Former professional baseball player Doug (Droppin’ Science Like Galileo Dropped an Orange) Glanville has been contributing columns to the Times for some time now. Today, he tackles infidelity in the world of professional sports (thanks to Think Factory for the link):
In an athlete’s environment, money can be its own pollutant; you can become desensitized to the significance of what it can buy. Typically, if a person spends hundreds of dollars on arrangements to pass time with someone, that someone would be important in his life. But when you have extensive financial resources, it’s easy to send similar signals to people who are meaningful only for a moment. Even worse, you might only concern yourself with what it means to you. As the money flows in, so do the toys — cars, clothes, bling — and once in the stratosphere, a la Tiger, it is amazing how easy it is, if you are not careful and grounded, to start seeing women as another accessory in your life.
The pro athlete’s world is self-centered at best. Schedule is fixed, practice a must, travel a given. Anyone choosing to share that has to get on board and fit in. It can get to a point where the relationship is strictly one-way (the athlete’s way), and the other party becomes insignificant, more a prop than a true relationship partner.
If the player dares to take the next step — marriage — there will likely be a legal team at his disposal (via his agent) that can set up a prenuptial agreement. This negotiation is often dragged out for months as a way of seeing whether the future spouse shows an ugly side during the process. But it’s a red flag for your relationship if you have to resort to such tactics to force the worst in someone, and the prenup becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, set up not just to distribute assets but to deal with an inevitable break-up or philandering. In fact, it might as well be seen as a pre-meditated agreement (I may do all of this dirt, so when I do and you want to leave, I still win because instead of half you only get a check for X dollars and one house).
Nice job by Glanville.