I had to address this issue. I thought about saying nothing, because it is a complicated issue, one in which many people have their interests at stake, and so I wonder if I can truly do anything about it, or whether change is even possible.
First off, I'm a fan of the Oakland Raiders.
Recently, head coach Tom Cable of the NFL team, the Oakland Raiders, was accused of assault by Randy Hanson. The Napa County DA in California declined to prosecute.
Since then, ESPN has reported accusations of abuse by Cable against a former girlfriend and his ex-wife. I do believe that ESPN has made a calculated effort to target the Raiders organization with malicious gossip.
This is a very conflicting issue though, because on one hand, abuse is a serious issue and people generally don't make such claims unless they believe those claims.
You might know from my concerns about my previous employer that I believe I was targeted after I reported sexual assault by an assistant. I believe I have taken a fall because of my willingness to take the initiative on the issue, because I feared the possibilities of saying nothing. Thus, I don't take these accusations lightly.
Nevertheless, when the mainstream media element is involved with incendiary accusations, I do believe that it is reasonable to question the intentions of the accusers and thoroughly examine the facts. Otherwise, the media would become nothing more than a bully pull-pit for unscrupulous people to take advantage of. Some writers, like Gregg Doyel of Sportsline.com, has said that he and others in the media like to be used. There is however, a line that must be drawn.
In one abstract example to accentuate this point, if you have ever listened to the radio show Loveline, there are people who call in and convincingly make incendiary claims that the hosts usually catch as false (eventually). It is part of the idea, "Trust but verify," when incendiary claims are made. If a person claims to have AIDS—initially you should take their word, but examine the facts.
In the three accusations against Cable, police or the DA investigated and declined to pursue the issue, for a lack of evidence. Some in the media have even suggested either corruption or intimidation as why. Thus, those people have shown that it is their agenda for people to believe that Cable is a serial abuser.
Moreover, it seems strange that if these claims of abuse by Cable were substantial that Al Davis and Amy Trask of the Raiders would have heard about it, and would have considered it.
Trask is the first and only woman to be hired as CEO of an NFL team, thus, the accusations against Cable insinuate that the first and currently only female CEO of an NFL team would knowingly hire a serial abuser. I think that Trask of all people would know whether Cable fits the bill of an abusive man, or if he's just being used as a scape-goat.
I do believe that if Trask had known or believed these accusations against Cable that the Raiders would not have hired Cable as coach.
Unfortunately, when a person is accused of something that involves gray area—that accusation can lead to other accusations, because that person is seen as lacking credibility, even if the person was not legally at fault for the original accusation.
Meaning that—a person gets accused once of something, because they made a mistake. The law says that person is not at criminal fault. Yet, it creates false perceptions, which lead to more accusations. The more accusations, the more likely people become to think there's something to it.
Cable had a lapse in judgment 20 years ago with his then wife. Police investigated, and declined to prosecute. Yet, because Cable made that mistake, and has stated that he has been remorseful ever since, people now assume that he fits the profile of a serial abuser, simply because two others made claims to the media that Cable had attacked them. In the case of Hanson, Hanson went to Yahoo Sports before he reported his claim to authorities, while police believed that the ex-girlfriend was stalking Cable.
Thus, the beliefs about Cable would imply that no person can change or learn. I say that, because the direct facts don't support the claims made by Hanson and the former girlfriend, Marie Lutz.
In other abstract examples to accentuate my point:
Former NFL star Pacman Jones was once convicted for his role in a barfight during college. Jones had a reputation of being a troubled loudmouth with substance problems.
Thus, the serial accusations against Pacman of unruly behavior in nightclubs, led the media and many fans to believe it and run with it.
In effect, he was treated as a "cancer" on the NFL, when he not been convicted of anything. I say this with caution, but many in the media and public in effect "lynched" Pacman's career by undermining the justice system, because he had not been convicted of anything.
If my use of the word "lynch:" in reference to what the "mob" did to Pacman's career is offensive, it should be. It should anger you that Jones was treated grossly unfair, simply because he has a disagreeable personality. At that point, you'll understand why I pursue that issue amongst others.
Ultimately, the media obsession over the Pacman tabloids led NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Pacman for a year, based on a power given by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Players Union and NFL.
I add this, because I believe it explains the root of Pacman's questionable behavior. His dad was murdered when he was four, while his grandmother, Christine Jones, whom raised him (along with his mother) died of cancer while Pacman was in college. I have wondered whether that cancer was treatable, because he would have surely thought that he could afford to finance that treatment once he cashed-in from the NFL, but she died too soon. Pacman missed the only game of his career to attend her funeral and wore a t-shirt in her commemoration.
Some issues should anger people. The question is, how do you resolve those issues? I don't believe in violence, I believe that the best arguments are made when the person first questions themselves before he or she questions others.
Yet, there are forces in the sports media, namely ESPN, that have agendas that they pursue regardless of facts.
One such employee of ESPN, Jay Mariotti (who is known as a serially disruptive employee), even said that Commissioner Goodell has "cleansed" the NFL of "thuggery." A career is a form of property. The last I checked, a person in the US should not be deprived of life or property without due process, just because they fit your definition of "thug;" a word that often has connotations of bigotry.
On one hand, the Players Union gave the unilateral power of suspensions to Goodell (note: they did so before they truly understood the ramifications of such).
Meanwhile, the sports media, namely ESPN, maliciously sees that power as an opportunity to assassinate the careers of those who don't fit their agenda, such as employees of the Raiders.
Thus, ESPN uses selective reporting in order to influence the opinions of the public and Goodell. Once those "seed" stories bubble-up into hysteria, a person in NFL becomes subject to punishment.
I know that ESPN uses selective reporting because Vincent Doria of ESPN refused to report charges of rape against Ben Roethlisberger, because it could damage his career. Yet, the same network is willing to report accusations of abuse by Cable?
In the the case of Roethlisberger, there are formal civil charges. In the case of Cable, there were no charges. Thus, the accusations against Roethlisberger have been legally more substantial than the accusations against Cable.
Some at ESPN, including Tony Kornheiser, even went so far as to suggest that witnesses were intimidated in the case of Hanson, while another ESPN employee, Bill Paschke, openly called for the suspension of Cable after the DA refused to prosecute. While Cable's ex-wife now claims that she was punched rather than slapped, when Cable (at least thought) she had been adulterous.
Yet, a punch would leave a different wound than a slap, which is something that police would have investigated. Thus, various people have in effect insinuated that the authorities involved in each case failed to their jobs properly and without bias. Where exactly are the facts to support such claims?
I don't aim to absolve Cable of his poor decision 20 years ago, but I do believe that every person deserves the right to live down a bad decision. In my view, ESPN merely saw that incident as an opportunity to make hay, because ESPN engages in malicious reports about the Raiders.
In the same article by Mariotti, he refers to the Raiders as a, "God-awful franchise," and that he reports gossip about the Raiders, thus he does not investigate, because he is willing to set aside his own integrity to attack a man, Davis, that he sees as a abuser of the media. Mariotti would even state his delusion that, "Somewhere Al Davis is cackling," and that Raider fans, "terrorize the enemy."
Mariotti made that statement after I, a Raider fan, had complained to the FCC about the derogatory and selective reporting by ESPN about the Raiders and the issue of suspensions, because I believe that ESPN has acted irresponsibly, and grossly enable negative stereotypes about various people all in the name of "entertainment."
I do believe that Mariotti is not alone in his sentiments at ESPN, as many of their employees have made similar derogatory remarks about the Raiders, and as I pointed-out, ESPN proved their double-standards by refusing to report charges of rape by Roethlisberger, while choosing to report the un-charged accusations against Cable.
Those reports against Cable have garnered the attention of the National Organization for Women, whom have called for the suspension of Cable. Yet, I do believe that that statement has been influenced by an outlet that has clearly engaged in selective and malicious reporting against the only NFL team that truly has had a social conscious in regards to hiring (one reason why I'm a fan of the Raiders).
Thus, I've had enough. I want change.
I'd like to see either a publicly funded Sports Network that reports fairly, because after all, sports are social institutions, as even MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said at the 2009 All-Star game. Sports have a responsibility to society, which is why the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL have either full or partial anti-trust exemptions.
As the Supreme Court ruled in the early 1920s, the MLB is "not a business" but rather an organization that coordinates community exhibitions. The NFL, NBA and NHL want the same full exemption; thus, each Commissioner should be forced to officially state that their respective organization is "not a business," but a social institution.
Furthermore, I do believe that Congress and the FCC should investigate ESPN as to whether, ESPN should have its license to broadcast revoked.
I realize the importance of such as issue as abuse to women's causes, and believe that it is a just concern. But at the end of the day, I do believe that when accusations aren't prosecuted -- that it is the duty of the American people to move on, and allow that person to learn from what they know and live it down. Instead, outlets like ESPN are quasi-tyrannical, as the facts show that ESPN has clearly engaged in *serial abuse* of coaches and players that don't fit their agenda by maliciously reporting gossip.
And ESPN is abusive because the American public is supposed to be able to trust an outlet of the press, when clearly, ESPN manipulates and abuses that trust.
At the same time however, the reality of abuse is that abusers have been or are being abused.
ESPN is just a puppet for NFL owners (thanks to the anti-trust exemption given by Congress to the NFL in the earyl 1960s) that abuses them, thus ESPN trues around and abuses coaches, players, fans, and whoever they think they can to feel good about themselves again.
I do believe at the end of the day that the reason why ESPN has maliciously attacked Davis and the Raiders is that Amy Trask shattered the glass celing in the quintessential Old Boy Network known as the NFL.
As some of you may know from the recent headlines about Rush Limbaugh's bid to buy the St. Louis Rams, there are NFL owners who think that Limbaugh is "too liberal," and are in fact, to the right of Limbaugh.
Limbaugh of course is the man who coined the term "feminazi's," to refer to NOW and feminists in general. Limbaugh is the one who praised Hootie Johnson for exlcuding women from Augusta National.
Limbaugh is also the one who wants the country to fail, simply so that black president does too. Thus, it is only reasonable to believe that NFL owners feel the same way about Amy Trask.
I hate to say this, but I know how people like that think. I used to be like them. Every effort against the Raiders and Davis has been from fear that the Raiders would succeed with Trask as CEO because it would set a precedent that a woman can succeed as CEO of an NFL team.
Thus, this is a vicious catch-22. Women are being used by NFL owners through ESPN to make a decision that would make "The Joker" proud.
By siding with Marie Lutz and her claims of abuse, it would thus detonate the Raiders franchise and Trask, because Cable was the last man who wanted the job as coach of the Raiders. Thereby ending any chance that a woman has to succeed as CEO in the NFL.
Yes, they are out to get Davis and the Raiders. But the only reason why is to get to Trask. And they pit you against your interests, so that you're too blind to see the forest from the trees.
As a singer once sang, "You're only a pawn in their game."