i’ve read too many pieces the last few days about ray rice and 9/11 that painted with broad brushes. pieces that used accusatory language making assumptions about me, the reader.
i was telling a friend that i think what happens with these posts is that authors get caught wanting to make a Big Point about a Big Idea that matters, but the authors’ arguments are lost in part when the reader has to filter out where he or she fits in the argument being presented.
‘we became callous’ is a line i read about 9/11.
i have no idea who ‘we’ is, but i’m a pretty nice guy.
‘we tortured people.’
i promise, i didn’t.
‘you’re desensitized to domestic violence.’
dying to know how you know that about me.
* * *
as a writer, the most important thing i learned (have i said this before?) is not to make assumptions about my readers. so, i’m going to make a Big Statement in discussion of a Big Idea, and i’m going to make it about me. i will likely present a call to action, but i will be using ‘i feel/i think’ statements. i won’t be saying absolutes, i won’t be pointing (sadly short for my height) fingers at ‘you,’ i promise.
* * *
greg hardy is a star defensive player for the carolina panthers. according to yahoo sports, hardy ‘was declared guilty by a north carolina judge of assaulting his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, in an incident that allegedly involved hair-pulling, slamming a toilet seat on her arm, and putting his hands around her neck. While he awaits the next step in his legal process, a jury trial, Hardy played in the team’s season-opening game last weekend, and is scheduled to play this sunday.’
but, the thing is, as the ray rice story did, it gets awesomer,
at a fancy dinner last night, the day the after the ray rice story re-broke, panthers owner (who gets tax breaks because the nfl is a non-profit, remember?) jerry richardson said the following:
i stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple. to those who would suggest that we’ve been too slow to act, i ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge. over the course of our 20 years, we have worked extremely hard to build an organization of integrity.
well, i guess ya gotta keep building, jerry.
quite ironically, he was given an award ‘against indifference,’ whatever the hell that means, the same night.
* * *
in this article by joseph person and jonathan jones in the charlotte observer, a statistic jumped out at me that forced me to make the decision to stop watching nfl games and hope to encourage others do the same.
(NFL Commissioner) Goodell, though, has a track record of leniency on domestic violence cases. Of the 47 incidents of NFL players arrested or charged for violent crimes toward women since he became commissioner in 2006, none resulted in a suspension of more than one game, according to the Houston Chronicle.
so, here’s what i think.
1) i think anyone who watches another nfl game, plays fantasy football, buys merchandise, is just as guilty at this point of promoting domestic violence as are the men striking women and the men in suits paying them without penalty for it.
look me in the eyes, i mean it.
2) i think goodell needs to resign or be fired.
3) i think people who rolled their eyes at janay palmer/rice and asked why she’s staying with ray rice after the story broke who also watch nfl games at this point are answering their own question.
that’s the answer.
if i turn on the panther’s game sunday, i’m telling greg hardy, i don’t care if you hit, assault, threaten, beat, or do anything else to your girlfriend.
and i’m not willing to say that, anymore.