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Do Professional Athletes Commit More Crimes Than The Rest Of Us?

Posted by: Dr. Granat on May 20, 2010

      Do professional athletes commit more crimes than do the rest of us?

       The media spend a great deal of time and energy reporting instances of professional athletes who have gotten into trouble with the law.  When a sports start gets into trouble with the law, the story gets a great deal of attention from the print media and the electronic media.  Perhaps this is because people seem to be curious about watching a star fall from grace.

   Some would say there is a media bias when it comes to covering crimes committed by professional athletes.  This appears to be true.

       I do not believe that the incidence of criminal behavior among professional athletes is any higher than it is among the rest of the population. 

       Consider that there are approximately 3,600 athletes who participate in our major sports of baseball, basketball, hockey and football.  Also, consider the fact that approximately two thirds of one percent of the general population are incarcerated for committing crimes in America.

        I believe that the incidence of crime among professional athletes closely parallels the incidence of crime in the general population.  In other words, about thirty professional athletes of the total professional athlete population are likely to get into trouble with the law at some point in time.  This seems like a reasonable number to me.  Ten per cent seems way to high as does five percent.

        If statisticians, criminologists, sociologists, sport psychologists and attorneys examine this issues, I think they will come up with same conclusion.

         Geoffrey Rapp, a law professor at University of Toledo, says he hasn't seen evidence to show there's more criminality among athletes.

          While top athletes get a great deal of our attention and media attention, it appears that sports mirrors the rest of society where crime is concerned.

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