Sara Whitman: Michael Vick: You Should Have Been Beating Women Instead - Living Now on The Huffington Post
her column is, granted, a little loose and baggy. the sports writers i've read on the same issue had a much sharper way of making their point. i also think her comment about race distracted her readers - clearly, they didn't get what she was saying at all. (it's not about the action itself, it's about the reaction in the media! two separate things!) once you imply there's a racial double standard, folks are either going to agree with you (rare) or they're going to reel back in denial that such a thing, and their participation in it, could ever exist.
anyway, her commenters are interesting. they remind me of the creepy guys who work really hard to define exactly what rape is so they'll know what to do the next time some girl gets drunk at a party. ("is it rape if she's totally drunk but we were flirting earlier and i know she would have wanted to do it even though i never actually heard her say the words? what about if she's ... blah blah blah rape apologist rape apologist")
i did a few hours research yesterday at work (because i think i'm going to write about it in our next newsletter) and it was stunning what i found; in most cases charges had been dropped, dismissed or, in the rare case a conviction was ever made, the athlete usually got a slap on the wrist. a fine, a paid suspension, a few hours community service. if ever someone was actually fired or dropped from a team it was because he was on his way to prison, or the assault was so bad it was undeniable and was going to be a PR nightmare. in other words, the franchise couldn't ignore it anymore.
(or their attempt to smear the victim failed.)
here are notes on a sampling of what i found (and the more you dig, the more of a chain of out of control male behavior you uncover. totally reprehensible.) questions in brackets are details i didn't have time to confirm, yet:
Carolina wide receiver Rae Carruth conspired to murder his pregnant girlfriend. Nonetheless, a jury found him guilty in 2001, and he's serving a 19- to 23-year prison term.
February 2007 - Pacman Jones - Tennessee Titans was involved in an incident at a Las Vegas strip club that led to the shooting of three people, including a guard who is now paralyzed from the waist down. [suspended for 2007 season; must reapply for reinstatement]
mid-1990s - Lawrence Phillips - Nebraska college football star pleaded no contest to trespassing and assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend, who said he dragged her by her hair down three flights of stairs. 2005 - wanted in connection with two alleged domestic abuse incidents in san diego and one other domestic abuse incident in los angeles; [suspended from nebraska college team; went on to play for rams, dolphins, 49ers, european and canadian football teams until 2003; guilty in 2006 of assault with deadly weapon ]
2003 - Kobe Bryant - (nba) LA Lakers - accused and arrested for sexual assault; charges dropped when accuser refused to testify; matter settled out of court
1999 - Bobby Chouinard - (mlb) Arizona Diamondbacks - hit his wife and held a loaded gun to her head and served a one-year sentence — but in three-month increments during off-seasons. [now with Colorado Rockies]
2006 - Brett Myers - (mlb) Phillies allegedly dragged his wife around by the hair on a Boston street in front of witnesses. He still pitched the next day at Fenway Park, and was later granted a paid leave of absence. [wife dropped charges]
2004 - Michael Pittman - Bucs - was indicted three years ago on two counts of aggravated assault for intentionally ramming his Hummer into a car carrying his wife and 2-year-old son. It was the fourth time Pittman had been arrested on domestic-abuse charges, but his wife, Melissa, told police there were 30 or 40 others that she never reported. Pittman got a three-game suspension.
mid-90s, Christian Peter - Nebraska, then an All-Big Eight defensive tackle, arrested eight times at Nebraska, where he was twice accused of brutal rape — charges resulting in one out-of-court settlement and another conviction for sexual assault. Patriots gave up draft rights to Peter, but he would eventually play for three NFL teams.
Summer 2007 - Former Seahawk Chad Eaton was arrested for investigation of domestic violence.
2007 - Lionel Gates - Tampa Bay - placed in a pre-trial intervention program and ordered to take anger-mgmt courses after being arrested for an altercation with a pregnant woman in March
1996 - Lamar Thomas - Tampa Bay - rammed pregnant fiancee's head through a window; later released from team
May 2007 - AJ Nicholson - Bengals - arrested on domestic violence charges; suspended from FSU while accused of sexual assault
2005 - Brad Hopkins - Tennessee Titans - arrested and charged with domestic assault for allegedly choking his wife
2005 - Samari Rolle - Tennessee Titans - wife needed stitches above her eye; released from Titans, re-signed with Ravens
2001 - Jason Kidd - (NBA) NJ Nets - guilty of spousal abuse; no punishment
2007 - Ron Artest - (nba) Sacramento Kings - fighting in the stands and arrested for domestic assault in March; received a 2-game suspension and $600 fine
2006 - Bretty Myers - (mlb) Phillies - assaulted wife on street and charged with assault and battery; 'off-field' incident not punished by MLB
2005 - Reuben Droughns - Cleveland Browns - arrested for domestic violence (3rd degree assault and harassment); [charges dropped; currently playing for NY Giants]
2006 - Santonio Holmes - Steelers - arrested for domestic violence and assault; judge dismissed charges
2006 - Markus Curry - Chargers - domestic assault [dropped by team]; 2002 - while at UM, pleaded guilty of assault on girlfriend
2006? - Rob Reynolds - Titans - domestic violence, charges reduced and pled guilty to misdemeanor; suspended for one game?
2006 - Randy Starks - Titans - domestic violence [punishment by league?]
2006 - Sean Locklear - Seattle Seahawks - alleged assault on girlfriend (grabbed around her neck); [result?; punishment by league?]
2007 - Brandon Marshall - Broncos - arrested for false imprisonment and domestic violence
2000 - Patrick Roy - (nhl) Colorado Avalanche - domestic violence [result?; punishment by league?]
2007 - Elijah Dukes - (mlb) Tampa Bay Devils - violating domestic violence injunction
1986 - Darryl Strawberry - (mlb) NY Mets - domestic assault and battery; eventually suspended for drug abuse, not violence against women
2007 - Julio Matteo - mlb/Seattle Mariners - beat, kicked and bit wife's lip; knocked down to Triple-A and suspended for 10 days without pay; traded to Phillies and Double-A
this is just through 3 hours of research, tracking names mentioned in columns written by sports writers who are disgusted that pro athletes are basically being told it's OK to assault a woman. when there is no consequence for hitting a woman, they'll keep on assaulting us; when fans twist themselves into knots to excuse behavior that would otherwise land their best buddy in jail (for at least a night), they're telling pro athletes that it's ok; when advertisers turn a blind eye to these charges and incidents, they're saying it's ok.
so fuck vick and his dogs. i don't care if a guy's found with a funeral pyre in his backyard full of dead animals.
these guys, these batterers, should have been in jail and shame on all their fans and supporters who collaborate with them.