What little boy wouldn't want to grow up to be an athlete in a world filled with money and no rules to live by?
LINNEA DANNA, NEW YORK CITY
I have worked in the battered women's movement for 20 years, and rarely have I seen such a factual, balanced article on the subject (Special Report: Sports' Dirty Secret, July 31). William Nack and Lester Munson are correct when they argue that in the culture of athletics, the demeaning of women is a central value.
SUSAN THISTLETHWAITE, Chicago
Sports is more than games. It is a business, a culture, a public forum, and as such it has a responsibility to at least try to regulate conduct off as well as on the playing field. The players, like it or not, have a responsibility to live within our system of laws, not because they are role models but because they are citizens just like the rest of us. Thanks for reminding them.
MELANIE MCLEAN MICHEL Alexandria, Va.
You failed to note that the psychological and physical abuse heaped on many athletes by coaches might play a role in the athletes' violence toward others. But any student-athlete who makes a charge of abuse against his coach would be treated as a malcontent and brushed aside.
JON TORGERSON, Des Moines
Many of these highly recruited young men come from environments where violence is a way of life.
MARCIA DAWSON STREED, Clifton Park, N.Y.
What I find so hard to swallow is the fact that other team members, coaches and sportswriters "decline to comment." Why are they so afraid of getting involved? Why do they protect abusive athletes? Pete Rose was banished from baseball for gambling. When you put this up against athletes who beat their wives, it somehow seems stupid.
DONNA SETLOCK, Vernon, N.J.
We fans cheer athletes when they're aggressive, but when they can't separate their sports behavior from their home life, we point our fingers at them in disgust. It seems ironic that the trait that helps these men earn millions of dollars is the same trait that may put them in jail.
ROBERT BERGMAN, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Nack and Munson's report did not go far enough, but it is a start. However, please do not insult the intelligence of Houstonians by saying that Warren Moon is a "hero-athlete in Houston." His frequenting of strip clubs is well known, as is the fact that his Crescent Moon Foundation does not satisfy Better Business Bureau standards for charities.
PAULETTE CAROLLO, Spring, Texas
I pity Warren Moon and all the others who think that a press conference or an apology excuses their actions.
DOUG SEALANDER, Danbury, Conn.
It's a sad commentary that many women look down on men with 9-to-5 jobs but idolize celebrities who assault women.
JOE ZELOOF, Edison, N.J.