Nov 29, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson (left) and defensive lineman Marcell Dareus (right) pose with the Toronto Raptors mascot Stripes during a game against the Miami Heat at the Air Canada Centre. Miami defeated Toronto 90-83. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Marcell Dareus: Who Is To Blame?

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Is Marcell Dareus really the issue? I think not.

He is simply one of many athletes under scrutiny for his off-field activities. Yet he is simply after the lifestyle that he has known throughout his entire life.

Now this is not to say he is not responsible for his actions; we all are responsible for the decisions we make each day. However, the common people do not have the financial responsibilities of Marcell Dareus nor do we understand what it is like to be a professional athlete.

For many years the entire football system has allowed athletes like Dareus to skate by, more focused on profit than raising leaders for our nation’s youth. All the while the NFL prides themselves on being role models to kids while ignoring the help athletes such as Marcell Dareus need. Instead they simply punish and move on; this action solves nothing.

College programs find any way possible, even against NCAA policy, to win games. This comes at the cost of the players lives. Players can graduate from respected colleges with the inability to read. How is this possible? How can professional athletes grow up in this community without the education needed to become a respected member of society? What happens to them after the NFL?

Athletes retire from football  as lost souls without guidance or direction. They go bankrupt, become criminals, addicted to drugs, and even find depression their only friend. Why you ask? Because they do not know how to live or what to do as normal citizens. The physical abuse of the game itself can also be to blame; yet the NFL even ignores this fact.

The entire system is flawed. Until the NFL and NCAA work together to raise men, not children with millions of dollars in their pockets, players like Marcell Dareus will always exist. Again, Dareus is responsible for his actions but how often do athletes like Marcell Dareus make headlines for negative reasons? Too many.

But do his actions come as a surprise? How many players look to their family and friends of their hometown for solace, for leadership? And when they look for this leadership what do they find? The only lives they know.

Until the NFL stops focusing on profit gain, athletes like Marcell Dareus will fall through the cracks. People will scrutinize and the issue will continue to go unsolved. It is the NFL’s job to make these players men, financially and spiritually. They need to stop ignoring the players as people because they are creating a society in which underprivileged youth are given an extreme amount of responsibility with no leadership and to told to make men out of our youth.

So who is really to blame? Marcell Dareus or those who profit off him regardless of his actions?

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