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A very different take on Super Bowl Sunday.

I have been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. As a youth I formally played baseball, ran track and boxed until I decided I really valued my brain cells more than winning a bout; and informally we boys on the block played stickball, soccer, football (sometimes even tackling each other on concrete), basketball, and anything else that required us to run, hit, catch, or fall.

In fact, I am a writer partially because of sports. When I was a boy of no more than 8 or 9, my mother began the practice of taking me to the Jersey City Public Library, the Greenville Branch, as often as she could, usually on Saturdays as that was her day off from work. My mother would sift and read through the local newspaper while my imagination and I were allowed to run wild amongst the stacks of books. And the first ones that grabbed my attention were sports books. About the history of my beloved New York Yankees. About the golden eras of baseball and football. I memorized a plethora of facts and figures because these larger-than-life characters, with names like Red Granger and Joe DiMaggio, and Jackie Robinson and Jim Brown, were utterly heroic and magical to me. Without a doubt I was so enthralled with sports that I made it a point to watch every televised baseball or football game I could, and actually learned the rules to almost every single sport, including ones I did not play, like tennis, golf, or hockey, just because.

And outside of the World Series, the Super Bowl was the spectacle to anticipate every single year. The very first one I watched, as a child, was Super Bowl X between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. That game is the reason why I became a Cowboys fan for over two decades (today I root strictly for New York area sports teams), although the Steelers won because of those acrobatic catches of game MVP Lynn Swann.

I have not missed a Super Bowl since, 34 years and counting. I saw Jackie Smith drop a potential game-winning touchdown for the Cowboys in the rematch with the Steelers a couple of seasons later. I saw Jim Plunkett raise from the dead his career and create a legacy for himself as a Raider. I saw Joe Montana coolly win four Super Bowl rings of his own. I saw Doug Williams become the first and only Black quarterback to lead his team (the Washington Redskins) to a Super Bowl victory. I saw the Buffalo Bills lose four consecutive Super Bowls, undermining their great Marv Levy-coached teams. And I saw my New York Giants shock the New England Patriots, and the world, via David Tyree’s supernatural "helmet catch," crushing the Pats quest for an undefeated season. Truth be told, the Super Bowl has become as integral a part of American culture as Christmas, "I Love Lucy" reruns, Coca-Cola, Disney movies, and the music of the Gershwins. It is an unofficial holiday for us, and, in many ways, our post-modern edition of the Last Supper.

Yet something has, admittedly, been radically different for me since those heady days of being a reckless, violent man-child. Twenty years ago this year I pushed a then-girlfriend into a bathroom door in our shared apartment. And my life was altered forever, as I have written in other spaces (see my essay "Ending Violence Against Women and Girls": Twenty years removed from that sort of behavior, thanks to therapy, healing, the forgiveness of many, including the woman I violated, and an activist’s life which these days includes consistent writings, speeches, and work to end violence against women and girls, I soak up sports, especially football, not just as a fan, but as someone deeply concerned with the human condition. For sports is, and has always been, a metaphor for our lives.

And because I, you, we, would be lying to ourselves if we did not confess that football, as electrifying and audacious as it is, is also a brutally violent sport. So violent, in fact, that many former players are permanently damaged physically, and a fair share emotionally, too, due to concussions or other head traumas. (No coincidence, then, that just this past season the NFL passed out numerous fines for what it deemed excessively vicious hits.) But what has particularly given me pause, as a man with an acute awareness of sexism and gender violence, is the steady convoy of NFL players being accused or arrested, year to year, season to season, for an act of aggression against a woman. These charges and allegations have ranged from domestic violence and rape to actual murder. And these are merely the incidents that have become public.

More to the point, there is the glaring state of affairs, right in our faces during these Super Bowl sweepstakes, of the game’s two-time champion quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. I certainly give Big Ben, as he is known, his props as a clutch quarterback, and fully acknowledge that if the Steelers win on Sunday it will be because of Roethlisberger’s play and his unquestioned knack for staying in the pocket, even at risk to his own health. But Big Ben also happens to be the most high-profile player, in recent memory, accused of sexual assault on two different occasions, one claim occurring less than a year ago. The accuser, a then-20-year-old student at a Georgia college, was seen at several establishments with Roethlisberger leading up to the incident, including posing for a photograph with him. Roethlisberger spoke with police the night of the incident and stated that he did have contact with the woman that was not "consummated," and afterward the accuser slipped and injured her head.

The woman alleged that Roethlisberger, after inviting her and her friends to the V.I.P. area of the nightclub, encouraged them to do numerous shots of alcohol before one of his bodyguards—an off-duty officer, led her down a hallway to a stool and left. Roethlisberger allegedly approached and exposed himself and, despite the woman's protests, followed her into what turned out to be a bathroom when she tried to leave through the first door she saw. The woman claims Roethlisberger then had sex with her. It is further alleged that friends of the woman attempted to intervene out of worry, but the second of Roethlisberger's bodyguards, an off-duty Pennsylvania State Trooper, avoided eye contact and said he did not know what they were talking about. The policemen later claimed to "have no memory" of meeting the woman.

The incident brought a great deal of embarrassment to the NFL and to the proud Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. Although Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime, the NFL still suspended him for the first six  games of the 2010 season (it was later reduced to four games). Steelers president Art Rooney II was said to be "furious" about Roethlisberger’s situation, and Big Ben lost a number of endorsements and supporters. The accuser did not go forth with the case because she did not want to be subjected to the huge media and public spotlight, but she has also stood by her account of what happened.

At his Super Bowl media conference this week, Big Ben never directly addressed this or another instance where he was alleged to have committed sexual assault against a woman. What he did say is "You make mistakes in life and you learn from them. And I think that’s what I’m doing now."

While I, given my own history, would be the first to say we should offer every single human being who makes a mistake a shot at redemption, the hope, perhaps naively on my part, is that Big Ben, and the NFL in general, would, once and for all, condemn violence against women, mainly because one too many pro football players have been getting into trouble with the law because of how they mistreat women. I am not trying to single out Commissioner Roger Goodell and the National Football League, but the hard fact is, according to CNN, more than 100 million people will watch the Super Bowl on any given Sunday in early February. That presents a really unique and grand opportunity for our athletes, huge influencers on the behavior of younger and older folks who idolize and worship them, to take a position. The NFL and other major sports leagues already do it on the issue of breast cancer, and this matter is just as significant. Indeed, it is one of the most important civil and human rights issues of the 21st century.

Especially given the multiple reports and news clips saying that "pimps" will traffic thousands of under-age prostitutes to Texas for Sunday's Super Bowl, hoping to do business with men arriving for the big game with money to burn. Although it is difficult to pinpoint an exact number, it is believed that thousands of underage girls have been brought to recent Super Bowls to engage male customers in sex. What we do know for sure is that up to 300,000 girls between 11 and 17 years of age are lured into the American sex industry annually, according to a 2007 report sponsored by the Department of Justice and written by the nonprofit group Shared Hope International. At the end of the day this human trafficking of these young girls is simply another version of violence against females.

The other equally critical issue is how we American males define manhood. Far too many of us think it is about violent behavior, warfare, gunplay, mindless and ego-driven competition, and the conquering of each other, or women and girls, by any available means. And this has nothing to do with the debates that have raged for years about there being a spike in domestic violence cases on Super Bowl Sundays because of the drinking and abusive behavior of male sports fans. Hard to pin down that kind of data. But it unquestionably is a day when so many different types of people come together, pause, and watch perhaps America’s bloodiest and most violent sport as if it were a video game. How incredible would it be to use the saga of Ben Roethlisberger as a teachable moment? For boys and young men: violence in any form against women and girls is completely unacceptable, including forcing yourself sexually upon a female. For girls and young women: under no circumstances whatsoever should a man or boy strike, hit, beat, or otherwise seek to bring you bodily harm. For males and females alike: How can we condemn the treatment of women and girls in foreign countries yet say little to nothing as female minors are being trafficked during Super Bowl Week for the pleasure of sexually despicable American males who could easily be these girls’ fathers or grandfathers?

Beyond what we say or do as citizens who care, star athletes and professional leagues like the NFL have got to muster the courage of a Joe Torre, the former long-time New York Yankees manager and guaranteed Hall of Famer: he has spoken eloquently, as an adult, about the domestic violence his mother suffered at the hands of his father when he was growing up. This has become a mission for Mr. Torre, and we really need a generation of athletes to combat this scourge that happens in American communities daily. That is why it is so great that Dallas Cowboy Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff, in the past few days, made a public service announcement entitled "Real men don't buy children. They don't buy sex."

And real men don’t hit beat berate sexually assault rape or seek to humiliate women either. Conceivably this is why, with regards to Big Ben, I have gotten a number of tweets and emails from women saying there is no way they will root for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, because they feel Roethlisberger was given a slap on the wrist and is once again enjoying the fruits of being a man with privilege in our still very sexist society. They are right, of course, and this will not change unless a superstar athlete with the shine and stage of a Big Ben takes a very public stand in the movement to end violence and sexual assault against women and girls with the same sort of guts that, say, Muhammad Ali displayed in his stand against the Vietnam War. In other words, we need to be able to cheer for our star athletes outside the arena as much as we do inside. And cheer for them in a way that is about so much more than the sport they play or the championships they win—

Kevin Powell is a public speaker, activist, and author or editor of 10 books, including Open Letters to America (Soft Skull). He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and can be emailed at

Originally posted to kevinpowell on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 05:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Great but (0+ / 0-)

      I saw Jim Plunkett raise from the dead his career and create a legacy for himself as a Raider.

      As an Eagles fan you're making me want to do violence towards myself. It still sucks to have no SuperBowl for the Eagles and no NFL title since 1960.  I'm not old enough to have remember the 1980 season (I was on the cusp of my 4th birthday), but I've watched every Super Bowl since the 85 Bears.

      My dumb comment aside, the Philly DA (Seth Williams) did a nice press conference yesterday giving everybody a "hot tip" about keeping the violence down during the big game.

      Great diary

  •  Well said. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    by MaskedKat on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 05:36:35 AM PST

  •  It's a matter of semantics for me. (13+ / 0-)

    You say that football is brutally violent, but I'll politefully disagree. It's physical, certainly -- and at times brutally so -- but not necessarily violent.

    To me, this is violence: I'm walking down the street, minding my own business, and another person coming my direction punches me in the face for absolutely no reason. Or stabs me or commits some other act of violence.

    But when I'm playing something physical, like, say, a game of pickup basketball in my driveway, all the combatants are well aware that contact is going to occur. You drive to the hoop, there's going to be a physical price to pay. But I wouldn't consider playing defense an act of violence.

  •  bravo for your activism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross, MaskedKat

    to raise consciousness;

    In Related Sidebar:

    Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die

    HR 358 would override the requirement that ER doctors save every patient, making an exception for pregnant women, if saving them would kill the fetus.

    HR 358 would override the requirement that ER doctors save every patient, making an exception for pregnant women, if saving them would kill the fetus.

    by anyname on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 05:45:11 AM PST

  •  Regarding Number 7... (6+ / 0-)

    I'm a lifelong Steelers fan and Pittsburgh-area resident.

    When the Roethlisberger story first broke, I was sickened and even commented a few times on this site -- feel free to look it up -- that I wished the Steelers would sever ties with him and that he should be arrested.

    What he's alleged to have done is reprehensible, and, frankly, I wasn't sure if would be able to root for the team I've spent my entire life rooting for.

    Because of work, I missed seeing most of the regular-season games, and when I sat down for the first-round game against the Ravens, I honestly didn't know what I would feel.

    And then I remembered something Jerry Seinfeld said years ago concerning fans: "They're rooting for laundry."

    And that's what it comes down to. I've spent close to four decades rooting for the black and gold. I can't stop now. Am I rooting for Roethlisberger? No. But I'm not rooting for any individual Steeler, even ones who, by all accounts, conduct themselves honorably off the field, such as Troy Polamalu.

    So tomorrow do I hope that Roethlisberger does well and leads the team to victory? Of course I do, even though I think he probably belongs behind bars.

    Now, it would be nice if he stepped forward, as you said, and spoke out against violence against women, but I imagine that would have the potential of opening up legal problems. He can't, after all, admit to what he did, unless he wants to find himself playing in the prison league next year.

    •  Yes, and the question is, if he is a new person, (0+ / 0-)

      is that new person just someone who won't hang out with drunk girls in bars or someone who truly has gained respect for women.  I suspect the former.  

      As a long time Steeler fan myself.

  •  I Think It's Worth Noting (8+ / 0-)

    That professional football is watched by tens of millions of American men who have no interest in violence towards women, as well.

    It's not my thing -- I tend to like watching individual sports, which is a better metaphor for my own life.  But I think that pro football is fine and I can see how the narrative and drama make for a compelling spectacle.

    "It's always been a class war, Frodo."

    by bink on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 05:52:49 AM PST

  •  Football in America (7+ / 0-)

    I stopped watching football cold a couple years ago. The final straws for me were mostly related to the use of tax money to support the sport but I also share your concern about the behavior of the players.

    In Indianapolis 700 million dollars of tax money was used to build Lucas Oil stadium and millions more are used every year for maintenance and upkeep. A local sales tax increase still remains in effect as a result of the debt from building the stadium. This in a city which has numerous infrastructure problems, including a century old sewer system that regularly sends untreated waste into the river that runs through town.

    In my own local school district, 500 thousand dollars were used to put turf on a practice football field for the high school team. Two million more was requested to build a locker facility. At very nearly the same time the same district cut salaries for cafeteria workers and bus drivers while also eliminating their health care. In other local districts high school football stadiums have been built using millions of dollars.

    Another concern for me has been the behavior of football players on and off the field. The macho strutting on the field, and the misogyny and mistreatment of women off it is so obvious I'm surprised more parents don't object. It's one thing to enjoy athletic prowess but the example set by football players is that men should always act like macho bad-asses. That has filtered into society at all levels and in my opinion is the wrong example to be given to American males.

    It became too much for me to tune into Fox TV to watch football knowing how the worship of football had become a corrupting influence. The first season of my personal boycott was the year the Colts won the Super Bowl. I managed to get through that season with some discomfort because I'd always enjoyed watching pro football and the Colts. But as time has gone on I've missed it less and less. The longer I go on without watching the more strange it seems to me that other people treat football as so important that they need to scream and yell over every play. Again, in my opinion, we'd all be better off if more of us would stop watching 2 hours of commercials just to see how the home team plays. The importance of football needs to be put back in proper perspective.

  •  "Bloodiest and most violent sport"? (12+ / 0-)

    It's not even number five, by any credible measure.

    We need to find the middle ground between Heliocentric and Geocentric extremists.

    by JesseCW on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 06:21:14 AM PST

  •  Not sure there's a straight line between them. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, BenderRodriguez, erush1345

    . Far too many of us think it is about violent behavior, warfare, gunplay, mindless and ego-driven competition, and the conquering of each other, or women and girls, by any available means.

    Conquering one another in competition, playing w/ guns or at warfare, is totally awesome.  I don't see a necessary or causal link between those and misogyny.

  •  I agree with you-- (6+ / 0-)

    I'm a woman, mid-50s, who became addicted to baseball as a child and who wanted to be a sportswriter for a while.  I follow other sports casually, but I have never been able to like football, and mostly for the reasons you outline here.    

    And things like this just make my eyes cross:

    At his Super Bowl media conference this week, Big Ben never directly addressed this or another instance where he was alleged to have committed sexual assault against a woman. What he did say is "You make mistakes in life and you learn from them. And I think that’s what I’m doing now."

    It's all so ... sanitized!  We "make mistakes in life" but there are no ugly consequences to that; hey, we "learn from them", so it's all good!  We skip off into the sunset hand-in-hand!

    When BR manages to say "I behaved in a truly despicable manner, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart to the women I harmed and to all the women everywhere who felt the societal ripples from my actions.  Those people would not be out of line in feeling intense loathing for me; indeed, I feel that for myself.  I hope to put that behind me and work to control my impulses and show behavior worthy of a civilized human being" -- THEN I will have an ounce of respect for him.  This total shite of "we all make mistakes" is sickening.  Tell that to a woman who's been smacked around by a man and see how much better it makes her feel.

    "It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." (Frank Zappa)

    by cinnamondog on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 06:40:41 AM PST

  •  You could say this about anything (5+ / 0-)

    Men who pet kittens commit acts of violence toward women.

    Does that mean that petting kittens leads to misogynistic behavior? There's some kind of causality problem here.

    It's a fact that football does tend to recruit large, tall, physically imposing individuals, many of whom take steroids and live in a combative environment.

    And most of them are not abusive criminals. Whoever this "Roethlisberger" person is, his behavior is his alone and his culpability extends no further than his own hands. He sounds like a punk who should be arrested and jailed.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 06:56:04 AM PST

    •  Re (0+ / 0-)

      He sounds like a punk who should be arrested and jailed.

      Jailed for what? The DA can't put a credible case together to charge him and the accuser doesn't want a case to go to trial, possibly because if they did have sex it was consensual and she doesn't want it to come out in court and expose her to defamation suits, criminal charges, and other legal repercussions.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 03:23:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No debate about spike in DV & Super Bowl Sunday (5+ / 0-)

    It's an urban legend

  •  Long before the ascent of pro football (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Kimball Cross

    as the nation's favorite sport, males visited violence upon females, whether overt physical assault or institutionally.  

    An eighth grader once nailed then-Cowboys' coach Tom Landry in a Q&A appearance Landry made at a local Dallas school.  The kid pointed out that Landry was something of a crusader against the 60s sex-positive culture and recreational drug use, yet his own players are loaded up with steroids and pain killers while the stadium cheerleaders shake their booties on the sidelines.  

    You're right on many points, but transgressions against women pre-date pro football.

    A lot of people who don't care so much about the NFL share your concerns about social issues and how people treat each other and why.  A lot of the rest of the world loves soccer and they seem to love it a lot.  It looks to this non-athlete like it involves more agility and fewer concussions.  

    U.S. foreign policy should take note of something that features more agility and fewer concussions.  

  •  Several years ago, there were reports ... (7+ / 0-)

    that there were more instances of domestic violence against women on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the years.  It was revealed to be totally bogus.

    Still PROUD to be a Democrat!

    by leevank on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 07:11:27 AM PST

  •  I disagree that football is a larger cause (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than the torture porn movies such as Saw, Turistas, Hostel, etc... the sickening depravities in those to me are a much more serious cause of the sickness in our society than any organized sport or athlete could ever be.

  •  Well said, Kevin. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

    by Kimball Cross on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 07:23:27 AM PST

  •  I get the ovewhelming sense that what you are (7+ / 0-)

    saying is that if we like watching football that we should feel guilty. It seems that you think we should collectivize the misdeeds of the individuals acting badly. That watching Micheal Vick means that we sanction the abuse of dogs or if we watch Ben Rothlisberger we sanction the abuse of women. Here let my load this turd into your Super Bowl punch bowl.

    I agree that there are problems with the NFL, that is the human condition. It is a place where misogyny seems more likely to occur but that doesn't mean that misogyny is the point or focus of the game.

    Now I get to go teach some boys and girls under the age of 8 how to play as a team and love the "violent" game of hockey (and how to work together as a team giving their best effort for the greater good. Sports are still very good for that, including "violent" sports like football and hockey.

  •  Free Pass for Celebrities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Kimball Cross

    That includes athletes, performing artists and politicians.  Kobe Bryant, David Vitter and Chris Brown committed acts that would land an ordinary joe in the slam or at least, have his career ruined.  For these guys, it is just an unfortunate occurrence.  Sorry if anyone was offended.

    As for the trafficking, the NFL could be of great help here.  I guess it never occurs to the customers that purchasing girls and boys to sexually abuse them when the kids would rather be hanging with their friends is harming them.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 07:28:24 AM PST

  •  CORRECTION NEEDED Re: Jackie Smith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, Kimball Cross

    Jackie Smith did not drop a game winning touchdown in Super Bowl XIII, but a game-tying one. The score was 21-14 when Smith dropped the pass. A FG made it 21-17 and Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns before Dallas scored very late to make it 35-31.

    The torrid scoring pace slowed during much of the third quarter, as both teams began to assert themselves on the defensive side of the ball. But late in the quarter, a 12-yard punt return by Cowboys receiver Butch Johnson gave Dallas good field position on their 42-yard line. The Cowboys subsequently drove down to the Steelers 10-yard line, mostly with Dorsett's rushing. Then on third down with less than three minutes remaining in the period, Staubach spotted 38-year old reserve tight end Jackie Smith wide open in the end zone and threw him the ball. The pass was a little behind Smith, but it was catchable. However, Smith dropped the pass and the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal from kicker Rafael Septien, cutting their deficit to 21–17. Though Smith played 16 years in the league and is now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he is perhaps best known for his embarrassing blunder on the sport's biggest stage.

    •  And it wouldn't have even been (0+ / 0-)

      game-tying, given that TD's are only 6 points. It would have LED to the opportunity to kick a game-tying extra point (I don't believe the 2-point conversion was part of the game back in Super Bowl XIII).

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 08:47:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think steroid use is more a cause of violence (0+ / 0-)

    than football.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 08:33:07 AM PST

  •  I don't want Ben Roethlisberger (0+ / 0-)

    to get on board some anti-rape bandwagon. He doesn't have much credibility there, and I hate it when celebrities with bad habits decide to run around telling the rest of us just how bad a habit it is. It's totally hypocritical. So I do not join in the chorus of people demanding that Ben become some sort of spokesmen for womens' rights. Sorry.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 08:45:24 AM PST

  •  The Steelers toleration of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curt Matlock, RyanBTC

    Big Ben's sexual predation is made even more outrageous when compared to their handling of star wideout Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl MVP in 2008, who went from hero to zero for violation of the league substance abuse policy.

    He was kicked to the curb for smoking weed. Yet Roethlisberger still has his job.

    Kinda makes a joke of the Rooney family's supposed concern over the character of their players.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 08:49:18 AM PST

    •  Not true. Santonio has a long history of (0+ / 0-)

      violations of many issues, including domestic violence.  Check it out.  It was more a story of the last straw with him and Jeff Reed.  I personally think that this was the Steelers way of saying that they can't get rid of Ben but can get rid of Santonio.  Whose act was actually worse and which would you dump first?

    •  Here you go, if interested: (0+ / 0-)

      The Franklin County, Ohio, prosecutor dropped the charges in court Monday morning after Holmes completed NFL required counseling and the victim said she was not interested in pursuing the charges.
      In May, police said Holmes threw the mother of his child to the floor, grabbed her arms and slammed her into a door.

    •  Rothlisburger... (0+ / 0-)

      ...was never convicted of a crime. He should lose his job because of (at this point) unsubstantiated rumors about him?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 03:06:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the real world (0+ / 0-)

        charges of this sort could easily cost someone their job, convicted or not. Of course, even if Big Ben was cut loose by the Steelers, he'd only be out of work for as long as it took him to sign with the highest bidder. Note that Holmes is now a star with the Jets.

        My comment was directed at the hypocrisy of the ownership, who obviously feel that their star QB is more vital to the team's future success than a mere wide receiver, who BTW was never convicted of anything either.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Sun Feb 06, 2011 at 08:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for reminding me (0+ / 0-)

    that redemption is possible in this life, and that people do change, sometimes even for the better.

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

    by kareylou on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 09:09:09 AM PST

  •  It's on Fox. what do you expect? (0+ / 0-)

    Radio I like

    by ben masel on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 09:11:54 AM PST

  •  2 problems that could be solved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are prostitution and gambling. If both were legal the level of surrounding nonsense with this game would be much less. I would love to see a study about violence towards women in nations with legalized prostitution vs. criminalized prostitution.

  •  Well, you had good intentions (0+ / 0-)

    What does this have tot he do with some idiot quarterback and what he allegedly did?

    I know, it's sooooooooooooooo much fun as dragging some jerky guy's name through the mud, especially, seeing he the "Quarterback" and quite literally so---that all-American archetype of the successful, seemingly flawless Alpha male. I know it much makes other Americans feel very empowered to criticize the "Quarterback," to expose his flaws and tear down his facade of shallow perfection. But it would be nice, speaking as a woman myself, if we could have an adult conversation about women empowerment in our society without turning into backhanded celebration of some man's whoredom.  I mean, his remorse won't do anything to help women. It certainly won't help me. It'll give everyone who's envious of the "Quarterback" a brief moment of Schadenfreude and that's all.

    Just sayin'.

  •  I wrote a diary about Roethlisberger and the rape (0+ / 0-)

    allegations a while ago.  I probably deleted it though.

    After more reflection, I have somewhat altered my opinion.  Oh, re your diary, I don't think it was a cover up in why he wasn't charged.  The press conference really indicated to me that they seriously wanted to file charges but the evidence was lacking.  I guess he wore a condom.  

    Back to my opinion.  I have seen a lot of websites about the Pittsburgh Penguins that indicate tons of sex by certain members of the team.  Seems like the main perp is Malkin but there was a website I saw dedicated to where to go to be able to have sex with the Penguins.

    Then, there's Tiger's press conference.  All in all, I think the issue with Ben, Kobe, Tiger, Evgeni and all the others is still more about athletes being privileged and able to do whatever they want, whenever they want it.  It is still partially about girls who offer themselves to athletes just as much as it is about where the athlete is able to accept the girl as a person.

    But, I think the bigger issue that makes your case even better is the examples that you and I did not mention.  

    Google this:  Athlete's name, domestic violence.  I did two from my Steelers who I know of:  James Harrison and Santonio Holmes.  Both came up with the first hit as "Domestic violence charges dropped against Steelers ..."

    Or just try, "steelers, domestic violence" and you get:

    Steelers Tight-Lipped Over Player Arrests; Women's Center Wants ...
    Mar 18, 2008 ... PITTSBURGH -- In the last two years, three Pittsburgh Steelers players have been charged with domestic violence. ...

    Steeler William Gay Opens Up About Domestic Violence To Help ...
    Jan 14, 2011 ... PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steeler William Gay is usually ...

    Steelers' Najeh Davenport Not Guilty In Domestic Violence Case ...
    Apr 8, 2008 ... CLEVELAND -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najeh ...

    Mar 20, 2008 ... A day that started with the release of Steelers wide receiver Cedrick Wilson after he was ...

    OK, so now you have:  Santonio Holmes, James Harrison, William Gay, Najeh Davenport, Cedrick Wilson after one minute of Googling.

    Although I feel for women who are drunk in bars (as a woman myself), I find the domestic issues much more troubling, for various reasons, one being that you hardly hear about them.

    Anyway, wish I had seen the diary when it was posted.

  •  Re (0+ / 0-)

    From the diarist:

    The accuser, a then-20-year-old student at a Georgia college, was seen at several establishments with Roethlisberger leading up to the incident, including posing for a photograph with him. Roethlisberger spoke with police the night of the incident and stated that he did have contact with the woman that was not "consummated," and afterward the accuser slipped and injured her head.

    From Wikipedia:

    The accuser, a then-20-year-old student at nearby Georgia College & State University, was seen at several establishments with Roethlisberger leading up to the incident, including posing for a photograph with him.[125] Roethlisberger spoke with police the night of the incident and stated that he did have contact with the woman that was not "consummated" and afterward the accuser slipped and injured her head.

    It is not nice to copy material wholesale from Wikipedia without citing your source.

    From the material the diarist stole borrowed from Wikipedia, the diarist omits the following:

    The accuser was treated at Oconee Regional Medical Center. An emergency-room doctor and two nurses examined her and noted in their report a "superficial laceration and bruising and slight bleeding in the genital area", but could not say if trauma or sexual assault was the cause. The remaining examination was "normal".[127] A rape kit was collected, but no semen was recovered, and the amount of male DNA found was insufficient to create a profile or establish that an assault had taken place. The doctor's report also quoted the alleged victim telling them that, "A boy kind of raped me."

    On April 12, 2010, district attorney Fred Bright held a press conference to announce that Roethlisberger would not be charged. Bright said "looking at all the evidence here, "I can not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt". "[127] Furthermore, the accuser wrote to the D.A. through her lawyer expressing she no longer wanted to pursue criminal charges[130] because the level of media attention would make a criminal trial too "intrusive" of a personal experience. The letter stressed that she was not recanting her accusation.[131]

    It is very troubling for a diarist to come on here writing a diary assuming that a man raped a woman with equivocal evidence. The DA could not bring a case against him, but the diarist feels entitled to assume he committed a crime, as do everyone who recommended this diary.

    I consider that to be deeply irresponsible behavior, and equally irresponsible the fact that the diarist lifted material from Wiki without citing it.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 at 03:20:01 PM PST

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