Look at this and tell me again how the GOP isn’t trying to start a class war.
Please don’t try to afford me something as cheap as tolerance, I don’t need you to tolerate me. Just respect me and I will respect you then we can keep moving on. I am so not up for a game of “I’ll shed myself of personal identities so you can try to look like less of an asshole by claiming that you tolerate me.
Tumblr user neutresex
At tonight’s Super Bowl, the team with:
- 1 (presumed but never charged) rapist (Ben Roethlisberger)
- And 52 others, none of whom are currently under any publicized suspicion or allegations of any sort of violent crime
lost the game.
The team with:
- 1 (presumed, not yet charged, under investigation) rapist (Brandon Underwood)
- 6 (presumed but never charged) rapists (Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Josh Sitton, Khalil Jones, Korey Hall and Matt Flynn)
- 1 admitted car thief and drug dealer who escaped prosecution after admittedly stealing at least 30 cars when a victim of his crimes (out of kindness?) obstructed the police investigation on his behalf (but it’s okay because he’s very very charitable now) (Donald Driver)
- And 45 others, none of whom are currently under any publicized suspicion or allegations of any sort of violent crime
We can’t possibly start talking about the Steelers losing because of “karmic retribution” (which doesn’t work that way to begin with) for Ben Roethlisberger’s misdeeds (and yes, I believe that they are many and probably much more than we’ve heard of) when seven of the Packers were allegedly involved in a gang rape this summer, during the same off-season as Ben’s bathroom assault.
I should note that unlike Roethlisberger, I can’t find any evidence that any of the Packers were called to meetings with NFL Commissioner Goddell, faced suspension, counseling or any other professional repercussions as a result of the allegations, even though one of them had faced an accusation in the past. It also seems that the women in the Wisconsin case (there were two) changed their stories, or one did, which undoubtedly colored the ability to lay charges and believe that a conviction was possible.
But given what we know about false allegations (rare) and what kind of pressure these women surely faced (even, or perhaps I should say especially from investigating law enforcement) when accusing “heroes” of a crime that no one wants to believe that men who could “get any woman they wanted” would commit, a changed story doesn’t necessarily amount to much.
And we’re in the business of believing women’s stories still, right, feminists?
The fact is, this is the inevitable and ugly intersection of rape culture and celebrity athlete culture. Men imbued with power and given a pass for (non-rape but still uncool/uncivil) behavior not deemed acceptable in others. Men whose fame and wealth makes them more attractive to certain people, some vulnerable, some deceitful.
It’s easy to say that any allegation that doesn’t lead to a full exoneration (as opposed to a “we can’t lay charges” or a “something happened but we can’t prove it was criminal” outcome) should mean that these guys’ careers end. I certainly called, as a Pittsburgher & Steeler fan, for Roethlisberger to be released by the team this year myself, but after a second allegation and a load of other issues.
But if that’s the rule and not just the hoped for outcome, doesn’t that open a wide door to abuse? Since what others choose to say about us is an uncontrollable factor, what protection would there be for players who do face a false allegation? (As a great deal of evidence suggests that Jerome Bettis did in 2002.) Why would anyone subject themselves to that?
Should we just abolish pro sports? (Because this isn’t just an NFL problem, after all.) Wouldn’t that just move the problem to other celebrities, actors, musicians (especially touring musicians) and so on?
There really aren’t any easy answers, are there?