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Should Yovani be suspended?

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Tim Thompson
April 22, 2013

Early last week, four-time Milwaukee Brewers opening-day starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo was pulled over and ultimately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. It didnít take long for Brewers fans to take to Twitter to voice their opinions and share random thoughts. Some people thought Yovani should face a suspension for being arrested. Of course, others believe he should be held to no higher of a standard than anyone else.

I have no problem with 'Yo' going out and having a few cocktails on a "school night." This is America and we are nothing if not free to do as we choose, as long as we donít put other Americans at risk. Or at least we should be, but I wonít get started on the hypocrisy of our current "drug" laws.

In Mr. Gallardo's case, he quite obviously DID put others at risk when he got behind the wheel, and for that he should and will pay. The punishment likely will be mostly a financial one, but if there should be more of a criminal penalty is a topic for another day.

Like it or not, professional athletes ARE role models to our youth and to some of us perpetually stuck in our youth. Should they be held to a higher standard than the rest of us? In my opinion, YES. They reap the rewards of being in that position, so they should get pinched harder when they drop the ball.

Iím not talking about anything close to a 50-game suspension (as ESPNís Jim Bowden suggested), but if he is guilty perhaps the loss of 10 or 15 games -- and the correlating paychecks -- may drive home the point. If it truly is a one-time mistake, handcuffs alone are enough to wake up most people. What a long suspension may do, however, is send a message to the kids who pay attention to such things, that making this mistake even once is not acceptable.

If the person has a problem when they are tipping back some of grandpaís cough medicine, no amount of punishment will solve the problem.

If I got a vote, I would absolutely endorse a 15-game suspension for any professional athlete convicted of driving while drunk. In this great country, we don't punish until there is a conviction. But once convicted, the suspension should begin ASAP. Thatís just my opinion, but then again I believe drunken-driving punishments are way too lax in way too many places already.

What do you think? Should Yovani Gallardo (and any other professional athlete) be suspended if convicted of driving under the influence?



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