Roberto Osuna

Roberto Osuna (Photo courtesy of Keith Allison)

The Toronto Blue Jays, led by Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins take the behaviour of their players (both on and off the field) very seriously.  We saw this last year when Toronto placed a team enforced two game suspension on Kevin Pillar for uttering a homophobic slur towards Braves reliever Jason Motte.

In a lot of ways the Blue Jays feel a great responsibility to how their players act.  And that’s the way it should be.  These athletes are employees of this organization, while at the same time represent the city and in the case of the Blue Jays, country in which they play in.

Back in the early 1990’s there was a lot of controversy when Charles Barkely did a Nike commercial in which he said the following…

I am not a role model. I am not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.

In some ways, Barkley was right.  In his view, he was simply a professional athlete who was paid to be a tenacious rebounder and all-around great basketball player.  What Barkley and that Nike commercial failed to understand however is that when you’re in such a high profile profession, you do (whether you like it or not) have an inherent responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner.

Roberto Osuna, like so many other of the most popular professional athletes, finds himself in a job where he almost automatically becomes a role model.  Fans admire the way he plays the game.  And when you take into consideration how much he’s accomplished at just 23 years of age, it makes his career and on-field persona that much more impressive.

On that note, here are some of the more important messages from Twitter to be considered when such a troubling event has taken place.  This is by no means supposed to defend or condemn Osuna’s actions, but simply to try and get a better understanding of this most unfortunate incident.

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