Buffalo, NY – (WKBW) – The Queen City has seen its share of professional athletes behaving badly over the years. But why do some of these athletes make such bad decisions?
"The professional athlete at a very, very, early age, because of his proficiency, as he starts to move up, becomes singled out as someone with talent. Therefore, coaches cater to them and society starts to reinforce this with their notoriety," said sports counselor Dr. Benjamin Leibowitz.
A lot of their dysfunctional behaviors are overlooked as they rise to fame and run-ins with the law do not faze a player with a huge ego.
"A lot of time if there is an infraction, because of the importance of the game they get away with it and it reinforces that, 'I can do what I want, when I please,'" added Leibowitz.
Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle Marcell Dareus has been in trouble with the law twice within the past month. He was busted on pot charges at the beginning of May and drag racing and reckless endangerment just this week. Buffalo Bills Coach Doug Marrone is a counseling figure in Dareus’ life and Leibowitz commends the coach for taking that kind of approach.
“If you can council them, that, ‘I really care for you,' a lot of times I think the individual responds to being open to criticism,” said Leibowitz.
Leibowitz believes that a player can “change their stripes,” but the player needs to make the commitment to change.
"We're not talking about the physical appearance, we're talking about behavior. Behavior can be changed, modified. You can change unruly behavior, if the desire if there."