Professional sports—particularly the NFL and NBA, whose players clearly are behavioral models for kids and even young adults—should join the cash-for-performance movement by rewarding players for their exemplary good citizenship off the field. Why not reward integrity-passionate athletes like Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks or Willie McGinest of the Cleveland Browns with annual bonuses of $100,000 each—or donate that amount to their favorite charities? Such a bonus program would require more than being scandal-or police-blotter-free for a year. To qualify, players would have to travel at the highest moral altitude of sports ambassadorship and citizenship. Character counts and should pay in pro sports.

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Copyright © 2007 American Bar Association. This article first appeared in Entertainment and Sports Lawyer 25:3 (2007), 15.

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