Lovely. Just Fucking Lovely.
Well, I’ll say this: It’s been a while. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve had an incidence of alleged domestic violence involving a professional football player to comment about since I started this blog (I used to write about this stuff on my other blog). That’s like six months, which has to be a new record.
This time out, we find Tennessee Titans cornerback Samari Rolle accused of beating up his wife on Valentine’s Day. Awww, how sweet. Remember, that’s accused, not convicted. Rolle remains innocent until proven guilty, which, given the way domestic violence cases tend to play out in general and the way most criminal cases against professional athletes tend to play out (except the drug cases; even pro athletes go to jail sometimes in drug cases — sometimes for as much as one fiftieth as long as they’d go to jail for the same offenses if they weren’t professional athletes, because that’ll show ‘em), will almost certainly never happen regardless of whether Rolle did it. But if he did it, my, oh, my, what a wonderful way to celebrate your love for the mother of your two children. I mean, you’re a professional athlete — no, I’m sorry, it’s more than that, because you’re not a golf or ping-pong pro, you’re a pro football player, which means you’ve gotta be stronger, in better condition, and a good bit more aggressive than … well, than pretty much everybody — and you need to assert power in your marriage by beating up your wife. What could possibly be more loving than that?
And you know that if, by some odd chance, Mr. Rolle is convicted in this case, the NFL will fail to sanction, or even censure, him in any meaningful way. The league has, after all, demonstrated in case after case, with player after player, that it does not consider domestic violence a serious problem. Not like drug use, that’s for sure. Players who violate the league’s drug policies end up serving lengthy suspensions — smoke a joint and you could sit for a month. And why? Well, because football players are role models, of course. We wouldn’t want to give impressionable kids the idea that the National Football League thinks its OK to blaze a spliff and sit around playing Madden with your buddies. The very fuckin’ structure of our society is at stake. But, you know, a little bit of wife of girlfriend beating here or there, eh, what’s really wrong with that? I mean, you know, a guy rams his wife’s car or something, then you’ve gotta slap him on the wrist. But a smack here, a punch there, that’s to be expected.
What do you get for it all in the end? I don’t know. I mean, maybe one day, if worse comes to worst, a player some player or ex-player will do something like, you know, lunge out of a hedgerow and brutally murder his estranged wife and maybe even some innocent bystander or something. But, you know, even then, he’ll probably have enough money to mount a hell of a defense and get away with it. So nothing really to worry about there. Not really.
God, you know how I know I truly, truly love this game? Because if I didn’t, the behavior of some of the people who play it would have turned me against it a long, long time ago.