“For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:3, ESV).
I resonate with the psalmist on this one. Look at the success of cheaters, crooks, jerks, and corner-cutters. Such folks contributed to the financial collapse a few years ago. We see them in our workplaces too. It seems, though, that they are nowhere more prevalent than in sports.
Just before the start of the baseball season, Ervin Santana, signed by the Minnesota Twins to a $55 million contract, was suspended for 80 games because he tested positive to performance-enhancing drugs. A few days later, Jenrry Mejia, the closer for the New York Mets, received the same suspension for the same reason. How long have they been cheating? How much did it contribute to their baseball and financial success? Did they receive opportunities they didn’t rightly earn? These are all fair questions without clear answers.
“Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23, ESV).
This “rules don’t apply to me” approach can be far more serious than a few supplements and a competitive edge, though. On Wednesday, Aaron Hernandez, a former star tight end for the New England Patriots, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. It’s a different kind of story than that of players seeking to gain an unfair edge in a sport. Hernandez didn’t cheat at a game; he cheated at life. And he cheated another man out of his life.