Showtime wonders why Americans can’t seem to get enough of watching celebrities struggle.
For the last month or so I have been seeing tabloid headlines about the turmoil between NBA player Lamar Odom and his wife Khloe Kardashian Odom. Stories about Lamar meeting a woman in a DC strip club and cheating on Khloe turned into him having a sexual appetite that would make Tiger Woods look like Pee Wee Herman (before the movie theater incident). After some media outlets reported that Lamar cheated with over 50 women TMZ decided to “break” the story that Lamar’s substance abuse problem was the reason behind the couple’s fall out. Yesterday and today certain media outlets have been reporting that not only is Lamar struggling with substance abuse (crack…cocaine…Oxycontin) he is also missing because his family and friends have reportedly not heard from or seen him in over 3 days.
Some believe that Khloe Kardashian’s mom Kris Jenner is behind all of the negative press that Lamar Odom has been receiving. Jenner, who just finished a trial run for her new TV talk show is said to be furious with Lamar for damaging the Kardashian brand with his antics. Many feel that once the news broke of Lamar’s infidelity, Jenner decided to get back at him by leaking these drug abuse stories to various news outlets. Hell hath no fury like a millionaire mom scorned, right?!?
Lamar Odom hasn’t spoken about these issues yet, but he will reportedly be making a statement sometime this week. It seems that the only person who is even attempting to stand up for him is his wife. Khloe has been very vocal in her support for her husband and asking for their privacy to be respected. Earlier this week she took to twitter and vented about the people who have been taking aim at her family. She was even spotted out and earlier about today still wearing her wedding ring.
So the question that I am pondering is this… Do people hate the Kardashians so much that they are willing to use Lamar Odom’s personal struggles as a way to extract some sort of revenge on the family? But why would any one even want to seek revenge on people that they don’t even know? All we know about the Kardashians is what we see on TV or read on the internet and in magazines. Why is their family drama such a big deal when there are actual real life issues going on in our world that affect all of us. It’s like people are sticking their tongues out at the family and saying “naaaaan naaaaany booo booo” or “you ain’t so perfect now are you!?!?!” without any valid reason to do so. Only an immature mind can get pleasure from watching someone else fall down and not even make an attempt to help them up.
Odom and his wife are going through real life problems obviously. Instead of ridiculing them and trying to add fuel to the fire, we should be encouraging them to work out whatever differences that they are having. If Khloe and Lamar do work through their issues, just think about what that would say to couples in the country who are considering splitting because things in the relationship aren’t as peachy as they once were. Teaching moments like this one don’t happen too often, but when they do you have to seize the opportunity and take full advantage of them. Use the tests that other people may be going through as tools to educate and motivate folks who are close to home. I guarantee that there are other couples somewhere in the world with far less money than Lamar and Khloe who are going through the exact same issues. If we lift up Lamar and Khloe instead of tearing them down who knows how many couples we could save just by using them as an example of how to fight for your love by any means necessary.
Substance abuse problems transcend all socioeconomic statuses and affects every person in this country in one way or another. Who doesn’t know of someone who has abused alcohol or drugs at some point in their life? So who are we to judge Lamar Odom and his family? Just because we see someone on television every week does not give us the right to throw around unsubstantiated claims of infidelity and drug addiction.
Odom has been in the NBA for a long time, and contributed to some really good teams. The stories that the media has been reporting have caused teams in the NBA to start backing away from the free agent because they feel unsure about what to expect from him in the upcoming NBA season. So, now we aren’t just dealing with the potential destruction of a relationship, we are also looking at a man losing his way of making a living simply because the media and social networks lacked the most minimal amount of sensitivity and would rather break a story before pooling their resources and attempting to get the man the help that he may or may not need.
Odom is the father of two children from a previous relationship. Imagine what it would be like for those kids to have to go to school and hear some of the things that the media is saying about their father. But I’m sure TMZ and the other sites didn’t consider the feelings of those kids when they posted their stories. It’s just another example of how this social media driven era of journalism has stepped over it’s boundaries without any regard for the consequences.
During his career Lamar Odom has always played for teams that I was not too fond of (sorry Lakers fans), so I never had a reason to root for him. But now as he laces up his sneakers and prepares to compete in a full quarter of the game called life I can definitely say that I am cheering for him to show up and show out like the true champion that he is!
Originally appeared at Single Fathers Blog
Lead photo: AP