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Sunday , Aug , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

John Wall and the misconception of ‘a clean image’

"When I first cut my hair and all that and didn't get any tattoos, that was the main thing, having a clean image coming into this," said Wall. "That's what they want, to help you to be more marketable. And if you don't stay in the league a long time, it helps you get jobs after this."

 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I'm not sure about this.
 
One the one had, John Wall wants to be what he perceives as professional. His serious approach bodes well for the future.
 
On the other hand, his comments speak volumes about misconceptions. A player with tattoos isn't a bad guy. A player with corn rows, dread locks, or a fade isn't a bad guy, either.
 
However, stereotypes exist. Fortune 500 companies want, as Wall says, a 'clean image'. For years, Major League Baseball's Roger Clemens was hailed as a model of purity. He had no tattoos, short hair, and a good ol' boy attitude.
 
Well, 'Mr. Clean' (allegedly) took steroids, (allegedly) lied under oath to Congress about taking steroids, and (allegedly) had an affair with a 15-year old country singer.
 
Then there's the double life of Tiger Woods. Nike, Gillette, Gatorade, and other multinationals shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to sponsor this great golfer and 'family man'.
 
Well, Woods was runnin' game. This 'role model' had more mistresses, baby mamas and booty calls than any athlete in the NBA, MLB, or NFL. And Woods' doctor is under investigation for providing professional athletes with steroids.         
 
Unfortunately, the corporate world is a reflection of society. Their values are, regrettably, intertwined with our values. So a 'clean' athlete is almost always favoured over an athlete with body art or 'unique' hair.
 
Perhaps we should remember character and actions are more important than appearing 'clean'.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
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