Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I'm Really Clueless About Professional Football (And Very Unpopular on Superbowl Sunday)

I know it's no big news that I'm not a football fan and I'm pretty much entirely clueless about the sport. I'm not not a football fan because I'm clueless. I'm clueless about it by choice. I will not be boycotting the Steelers because they hired Michael Vick. . . I already (rather unpopularly for the record) boycott the NFL due to the terrible and toxic culture that surrounds it and their lax stance and rules regarding violence against other people. (Not to mention that it's a dangerous sport I'll never let my children play at any more than a casual screwingaroundinthebackyard way because I like them with their brains un-sloshed.)

A friend and I were talking today about how it's interesting the way we pick and choose which crimes we're going to get really bent out of shape about. While I fully agree that dog-fighting is heinous and terrible, Michael Vick has, since 2009, been working to redeem himself for his past mistakes. He has been pretty vocal in speaking out against dog fighting since serving prison time for his crime. He served his time and there isn't a person on this earth who is beyond redemption (I'm not arguing about if his turnaround is real or not, just that it's possible).

Note that I in no way disagree with any animal lover that chooses to boycott the Steelers or the NFL over Michael Vick. I just think it's interesting how so many people are peeved about the Steelers hiring this guy who has SERVED HIS TIME for his crimes and is speaking out against that crime now when so many other football players - even the angelic donowrong Steelers - are committing violent crimes against OTHER PEOPLE and are let off with a weak scolding or a tiny fine (what a joke, considering their obscene salaries). I love dogs, but I love people more. Why aren't we mad about these guys having jobs in the NFL? Why aren't we boycotting teams and/or the NFL because of their lax policies regarding assault, rape, domestic violence, etc?

These are just Pittsburgh Steelers (one of the least violent crime-tolerant teams out there) and just since 2000. And I might be missing some.

Chris Rainey: 2013 arrest for domestic violence (hit his girlfriend over a cell phone and got off on disorderly conduct.)

Ben Roethlisberger, 2008, rape - civil charges, no arrest. 2010: sexual assault - basically got off with nothing.

Cedrick Wilson: 2008 arrest for punching his ex-girlfriend in public. Got off with anger counseling.

James Harrison: 2008, punched his girlfriend in an argument about whether to baptize their baby. Got off with anger counseling.

Najeh Davenport: 2007, accused of attacking the mother of his child, as well as child endangerment. Got off with nothing.

Richard Seigler: 2007, PIMPING!! Dude was straight up selling women for sex. Charges dropped (although he was fired from the team)

Deshea Townsend: 2007: bar brawling. charges dropped.

Santonio Holmes: 2006 - choked and hit girlfriend. Charges dropped when she was too scared to testify. 2006 - disorderly conduct on Memorial Day weekend. Fined a measly $250 and charges dropped.

The rest of the NFL player arrest records since 2000 can be found here in a tidy little list:

I'm all for boycotting organizations with seriously questionable morals. I'm all for standing up for the beautiful creatures that God gave us to share the Earth with. I live with the most spoiled little boxer/lab/suspected pit mix alive and I love that stupid dog like crazy. I get emotional and angry thinking about dogs being subjected to the horrors that happen in the fighting pit. But I also get emotional and angry when I think about all the women and children who suffer rape and beatings at the hands of physically powerful people on a regular basis. How can we possibly be so much more angry about dogs than people? Why are we still allowing this toxic culture to be so ubiquitous in American life?

Edit: This is an excellent documentary on another one of the reasons I don't like football:

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