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Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 08/15/2012

Chad Johnson: Too much reality, if you ask me


Chad Johnson, center, leaves Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Dolphins terminated the six-time Pro Bowl receiver's contract about 24 hours after he was arrested in a domestic battery case involving his wife. (Jeff Daly/Invision/AP - JEFF DALY/INVISION/AP)
Reality television shows have changed the way we view television and our lives — and not in a good way.

I’ve had enough of watching people degrade themselves for the sake of ratings or another season.

Sure, it’s entertainment and we tune in and watch. I get it if they want to make fools of themselves. That’s their choice and our entertainment.

The very sad truth of this reality TV era is that lives are being ruined because of these cameras.

As a former athlete it pains me more to see it play out in the sports world. I once was a fan of “Hard Knocks,” but I admit I always had a hard time seeing how the coaches spoke about players behind closed doors. Well I confirm now that I don’t like it at all, and neither should those coaches and players involved.

Some things should remain behind closed doors. The respect factor is compromised when some of the things being captured on film are replayed on television for all to see.

As for the Chad Johnson fiasco, if you ask me, this recent setback was a product of reality TV. He did a masterful job of building his persona beyond football. The only problem is it now has come back to bite him. The same for Terrell Owens or even Hulk Hogan. Reality shows are destroying people’s lives, and TV viewers are okay with it. When the cameras stop rolling, the personal messes created continue to play out in the news. Divorces, public feuds — some have even committed suicide. And still, oddly enough, people still want to be on these shows.

Sure, you dated, married or had a child with a professional ball player. You’re wealthy and want the world to see how you live. Here’s what I don’t understand: What makes these people feel as if that gives them the right to go on television and act like juvenile delinquents? Didn’t someone in their lives teach them better? Do these people not have enough self-worth not to behave the way they do on camera?

It’s sad to see so many people get the chance to be stars on TV, fail horribly at the attempt, and destroy their lives and the lives of those around them. What’s even crazier is I’m not so sure they even realize how bad they look. Too many people around them are saying what they want to hear. “It’s not you it’s everyone else.” Really? Correction: It is you, and you need to wake up. All of you are embarrassing yourselves for a couple of dollars and four minutes of fame. You need to stop.

It’s not right, and it’s a shame that this is what television entertainment has come to. If conducting yourself in a respectable manner or being a positive example doesn’t work for these show producers, then please, people, stop being cast on these shows. You represent more than just yourself.

Please leave your comments here and chat with me on Twitter @lavararrington

By  |  11:52 AM ET, 08/15/2012

 
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