One game suspension for football star charged with beating child


#1

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#2

I can’t look at the pics because that’s just too much sawdust and onions for one day, and I’m kinda getting a funk from Mark’s description alone. A 1-game suspension for permanent emotional, if not physical damage is disgusting and further evidence of the league’s all too tolerant stance on violence off-field.

I’ll continue my own boycott, and encourage anyone who has kids in their lives that they love to do the same.


#3

I find it hard to fathom why the football teams/league have waded into the murky waters of playing extrajudicial penalities for the (frequent, go figure when you hand largely unprepared young men scads of cash and adulation…) instances of misconduct of varying levels by the players.

It seems like they’d be much better off with some simple, flat, automatic, rule; maybe something along the lines of ‘any crime of violence, and anything that results in a court time incompatible with your day job gets you fired, anything else is between you and the state’. As it is, the additional ‘punishments’ tend to be trivial, and the sheer capriciousness and lack of proportionality is downright insulting(mostly notably, doing some smoking up vs. various flavors of assault).

This just seems like a no-win for them.


#4

While I’m sure this will be an incredibly unpopular notion, I have to say that I don’t necessarily feel that justice is served when someone is fired from their job based on accusations. We have a criminal justice system that (theoretically) investigates crimes, determines culpability and doles out punishment, we don’t really need private employers getting involved, especially when there is no danger to coworkers or others. I suppose “public figures” are treated under a different standard (sometimes more strictly, but often a lot less so) but whether an accusation is levied at a football player making $10 million a year or a guy flipping burgers at the corner shop, it seems more like mob justice than real justice to me.


#5

Yeah, really I think that anything shy of requiring full dismissal from a team is inappropriate. If a player is involved or convicted of something so horrible that it mandates action, or would require so much time to defend that it makes their involvement in the team impossible, dismiss them. Suspensions are for violating rules of the game, or team rules. Dismissal if you can’t reasonably play, or represent the team any longer. Using game penalties as consequences to “real world” crimes is always going to seem, and I’d say BE, petty, stupid, capricious, random, and ultimately unsatisfying to anyone, supporter, perpetrator or victim.


#6

Ray Rice knocks out his wife = 2 game suspension.

Adrian Peterson abuses a child = 1 game suspension.

Josh Gordon tests positive for marijuana = 1 year suspension.

Something ain’t right.


#7

Don’t even joke. If the criminal justice system were effective and impartial, then Spike Spiegel would be out of a job. You don’t want that on your conscience, do you?


#8

I mostly agree, but I think that the league does have a place to hand out “punishments” where player’s actions damage the reputation of the league or the game.

Generally, your job shouldn’t punish you for immoral acts unrelated to your job. Firing someone from their sales job because they hit their kid seems like actually an awful thing to do. That’s not a statement in support of child abuse, it’s just that you’ve created an angrier person who is no unemployed and has lots of time for more child abuse - while conveniently sweeping the problem away from the eyes of people who would rather pretend this isn’t happening. Firing someone because they have to go to prison and can’t work is another matter. We shouldn’t get so caught up in the joy of punishing bad people that we overlook what will happen when we do.

But if a company gets rid of their CEO or another very public face of the company because of things that person did unrelated to their work it can make sense. If instead of selling mattresses that person who hit their kid was the guy in all the mattress company’s commercials and the issue became public, they would get rid of him because now his bad actions have risen to the level that they will be associated with the employer.

NFL players are all public faces of the league. If they are violent towards their families then it makes it seem like the league is a place where people use violence against their families. It makes sense for the league to act.

Of course that’s just all one big nuance. The reality the league has to then face is that anything less than a a permanent ban is going to seem “soft” and, like I said above, taking away someone’s job isn’t a solution to domestic violence.


#9

You have to admit it looks pretty bad. He admitted to giving the kid a “whooping” and the photos show open wounds and bruising. If this wasn’t his kid, he’d be crucified by now.

Any organization can have “conduct” rules that result in termination if violated. This isn’t mob justice, it’s public relations justice and usually isn’t very forgiving and in this case I agree.

Just read that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated for Sunday’s game. So the message is if the team needs you, you can beat the crap out of your kid and still play. A win-win situation.


#10

That was kind of what I was getting toward with this statement:

Granted, I was combining a few different justifications there. If you don’t want your business or team associated with people who did “X”, or, stand accused of “X”, that’s a business decision to be made. Likewise, if you think that, say, Bob really didn’t murder someone, but, defending themselves from a murder charge is likely to make them unable to work, due to confinement or simply the stress of the legal system, while I personally object to businesses meting out “punishment” absent any actual finding of fact, I can at least understand the perspective that “Bob” isn’t a useful employee while being ground under the wheel of justice, no matter how the outcome is.

Getting back to your actual point though, any punishment dealt out by the body running your sport or business that they can hand out short of that is going to seem laughable. They look bad by seeming to “accept” your “Crime”, The person gets extrajudicial punishment, and, the business isn’t really rid of the hassle of having an employee who’s dealing with those issues, regardless of the merits of the accusation. It just seems like a Lose/Lose situation from a purely utilitarian view, regardless of the morality issues.

It would be the equivalent of a world class Monopoly player accused of a crime being forced to go directly to the jail space, and pass go without collecting $200, as a punishment for out of game crimes. I think that’s stupid, and unfair, no matter what side of the accusation you believe.


#11

Peterson wasn’t suspended, he was deactivated (for one game). Suspension is punitive; no pay. Deactivation is a temporary demotion from the “active roster” (45 players allowed to suit up for a game) to the “practice roster” (the 8 remaining players in a team’s total allowed 53-man roster).

In a statement issued Monday, Vikings’ ownership said, “At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.” The possibility of suspension (or outright termination) is not off the table; ownership just wants to keep the team’s most valuable player on the field until guilty/not guilty is determined by the Texas courts.

Yes, obviously management wants to buy as much time as possible in the face of this indictment (Peterson surrendered to Texas authorities on Monday, and is currently free on bond). And, since this will be tried in a Texas court (where this sort of thing is decided by a community standard), there is a real chance that AP will be found not guilty. But no – Mark’s implication that this 1-game deactivation constitutes Peterson’s sole professional discipline is off the mark.


#12

Thanks for the clarification. This actually seems like a 100% appropriate action for someone who has been accused of a serious crime. Take them off active while they deal with the criminal allegations and deal with the long term consequences when it is more clear what will happen in the long term.

Unfortunately, since this is about public perception, they are probably in the lose/lose that @SirCracked described above.


#13

The headline is a little sensationalist. “One game suspension” indicates that he’s done with after one game, while nothing has been set in stone. He could be fired, suspended indefinitely, but the team took the fast route of deactivating him while facts and information was forthcoming. And for that, they are going to get knocked because a writer wants a headline that will get clicks and so misrepresents the severity of the punishment that has as of yet to be decided.


#14

From the last couple posts, seems that’s pretty accurate. The depressing thing there is, that’s what PR is ostensibly FOR! I think spin is a four letter word in the sense that I suspect may around here do, but, if they have a PR department, they aren’t earning their pay on this one.

Were it me, I’d say announce that the team has provisionally removed the player from active participation, but, were reserving all other reaction until more information is available. Avoid like the plague the words “Suspension”, “Punishment”, etc. If they truly are taking this action either out of caution, or as an initial step, such language isn’t really spin, it’s ensuring words aren’t put in your mouth for a situation where very emotionally charged folks will have a high motivation to do so.


#15

It would have been more effective to have their player removed from the home until the charges are filed and he’s found guilty. At least then the token effort is in the right direction.


#16

I agree here - I don’t like the idea of the NFL setting itself up as a secondary judiciary system. In the case of Ray Rice, the evidence was irrefutable, obvious and in everyone’s face. But in general, I would prefer for the legal system we already have established to take precedence and for the NFL to act based on the rulings handed down there. (Of course, I would also like for our established legal system to be more competent, but that’s a separate issue.)


#17

I think it’s because of the “role model for the kids” narrative. If jocks are role models, then you have to punish un-modely behavior. They used to just be big guys playing a game, and it was entertaining.

The same thing happens with pop stars. When the media find out they have hormones, they go bananas, because “role model for the kids.” I can remember the Christians losing their stuff when Amy Grant admitted she has lady parts, and actual feelings. It was scandalous.

This reaches its apex in Japan, where one (over 21) pop star was caught by paparazzi leaving the home of her boyfriend. She was publicly humiliated by appearing on Youtube with a shaved head - and a pay cut of course - because role model.


#18

To quote Adam Savage… “Well THERE’S your problem!”


#19

The beating of women and children is clearly far less severe than the murder and subsequent arson of those poor, poor cannabis plants.


#20

it is worth emphasizing that bit about this case being tried in texas, which is where i live. he is quite likely to be acquitted here. i personally oppose corporal punishment but it is extremely common. there were a few times i was told to go cut off the switch that was to be used on me when i was growing up. one of the other teachers at my school told me that the child was lucky he was punished with a switch instead of a belt as she was as a child. other teachers in the conversation asserted that any outcry over the spanking was just overblown liberal media hand-wringing. there is an unfortunate tendency in the former confederacy to treasure just these sorts of barbaric holdovers and venerate them as traditions.