Originally Posted by Redsland
One is trying to clean up his life.
The other is fulfilling his legal obligations.
Unless you personally know Odell Thurman, I think that's a completely speculative and unfair set of conclusions. For all you know, Odell Thurman is legitimately trying to get his football career on track. Certainly, Josh Hamilton had a number of setbacks during his road to recovery from addiction.
I think the reason for the disparity is:
1. Location. Hamilton screwed the D-Rays, he had absolutely no connection to the Reds until he was picked up off the scrap heap. He didn't waste our money or draft picks.
2. Time. Thurman's run-ins with the law are relatively recent and carry the sting of a disappointing football season.
3. Context. Laundry list of Bengals off-the-field problems puts everyone on edge.
4. There probably is at least some subliminal racism to the thing as well, as exemplified by the McGwire steroids debacle, but it's probably not a huge thing.
I like the original post though, it's an interesting question.