This morning, I am reminded of the lyrics to a Bob Marley song:
“Tell me; whatcha gonna do? When they come for you?
“Bad boys; bad boys …”
Indy Colts’ defensive tackle, David Parry, was arrested in Arizona. So, what’s the big deal here? Athletes get arrested all the time… The circumstances here are unusual even when viewed through the prism of strange behaviors exhibited by athletes who run afoul of the law. Here are the allegations:
- Parry and two other folks were picked up by a man driving a “street-legal golf-cart” as a taxi. [Before anyone asks, I do not know if this is some sort of “Arizona version of Uber”; all I know is that is how this story begins.]
- At the end of ride, Parry allegedly assaulted the driver by striking him in the head and stole the golf cart.
- Police found the cart crashed into an obstacle and found Parry on the sidewalk reportedly in a state of inebriation.
- Police charged him with robbery, auto theft, DUI and criminal damage.
I did not read anything about the other two passengers who began this ride with Parry and the golf-cart driver so I have no idea what role either or both may have played in this crazy opera. You must admit that this one is a wee bit different from your standard athletes acting badly story.
In another aspect of athletes and anti-social behaviors, the NFL is grandstanding at the moment. There have been myriad examples of NFL players getting on the wrong side of the law with regard to assaults and fights and domestic violence. The NFL has been less than tough on most of those players and is surely not in any good standing with folks who empathize with the victims of those anti- social actions. So, now in March 2017, the NFL is playing to the crowd and trying to portray itself as the guy in the white hat. Here is how:
- They are not going to allow Chad Kelly or Joe Mixon to participate in the NFL Combine that began yesterday.
- Kelly was involved in a bar fight about a year ago and was arrested. He was convicted of “non-criminal disorderly conduct” – whatever that is in New York State.
- Mixon punched a woman in the face and it was caught on tape about 2 years ago. In a plea deal, Mixon was found guilty of misdemeanor assault.
Neither Kelly nor Mixon behaved in an acceptable manner by any rational standard. Nonetheless, what the NFL is doing here is so hypocritical that it makes me wonder if the league is going to DEFCON2 on the Hypocrisy Scale these days. Here’s the deal:
- Kelly and Mixon cannot Participate in the NFL Combine.
- Kelly and Mixon can hold their own “pro-days” where scouts and GMs can see them work out and perhaps interview them.
- Kelly and Mixon can be invited by any “interested teams” to fly to the teams’ facilities for a day or so of working out and interviewing.
- Kelly and Mixon can be drafted and can play in the NFL.
So, what is the grand and symbolic value of the moralistic stand that the NFL is undertaking as of today? It is meaningless; and it is yet another example of the arrogance of the NFL and its players.
It is a big deal these days to talk about “privilege” as it is conferred to various classes and categories of people. The NFL and the NFLPA represent and enjoy what should be called “athlete’s privilege”. The individual athletes do not pay the same price for their anti-social behaviors that normal folks would pay while the NFL and the NFLPA consistently express shock and horror at what athletes do – while finding exactly no ways to make sanctions against perpetrators sufficiently onerous that the behaviors happen less frequently.
I am sure that there are some PR trolls in the NFL and/or the NFLPA who will proclaim the banishment of Kelly and Mixon from the NFL Combine as some sort of strong stand by the organizations against domestic violence and/or bar fights. When you hear those sorts of statements, the first word that should come to mind is:
Having spent time dealing with a stolen golf-cart and some sort of faux-righteousness regarding player behaviors, let me now engage in some conspiracy theory. You all know that I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories but I think this one could be made into a special by NFL Films were it true – – and it is not. Anyhow, let me set the stage:
- Tom Brady’s game worn jersey from Super Bowl 51 is still missing. The Houston police, the Texas Rangers, the super-sleuths from NFL Security and – for all I know – the security folks for the Trilateral Commission have not found it nor have they identified a suspect.
- I read a report that said the value of that jersey is $500K to a collector. Let me assume that number is somewhere close to accurate even though I have no expertise in that area and would not ever think of paying that kind of money for a garment that has to reek with body odor by now.
- So, the person or persons who pilfered the game-worn jersey would be charged with First Degree Felony Theft in Texas and if convicted, that person could face sentence of 5 to 99 years in jail. [First Degree Felony Theft involves stealing something worth $200K or more.]
Now comes the conspiratorial stuff… Just suppose that the jersey is – and has been all along – in the possession of Thomas Edward Patrick (“Tom”) Brady Jr. Obviously, he cannot be charged with theft because you cannot steal something that belongs to you. But Tom Brady wants to create the situation where everyone believes that the jersey is stolen so that – – wait for it:
- He and Robert Kraft can arrange to plant the jersey in Roger Goodell’s basement while the Commish is off attending an NFL game at a stadium somewhere other than Foxboro next year.
- The sub-text here is: “I’ll see you a 4-game suspension and raise you First Degree Felony Theft…”
Do not misquote me here; I am not saying this is what happened to the jersey or how it will be discovered. I am saying that it would make for a GREAT story…
Finally, here is a comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha-World-Herald that I can completely agree with:
“A high school basketball player in New York was benched after missing the team bus because he helped save an ice fisherman. It’s stories like these that make me glad that high school coaches don’t run the world.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………