Why Do Professional Athletes Cheat With Their Teammates' Wives?

What Women Really Think
Nov. 19 2010 8:44 AM

Why Do Professional Athletes Cheat With Their Teammates' Wives?

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/11/19/tony_parker_allegedly_cheated_on_eva_longoria_with_brent_barrys_wife/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Slate 's Josh Levin wrote a piece about the trope of athletes cheating on their wives with the wives and girlfriends of teammates. It was originally written in 2004, but allegations of professional sports guys cheating in this particular way happen so often, that Slate recycles the piece about once a year. The latest in this long line of allegations is that Spurs' star Tony Parker cheated on his actress wife Eva Longoria with ex-teammate Brent Barry's wife, Erin. Getting down with your coworkers' wife is historically among the most boneheaded moves a cheater can make, jeopardizing a very lucrative job and your personal life in one swoop.

Advertisement

In the piece, Josh makes the case that part of the appeal is that it's so taboo. When I asked Josh yesterday why he thought these affairs were so common, he also cited proximity as a factor-even though there are lots of away games, these people probably all socialize together, and so there's opportunity. The one thing I'd want to add to Josh's points is that these sorts of things potentially happen more often with professional athletes than civilians because sports stars are so deeply competitive. They want to win more than anything else, that's part of why they reached such great basketball heights. When they want something-even if that something is their teammate's significant other-they'll probably be going after it with more determination than an insurance adjustor would in the same situation.

Photograph of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker in happier times by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.