Ah, irony. Like the saying goes; "it's a bitch." And after this week, it's also something that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emanuel Sanders is going to be well versed-in after being fined $300 and court costs for littering.
Ok, that doesn't sound like much; and it isn't from a financial point for Sanders, but the funny part comes in when you find out that Sanders was recently featured in a television ad encouraging people not to litter. That's right, smile — as that ironic tidal wave splashes against your funny bone.
Sanders, and teammate Antonio Brown, pleaded guilty Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to leaving boxes beside a private dumpster on West Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover. Both were issued the same penalties.
Speaking in the locker room during a break from Steelers minicamp, Sanders said he never meant to do anything wrong and that he didn't intend to break the state's anti-littering laws and hopes there's still room for him in a local anti-littering campaign.
"I think littering is more throwing trash on the ground and knowing that you're wrong for it," he said. "I actually put the trash in the trash can. That's the big difference."
The Pennsylvania Resources Council partnered with the mayor's office is heading up a more aggressive stance against littering. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who is featured in another one of the ads, announced in May that Pittsburgh police will more strictly enforce the city's litter ordinances and fine scofflaws who throw trash on the ground.
In response to this somewhat embarrassing incident with Sanders, the ad has been pulled and even the campaign's website, www.donttrashmyturf.org, no longer provides a link to the Sanders ad.
It is not known if Sanders will continue to be allowed to participate in this campaign; but really, is there no better example of the cities commitment towards the littering cause than Sanders? I mean, the guy is both a Pittsburgh Steelers player and a representative of the cause.
If a public figure of Sanders' stature can be cited for littering, anyone can.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP