Praying for Ray Rice

An Open Letter To Sports Fans

Sep 18 • Featured Blogs, NBA, NFL, NHL • 25597 Views • No Comments

Okay, so let me get this straight…

A professionally trained football player at the height of his physical powers can punch his fiancée into the handrail of an elevator and leave her lying on the floor unconscious and bleeding for four minutes and hordes of you motherfu**ers just sit on your hands? Hell, some of you blamed her for getting knocked out and even worse, you came out and wore your jerseys to support this “man.”

Then, not long after, some of you came out in support of ANOTHER star NFL player who beat and choked his girlfriend, and then spoke out against the ban of ANOTHER player who, this time, beat his son so badly with a tree branch or “switch” that he had bloody welts on his legs and a bruised scrotum.

But, apparently, watching a respected Hall-Of-Fame quarterback retiree actually do his job and critique the teams he’s assigned to cover drives you motherfu**ers clean over the edge of outrage far enough to take up a petition to try and have him removed from ever covering your team again?!?

Even more astounding, showing no evidence of any internal moral compass in the early going, the league and the teams that employ these “men” moved to take corrective action only after facing the threat of lost revenues (surprise, surprise) once a few self-conscious sponsors started pulling their ads with the threat of others to follow.

It’s all true – if don’t believe me or you’ve just arrived from another planet and don’t know what I’m talking about, click the links.

So, to recap: Expressing your opinion (which you’re paid to give) about someone’s favorite team is cause for a citizens’ rebellion, but brutalizing another human being – a smaller, less powerful human being – that you’re supposed to care about is no big deal and even something to be celebrated?

Are we THAT fu**ed up as humans? Are people’s priorities THAT warped and corrupted?!?

There are an uncomfortable number of people trying to rationalize why men who have been charged with at least one serious felony deserve to keep their jobs while a commentator doing what he’s paid to do inspires more than 17,000 people to call for his head on the suspicion that he’s biased against their team.

Un-be-fu**ing-lievable.

The plague of domestic violence is obviously not limited to the NFL (the NBA’s Raymond Felton recently got off easy on charges that he threatened his ex-wife with an illegal handgun, while 7-foot center Greg Oden currently awaits a court date to answer charges that he smashed his girlfriend’s face with three punches, causing her to bleed all over his couch while she waited for police to arrive. Bigoted boxer Floyd Mayweather has notoriously been involved in numerous domestic assaults (which he refused to acknowledge during an excellent interview by Rachel Nichols on CNN), and it’s been just as rampant in both Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

But, as it is with many other social topics, sports are a microcosm of the larger world and the problem of domestic violence is as widespread as it is brutal. One in three women around the world will experience domestic violence. In the United States, 24 people per minute experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. To put the problem in some kind of perspective, 6,614 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The number of women killed as a result of domestic violence during the same period of time? Try 11,766. And, while we have outrage over the number of servicemen and women killed in any war (and well we should), we have people like South Carolina’s former Republican Party Executive Director Todd Kincannon who feel very differently about the subject of domestic violence:

kincannon-db

The disgusting thing about Kincannon (besides Kincannon himself) is that far too many people in far too many places feel similarly or, in the very best case scenario, have horribly misplaced priorities as evidenced by the Phil Simms outrage and the calls of support for Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and the like.

These are probably the same kinds of upstanding citizens who can callously walk by their fellow human beings in need of help, or worse yet, photograph and videotape them on their cellphone cameras for a nifty YouTube upload without ever using said phone to call for help.

I just wonder if any of these people would blame the victim and wear their jerseys so defiantly if one of these players was charged with sexual assault on a 4-year-old.

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