Guys wanna be them, girls wanna be with them…for the money and fame anyway.
The NFL or NBA player is the man in the ghetto.
Why not, they live the life! They play great sports, they wear wild hair (unless they’re balding, then it’s HeadBlade time), they flaunt all the attitude they want, they get instant attention, they make it rain at strip clubs, they get shoes and clothes and video games named after them every year, they make up celebration dances after scoring, they can afford bricks of weed and custom stash spots in their house(s) and car(s) to put it in, they get DUI and assault and gun raps and can afford the lawyer(s) to get off easy with, they knock up multiple women from all walks of life while managing to stay happily married, and more! And it’s all covered by Sportscenter, TMZ, and the papers for the world to know that they keep it real. Commit any and all ghetto shenanigans this side of homicide and still have your job in most cases (because they need you, so you take advantage of it while you can). What’s not to like?
And their boys get a piece of the action too (ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none). There are whole hoods that have a vested interest in one player, and that particular player begins loving every minute of it the minute he goes on AAU tours and starts being lavished, pampered, and spoiled with perks and praise from people ready to cash in on draft day years down the line (as early as upon graduating high school–or not–in the basketball player’s case, up until Andrew Bynum). Is it any wonder why so many of these athletes actually end up broke, necessitating the big contracts they go after (or Dancing With The Stars when they retire)? Maybe if they went to college just one year longer, or at all…
Even though you can wear gold chains and have a longer career where you get paid potentially waaaay more with less risk of destroying your body in baseball (if you don’t roid up!), it makes no sense for a ghetto person to aspire to something another ghetto person won’t see (except on throwback jerseys), because street cred is of the utmost importance. Never mind the platform given to them by Jim Brown, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and others to do even bigger things. Never mind even tragic stories like Maurice Clarett, Leon Smith, and Len Bias. Money, hoes, and clothes, all a ghetto person knows.