Sports fans have been bombarded lately with several examples of professional athletes behaving like brutish, violent jerks in their private lives: Balitmore Ravens’ Ray Rice and the video of him punching out his now-wife in an elevator; Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson accused of beating his 4-year-old son; Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy on leave while he appeals domestic violence charges; and just last night, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested and charged with aggravated assault stemming from a domestic violence dispute involving his wife and toddler. As one friend wryly put it, “And the hits just keep on coming.”
Amidst all of this horrific behavior on the part of these deeply troubled, flawed men, a heartbreaking story emerged about another professional athlete who is also on leave from his team, but for a very different reason.
The New York Yankees announced that Carlos Beltran is on leave following his wife’s tragic miscarriage of their unborn son. The family is devastated over their loss, and there is no word on when he will return.
Beltran posted a moving statement on his Facebook page in his native language, which was translated as follows:
As his teammate Derek Jeter said, “It puts things in perspective.”
It most certainly does. In a week that saw one man making excuses for inflicting injuries on his preschooler son after whipping him with a tree branch, we see another man mourn for the son he will never have the chance to raise. And rather than react with anger or bitterness over his loss, Beltran choses to focus on all of the blessings in life.
After a week of bad role models dominating sports news, Beltran’s example of a loving, mature man standing by his family offered a much-needed counterpoint. My condolences to him and his family.