Reebok posted some ads recently in Germany that provoked many scathing remarks via Twitter and the Internet. Quick to cry “foul”, the shoe company that has been faltering in its step lately wasted no time in removing the ads and publicly apologizing:
“The signs were removed as soon as we were made aware of them. I can assure you that Reebok does not condone this message or cheating in any way. We apologize for the offensive nature of these materials, and are disappointed that they appeared at all.”
For a company that is lagging behind, someone stooped to cheating? Is this a surprise with 74% of high school students admitting to cheating in school over the last year. Another investigation in Atlanta found that 44 schools and 178 teachers and principles had been cheating by falsifying test scores over the last 10 years! Whether it’s a lack of ethics, pressure to succeed, or the thrill of the act, cheating has become a widespread epidemic that has now crossed over into almost every domain of our lives.
As the Reebok ad tritely stated: it’s better to cheat on your girlfriend than your workout. The cheating in relationships is encouraged here. This is not an uncommon value lived out by many. Some numbers show that anywhere from 30%-60% of all married couples will have some kind of infidelity within their marriage. Of all marriages in the US, 50%-70% of them will end in divorce and many of those marriages will dissolve because of “cheating” on a spouse.
Cheating isn’t just at school or in the home but on the sports field also. This site chronicles the “15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time.” From point-shaving to performance enhancing drugs, every major sports arena has fallen prey to cheaters. It has become such an issue that Dale Murphy, founder of “I Won’t Cheat”, says soon the winners will “be (he) who has the best chemist and who is on their cycle at the right time. And that’s a scary, disturbing thought.” But his comments are not just true of the sports industry. It really is scary all the way around and something has to be done to rectify the issues on all fronts: sports, school and home!
Even though many know the exact repercussions of cheating, they are not dissuaded from pursuing the thrill. Some won’t care if they are caught while others will regret it longterm. Some will have major consequences while still others will find ways to cheat the system. In the case for Reebok, they heard the public outcry and being desperate to save their image, they removed the ads. Thanks for being “sensitive” Reebok but I’m happy to see that cheating on the girlfriend just didn’t work out!
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Youth Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA