. You can e-mail Jason at or find him on Facebook at

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