Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forgiveness and hero worship...just the facts

"Everyone fortunate enough to be part of the league is held to a standard of conduct higher than that generally expected in society and is correspondingly accountable when that standard of conduct is not met."
~NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Let's take a look at what that higher standard offers the rest of us...the people who DO follow the law...
The 2000 Super Bowl featured 13 convicted criminals.

21 percent (more than one in five) of NFL players have arrest records and have been charged with at least one serious crime, including two murder arrests, seven rape charges, 45 counts of domestic violence and 42 charges of assault and battery.

Only ONE NFL team owner refuses to employ criminals on his team.

In April 1997, the St. Louis Rams selected Ryan Tucker in the fourth round of the NFL draft. At the time, Tucker was awaiting trial for an assault that left the victim paralyzed and brain-damaged.

Byron "Bam" Morris missed a meeting with his probation officer and Ravens owner Art Modell tried to get the absence excused based on "complex nature of his position with the [Ravens] club." Yes, that's right...we had football practice and couldn't go to a meeting with his PROBATION OFFICER.

Patrick Bates was charged with assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and, three weeks after the baby was born, kidnapping the child and beating the mother with a gun.

Cornelius Bennett was charged with rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment.

In 1998, Susan Gutweiler, wife and mother, was killed by St. Louis Rams’ defensive end Leonard Little while Little was driving drunk. And despite claiming the horror and guilt of the accident caused him to attempt suicide, he was subsequently arrested for DWI in 2004.

Ray Lewis - testified against his "friends" in exchange for the dismissal of murder charges.

Jamal Lewis - cocaine (for distribution, I believe)

Adam Jones - assaulted a woman (who is conveniently referred to as "a stripper" in most accounts of the story)

Tank Johnson - carrying a concealed weapon and assault of a police officer

Andre Rison - failure to pay child support to the tune of $100,000+

Donte Stalworth, drunk and driving, hit and killed husband and father Mario Reyes, 59. Stalworth is currently not playing.

Michael Vick.
I've heard and seen reports where people say, "Do you know how many convicted criminals are in the NFL who have done way worse than Vick?" Yes...yes I do. That doesn't comfort me in the slightest.

I've also heard and seen reports where people say, "He's served his debt to society, it serves no purpose to keep him off the football field." Sure it would. Give him a job in a local animal shelter for minimum wage. Let him see how WE, out here in NORMAL society, live with the remains of what he did...what others like him do. He's a convicted felon...treat him like one. How many convicted felons do you know get to return to their pre-incarceration positions of trust and power? But I guess all is forgiven because this guy can run with a football. An irreplaceable talent, for sure.

Michael Vick admitted to soaking a female dog (who had lost a fight) with water and helping to electrocute her. She was completely innocent and defenseless. And yet I'm somehow supposed to care about HIS "right" to earn a living in his chosen profession? I'm supposed to buy his number on a jersey for my child to wear? I'm supposed to drop my $30 on a ticket to be entertained while watching him play a game?

"I do recognize that some will never forgive him for what he did," Goodell said. "I hope that the public will have a chance to understand his position as I have."

His position? He's a lousy human being...but he's a money-maker. Same as all those other criminals who run around on the field with a football for our entertainment. They are awful people who make a lot of money for a select group of people. That's all this is about. And making people worship these guys...that's the true irreplaceable talent.


Runelady said...

I had a close personal experience with Chicago Bears players when I was in college. It was not pleasant. I cannot agree with you more. These men are often hailed as heros when they do nothing but carry on in a violent manner.

BethGo said...


Jillian said...

Awesome post, Catherine. This needs to be submitted to someone, somewhere as a national news piece.

kp said...

I love this post. It's so true. As for Vick, anyone who can participate in such cruelty to animals probably doesn't have much respect for human life either.

Aurelia said...

Oh, I sooooo agree with you. I think I will print this post out and make my son read it. And his other friends who are just starting to watch football.

kate said...

It makes me glad i don't follow professional sports.

Great post!

atanu said...

Great post Catherine. Thanks for sharing.

Beruriah said...

Just look at the kind of society Goodell keeps. Goodness his standards are low.

Sarah said...

That's just sick and twisted and makes my stomach hurt.