DATELINE: GOING APE
The world of athletes is filled with ignorance.
Where shall we turn? What name shall we use to fill in the blank? Let us count this week’s headline maroons: Ray Rice, Oscar Pistorius, Chris Davis, Adrian Petersen, Wes Welker, and tomorrow may bring more.
There are names of lesser magnitude we leave off the list because they are inconsequential to their game. We are talking here today about stars or people who make a difference when they play for themselves or their teams.
The crimes are drug related or violence related. There seems to be no limit—from murder to child abuse to drug abuse. They seem to hurt people who are physically weaker or different, sometimes both.
Worse yet, we find enablers and celebratory fans who see no wrong, hear no wrong, and speak wrong to the high heavens. Oh, you didn’t know that these games are populated with monkeys, if not gorillas.
We have found the analogy gives apes a bad name.
You’ve heard the arguments: first time offender, just a loss of control, and mostly acting out of ignorance—or that law ought to be changed.
We have heard a variety of boilerplate apologies, each dripping with sincerity, as if that was all you need to go merrily on your way. It is funny when you think about it—unless you happen to be one of the victims.
The media and the executives of the sports world have given us an world of enablers.
Yet, we have heard victims admit their culpability and offer the mea culpa. They provoked the crime. Society made them do it. We are laughing again.