Fair or not, athletes play by a different set of rules when it comes to the hobbies they are allowed to enjoy.
Just like that, NASCARís, Tony Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, is out for an indefinite amount of time. He was released from a North Carolina hospital on Aug. 11, after he broke his right leg in a sprint-car racing crash, which took place Aug. 5, at Southern Iowa Speedway.
Initially, Stewart had surgery to stabilize a Grade 2 fracture, which included breaks of his tibia and fibula. He had another surgery Aug. 8, in which a metal rod was inserted to put his tibia into position.
Stewart was 11th in the Sprint Cup standings going into the race at Watkins Glen, N.Y. He fell to 17th place after missing that one race. The injury eliminates Stewartís chances of making the chase for the Sprint Cup and pursuing a fourth championship.
There are those who arenít happy about the injury because Stewart is a NASCAR driver and feel he takes unnecessary risk by participating in races other than NASCAR type events.
I get that argument, but I understand because I would not want my starting quarterback fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship the night before the game.
I donít mind athletes playing two sports. I believe if athletes are talented enough to compete in two professional sports, they should. But if Iím a sports team owner I believe they have the right to ask the athlete not to play that sport during the current season.
Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan all played Major League Baseball and professional football. One season ended as another was starting. There was hardly ever any overlap.
Professional athletes who play two sports consecutively are risking fatigue or succumbing to physical injury. Iím all for an athlete competing at the highest level, but have no qualms if an owner asks an athlete to protect his investment.
Athletes, like Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, have it written in their contracts that they will no longer ride motorcycles, jump out of planes or participate in a long list of other dangerous activities. There has to be a limit. Iím all for athletes living life to the fullest, but since their bodies are their business they have to protect them.
I donít care if Stewart does demolition derby during his offseason. That is his time. When the season starts, his body and driving skills are the business he markets. He has to protect them.