OK, with the Redskins offseason being slow as molasses it has now become obvious to me that if I don’t turn this into an all sports blog for a while I will be posting once a month and the two people who still read this blog will quit. So some stuff from around the NFL today:
The Steelers released Cedrick Wilson today because he hit his girlfriend. I was all ready to applaud that until I read further into the article and discovered that this is second Steeler in a month to be arrested for hitting a woman. Lineback James Harrison was also arrested for hitting his girlfriend two weeks ago but remains with the team.
Why was Wilson released and Harrison not? According to the ESPN article, team spokesman Dave Lockett said the Steelers viewed Harrison’s situation differently than Wilson’s, but would not say why.
Let’s look at the details of each situation:
Wilson apparently went into a restaurant and found his girlfriend in a bar and pulled her off the bar stool and then hit her. One can only guess why, but I suspect he expected her to be somewhere else.
Harrison was arguing with his girlfriend late at night when she felt threatened enough to lock herself in a bedroom and dial 911 on her cell phone. Harrison then allegedly BROKE DOWN THE DOOR, broke the cell phone in half, and then hit his girlfriend. For what it is worth, Harrison did publically apologize the next day.
Which sounds worse? They are both terrible acts, but doesn’t knocking down a locked door sound more violent? Even if you want to say it isn’t, neither is excusable. If one warrants release, than certainly the other one does.
Why the difference? Because Wilson is a backup and Harrison is a starter who was named team MVP by his teammates this past season.
So when team owner Dan Rooney says, “The Steelers do not condone violence of any kind, especially against women” what he really says is “we don’t condone violence unless you lead the team in tackles.”
I’m not naive. This kind of double standard has gone on forever. Bill Parcells is famous for cutting players for cocaine use while Lawrence Taylor single handedly kept several Colombian cartels in the black. But whether it has gone on forever or not, it has to stop. If Roger Goodell and Dan Rooney and whoever, want to make a stand, then make it. Do it, but do it no matter who commits the crime. If you want to avoid the inconvenience of having your best players caught commiting crimes, fine. I don’t care.
Really, I don’t think the NFL has any obligation to provide us a league full of boy scouts. I really don’t. If the best football in the world was played in the exercise yard of the Pete Townsend Memorial Prison for Pedophiles, that would be the league I’d watch. If it is played at the Boy Scout Jamboryee, that’s what I’ll watch. Whatever.
But stop insulting my intelligence by telling me you care about violence toward women while you have someone who broke into a room to terrorize his girlfriend and then hit her. You only hurt the effort of the real heros on the front lines trying to stop it every day.