Topic: Sports & Entertainment Society

Aaron Boone
(January 2004)

New York Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone showed himself to be both ethical and courageous when he told the Yankees that he had torn a ligament in his knee in a January 16 pick-up basketball game. The injury will probably cause Boone to miss the 2004 baseball season. Because he got it while violating a provision of his contract that forbids off-season basketball, his straightforward admission resulted in his business-is-business employers voiding the 5.8 million dollar contract he signed to play this year: these are the Yankees, after all. This will mean that Boone will spend the year injured and unemployed, with the near certainty that his next contract will be for another team and for a lot less money.

Boone stands out in sharp contrast to other athletes, like the Giant’s Jeff Kent, who have chosen to lie under similar circumstances with a lot less at stake. Last year, facing a fine rather than a contract cancellation, Kent explained a wrist injury he incurred in a contractually banned activity (motorbike riding) by saying he had hurt himself washing his truck. Boone’s admission benefits him in no way, except that it is the right thing to do. The Yankees had no obligation to reward his candor by continuing to pay him big bucks, and responded predictably, signing Alex Rodriguez and waiving bye-bye to Boonie. But Boone deserves the thanks and admiration of baseball fans and the public generally, for doing what role models are supposed to do: show courage, take responsibility, and behave ethically.

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