The Buzz by Mike Schaffer - PR, Social Media, Pop Culture and Sports


June 15, 2010

Strip Clubs, Athletes and Bad PR

I am a VERY happily-married man.  That is the first thing you need to know.

The second thing you need to know is that I have family members who read this blog.

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 28: Quarterback Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans is slow to get up after taking a hit during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium December 28, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

So, please know that the following entry comes with those two truths at the top of my mind.

I’ve been to a few strip clubs in my years, mostly surrounding bachelor parties.  Nothing obscene.  I’m a good boy.  I don’t have a frequent visitor card.  I’ve never put a young lady “through school.”  I’m not an expert, but I know what goes on at a club.

Here is what I’ve learned over the years:

A) Don’t touch the dancers.

B) You would be shocked at which dancers make the most money in a club.  Don’t ask how I know this.

C) Clubs are a happy place.  Drinks are flowing, laughs and high-fives are exchanged, everyone is having a good time.

Which is why I just don’t understand why athletes keep getting into incidents at strip clubs.

Titans QB Vince Young (pictured), who has solidified his image as an offbeat guy, earned himself an assault citation at a club over the weekend.  This is just the latest in a seemingly-endless list of superstar athletes (primarily NFL players) getting into trouble at such adult establishments.  Young’s former teammate Adam “Pacman” Jones became a household name for his penchant for “making it rain” at strip clubs.  That was, of course, outside of the numerous violent incidents that took place in said clubs that led to him being suspended for the entire 2007 NFL season…and into 2008, as well.  Classy guy, Pacman.

There are two things I don’t understand:

1) Why is there such a disconnect between the happy “guys night out” strip club experiences most people have and the video game “shoot-em-up” evenings pro athletes continue to have at them?

2) If trouble is right there, why in the world would athletes continue to hang out at strip clubs?  It seems like bad PR all around!

Sure, the clubs are legal, but when your every movement is scrutinized, like that of a millionaire athlete, do you REALLY need to go to a strip club?

Maybe someone can explain to me why people keep putting themselves in bad situations.  Look, not everyone is an Einstein or an Edison, but the blatant arrogance/stupidity of several athletes (remember when Plaxico Burress SHOT HIMSELF??) outside of their home is continually stunning.

I don’t care about the whole “role model for the kiddies” thing – that’s overrated.   These clubs are legal and the athletes are adults (at least under the laws of the nation). But from a PR perspective, it’s just asinine. Is seeing a naked woman on stage worth the risk when something is bound to go wrong?

What other examples of knowingly self-destructive behavior from professional athletes can you think of?

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  • Goonsquadsarah
    I could not possibly agree with you more. It is common sense, right?

    If an athlete is desperate to see naked ladies dancing I am guessing that groupies would be happy to come to his house or even host the event at their place. If they feel the need to pay there are options for that too.
  • jeffespo
    Never understood the establishments or athletes' obsession with them. Unfortunately for VY and the Titans it is another black eye for the franchise. For a QB with a maturity issue, this can't be good.

    Seriously you aren't in college, don't get pissed from a longhorn down.
  • I have had encounters with athletes whose public image are all about being role models to kids, and loving kids and wanting to be their heroes etc and then when you and your godson approach them for a photo or an autograph, they are totally aloof, disrespectful and unaccomodating. Trying to dry the tears of a 9 yr old who loves Player X but gets the cold shoulder is heartbreaking.
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