If Roman Polanski Looked Like Michael Vick: He'd Be Rotting in Prison

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2009

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 25:  Director Roman Polanski presents the Grand Prix award during the Palme d'Or Closing Ceremony at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2008 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

What a joke.

Put him in prison. Extradite him to America, carry out his sentence, and let him serve his time.

It will be a real shame, since he is a genius. Not only that, but he has suffered a lot in his life, and deserves to be happy in his old age.

But the same could be said for a lot of criminals. How many gang members on death row grew up under terrible circumstances or lived through tragedy? Probably most.

But that's not what this article is about.

What has a lot of sports fans fuming is this:

If Roman Polanski were an athlete, he'd be rotting in jail right now with no sympathy.

Just look at Plaxico Burress, who carried a concealed weapon, shot himself in the leg, and is now serving a two-year sentence.

Look at Michael Vick. He abused a group of non-human girls, and spent nearly as long in the slammer.

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So why should a convicted rapist—a man who had sex with a thirteen year old girl— getting so much sympathy both from his industry, but also from the nation of France?

Because he is skilled behind a camera, instead of being skilled behind a center, two guards, and two offensive tackles?

Or maybe it's because he is a small, unimposing man, versus a big, intimidating athlete like Michael Vick, who has a tough glare and corn rows.

Maybe because his type of intelligence—creative intelligence—is more valued than the brilliance of somebody who has great field vision and leadership skills.

Perhaps Roman Polanski gets sympathy because his personal tragedies are documented in history books—that makes them more visible than the tragedies that so many athletes have dealt with in their lives: abandoned by parents, recruited for gangs, treated like nobodies (until they get rich).

Or maybe it's because Polanski committed his crime several decades ago, back when there was "Free Love" or whatever other silly euphemism we want to use in order to sugar coat his crime.

Maybe it's an issue of race—gasp—there, I said it. No need to dig deeper into this one. Either you buy it, or you think it's total crap. But it's more than just a wild conjecture.

Any way you cut it, those of us who admire athletes and would rather see an Arnold movie than an art house flick should all take notice of this. It's not right.

Roman Polanski committed a crime, and he should serve his time.

Nobody had a problem throwing Plaxico or Vick in prison.

Nobody should have a problem with Polanski's sentence being carried out.