Exposing The Double Standard In Sports Repoting
For the second time in a year, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is being accused of rape. Raider head coach Tom Cable allegedly broke an assistant's jaw and was accused of assault. He is now being sued by the assistant. Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck illegally taped other teams' signals during practice.
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant accused of sexual assault. NBA superstar Allen Iverson allegedly threatened 2 men with a gun after throwing his wife out of his house naked (he denies this allegation, stating "I don't want nobody to see my wife naked, period. So what makes you think I'm gonna send her out the house for everybody to see her naked?"
Falcons superstar Michael Vick accused of running a dogfighting operation. Pacman Jones and Chris Henry (rest in peace) suspended for season due to numerous arrests despite no charges being filed. Gilbert Arenas accused of bringing unloaded guns to the stadium. Plaxico Burress shot himself in the legs and sentenced to 2 years in prison. Allen Iverson's wife files for divorce.
I am surprised at the relatively quiet press coverage for Roethlisberger. He's a pretty high-profiled guy with 2 Super Bowl victories already at age 28 and now have 2 sexual assault trials to boot. Interesting, the way the media is treating this issue is almost like Roethlisberger is some third string quarterback for the Detroit Lions.
There were a lot of brouhahas and bullying when Kobe Bryant was accused of sexual assault with endless press coverage, every minor details about his trip to Eagle, Colorado, and the notion of he was somehow "guilty before proven innocent". Yet, Roethlisberger has 2 sexual assault cases in less than a year and the press doesn't even seem to care. There were more coverage when Iverson was accused of threatening 2 men when he was looking for his wife. They have more coverage about A.I. getting a divorce than Roethlisberger's rape case and no one is speculating whether he would be suspended under the "personal conduct policy" NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduced.
Now, let's take a look at this "personal conduct policy" and the inconsistent way it is being enforced. The NFL declined to penalized Cable despite clear evidence that he assaulted the assistant. Sure, there was no charges against him, but that did not stop the trigger-happy Goodell from suspending Adam "Pacman" Jones and Chris Henry for a season and essentially sabotaged their careers. Bill Belicheck, who violated the integrity of the game, was not fined or suspended for his transgression. The team was fined and a late first round pick was taken away. Big deal!
Tell me which one is worse? An animal killer or a serial rapist? Last time I checked, cockfighting is legal in Latin America and many other parts of the world. I am not condoning such practice, but for me, a serial rapist is a lot worse. In slums like Newport News, Virginia, dogfighting is not uncommon. Vick may seem like a heartless monster to most of us, but he is just a product of the environment he grew up in.
I'm not insinuating that Roethlisberger is guilty, but that didn't stop columnists and fans to bash Vick when the report initially surfaced and way before he was even convicted. Everybody was bashing Kobe Bryant before the high profile case ended. The media wanted to tear Gilbert Arenas apart and constantly put him on the headline. The NBA even suspended him indefinitely and his own team left him for dead. They are even trying to void his contract and end his career prematurely just because of one dumb mistake that is minuscule compared to the seriousness of the accusations against Roethlisberger.
Media like ESPN and Yahoo Sports gang patrol their articles and brainwash fans into thinking a certain way and developing certain perceptions for certain players. Why is Roethlisberger getting a pass? Why the double standard? Why is T.O. getting bashed by the media just because he doesn't like them? The man has no criminal record. He is just a clown sometimes, but at the end of the day, he is a competitive guy who just wants to win. That's why he said Brett Favre is better than McNabb. A true statement. Yet all the media does is bait him into making controversial statements. When he finally figured it out and stopped talking to the press, the media brainwashes the fans into thinking he is a cancer and he's washed up. He had 829 yards and 5 touchdowns with quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards. Chad Ochocinco, who worked with Fitzpatrick the year before, had only 540 yards and 4 touchdowns with Fitzpatrick. Nobody said he was washed up after 2008 ended and he did bounce back with a healthy Carson Palmer. The double standard is appalling. T.O. got way more class than Roethlisberger. If the two women who accused Roethlisberger were really in it for the money, you would think these women would target guys like T.O., A.I., Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick, or Gilbert Arenas. Why would BOTH of them bother to accuse a guy with a clean cut image like Roethlisberger? The media practically invented, packaged, and manufactured him into an American hero then force that image down our throats.
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