Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Perhaps, Gentlemen, It's Time To Look Within...

Commentary in this morning's paper by Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune is headlined Where is America's outrage when women are target? Okay, I'm putting on pads, helmet and all the protective gear I can find. I am drawing exclusively from his column and I expect an onslaught.

While admitting the dogfighting atrocities are just that, he states that a woman in the hands of a 230 pound "elite" (whatever that means) athlete is also defenseless. So am I in the hands of my 6' +, 200 pound husband. We've been married for many, many years and he has never, ever lifted a hand to me. Nor would he. And I know it. Morrissey goes on to say that other than the O.J. Simpson case, maybe, he cannot remember an incident involving an NFL player drawing anywhere near the outrage the Vick case has.

The way I see it is the woman has had a choice about the relationship. O.J. was known to be violent yet Nicole opted to stay with him. The life of a professional athlete is in the fast lane on the autobahn. The women involved with these men know it. The money, the clothes, the flashy cars, the night life, often times the drugs, you name it - where else are you going to get it? The dogs had no choice.

Well, maybe It's the media's fault. They didn't show graphic enough coverage when Carolina wide receiver Rae Carruth arranged to have is pregnant girlfriend "eliminated". Notice they were not married. Pregnant. An inconvenient truth. There was enough outrage that he was found guilty. Outrage where it counted - in a court of law.

Then there is Pacman Jones who shot three, paralyzing one at a Vegas strip club. Mr. Morrissey points out Jones has had a string of run ins with the law but expects he'll play again. If he does, shame on the owners and the NFL; not the media. Far worse than what Vick is accused of seems to be the implication.

Another example he used was Kobe Bryant. He reached a settlement with the woman he was accused of raping and is now back in the limelight with the L.A. Lakers. If I recall the story, there was tremendous outrage until the alleged victim's story began to leak like a sieve. And that Bryant is playing - that's the Laker's and the NBA's doing. Not the media's.

I've listened to all the talking head panels on the Vick story that I care to. To a man, they've tried to protect him. Oh, he's a first time offender. That we know of! Oh, he has a right to make a living. Right. Go pick up trash. He has forfeited the right to participate in a sport where the players are deigned to be role models for our young.

The stories do make the press. Initially, unless really egregious, in the sports pages. Who are the editors? Men. Who are the team owners? Men. Who are the Commissioners of the various sports? Men. Who are the agents? Men. Most of all, perhaps, who are the bulk of the fans?

This issue would make it seem all about sports. No. It's about attitudes. It's about false entitlements. It's about men behaving badly and those in a position to stop it choosing not to do so. If you really want to return professional sports to what it was meant to be, just quit giving these guys a "pass".

1 comment:

Big O said...

My problem is this: I've always been a Dallas Cowboy fan having been raised in Texas. I suffered through the early years and things got better. I always admired Tom Landry because he seemed to be a pretty straight guy.

Then Jerry Jones came along and bought the Cowboys. Hee got rid of Landry and now his main interest is someone who can play ball. It doesn't matter if they are a druggie or a thug, he will overlook that. Jerry and owners like him in football and other sports are what is wrong today.

And, it starts in High School with these prima donas who are used to breaking the rules with no consequences.