Whitlock: Gangster Culture Has Corrupted Sports: "Aaron Hernandez is a reflection of where we are as a society. Like Allen Iverson and an endless plethora of fatherless and directionless modern athletes since the end of Michael Jordan's reign, Hernandez saw his athletic gifts as a platform to represent where he was from, not where he hoped to go," writes Jason Whitlock. "I am not surprised to learn that a 23-year-old professional athlete covered in tattoos is linked to several violent acts, including 'accidently' shooting a man in the face. Modern athletes carry guns. They do drugs. They mimic rappers and gangster pop-culture icons. ... Popular culture has so eroded the symbolic core principles at the root of America's love affair with sports that many modern athletes believe their allegiance to gangster culture takes precedence over their allegiance to the sports culture that made them rich and famous."