It's no secret that we have seen several sports stars fall from grace recently. There were a few weeks this past year where it seemed like every time you turned on the news you saw another athlete in trouble with the law, and subsequently with their respective league. The shift in public opinion regarding athletes can be swift, and many times unforgiving.
For us as collectors, what does it mean? If we player collect certain players who have fallen from grace, should we stop collecting them? I am asking myself this very question, and I am still not entirely sure of the answer.
There are pretty strict standards I set for myself when it comes to choosing who I player collect. A large part of the criteria is that the player needd to be humble, and respect their sport and others around them. I'm not interested in collecting players who carry themselves publicly like they are bigger than their game.
Wait, did I just say Ray Rice?
Yes, Ray Rice was a major player collection of mine prior to the events that unfolded in the news. He was revered in the Baltimore community as being a stand-up guy. I have hundreds of his cards, and now I am not sure what to do with them. I even purchased several Rice cards at the National in August. Now I get an odd feeling when I look through the binder or when I see a Ray Rice card pulled in a group break. It's no longer about the athlete. It's about the incident.
I'm all for forgiveness and second chances, but I'm not sure what will become of my Ray Rice collection.
Surely I am not alone in this dilemma. Has anyone else dealt with this? Have you ever player collected an athlete who has fallen from grace?