♦ When What Happens in Vegas, Doesn’t Always Stay There…♦
“Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused.”
DETROIT— Now you would think that I would be sorta numb to this whole “Professional Athlete gets accused of (insert crime here) by (insert accuser here)” thing, and you would be right to a certain extent. I just couldn’t imagine being paid obscene amounts of the green to play a sport, stay in shape, and stay out of trouble, yet being unable to hold up to the latter: “You mean all I have to do is show up to practice and on game day, and not get arrested and I get paid HOW MUCH!? I don’t know about y’all, but I gotta get this money!” When you look at the cast of characters in the NFL alone that have found themselves on the wrong side of a mug shot in the last five years, you could conceivably have an NFL criminal to cover every position on a football field. Yes, even the Punter and Kicker!
Starting with current players, the obvious usual suspects leap out at you: Michael Vick (Tax Evasion/Dog Fighting/Drugs), Donte Stallworth (DUI/Manslaughter), Travis Henry (Drug Trafficking/Child Support/Serial Procreation), Marshawn Lynch (Gun Charges), Charles Rogers (Marijuana/Domestic Abuse), Plaxico Burress (Gun Charges), and basically anyone who plays for the Cincinnati Bengals not named Carson Palmer. Lest we forget some of the legends: Michael Irvin (Cocaine and lots of it), Todd Marinovich (Heroin), Leonard Little (DUI/Manslaughter), Lawrence Taylor (Cocaine), Nate Newton (Marijuana Trafficking…as in 300 lbs of it) and the all-time greats Rae Carruth (Murder of his Pregnant Girlfriend), Lawrence Phillips (Assaults of, well, whoever got in front of him), and O.J. Simpson (Acquitted of Double Murder, Convicted of Armed Robbery and Kidnapping).
In the pantheon of NFL criminality (and to a larger extent, athlete criminality), those are the biggest of the big. And while crime stretches out over all sports, the NFL is the biggest sport in the United States by a country mile so their shit stinks just a little more. That’s not to say we forgot about the myriad of drug charges, child support issues, and domestic abuse cases that pervade the NBA, the multitude of DUIs and drug issues that Major League Baseball has had, and let’s not even get into the insanity that goes on at college campuses.
However, the latest case of an NFL player running into a potential firestorm is one that isn’t as easy to call as the others. Ben Roethlisberger, the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has been accused of going all Kobe Bryant on a hotel employee in Las Vegas last July. Andrea McNulty, whose name has been disclosed since she only filed a civil suit, accuses Roethlisberger of luring her into his hotel room at the Harrah’s Hotel and Casino to fix a malfunctioning TV before forcing himself upon her, and eventually raping her. McNulty says that she never filed a criminal complaint against Roethlisberger because she feared that she would be fired if she did. She has also since indirectly accused her employers of actually telling her to be honored by the encounter.
Three major issues creep into play here:
- If This is Anywhere Close to True…then Ben Roethlisberger is a dirtbag who belongs in the same class as all the other criminals that I mentioned earlier. The sense of entitlement that many professional athletes have is offensive and absurd. Part of the reason the feds went ExtraHard (© Little Brother, 2007) on Michael Vick was because this dude was openly flaunting the fact that he felt he was untouchable. Ditto for Plaxico Burress with the NYPD. If what this woman says is true, Roethlisberger is no better than any of these filthy rapists and child molesters roaming jails and (sadly) streets. In a lot of cases, he would be much worse. I would lobby that the NFL, which is dropping anvils on criminal behavior these days, indefinitely suspend him and any NFL team that would be crazy enough to sign him (because you know the Steelers don’t play that shit…Santonio Holmes knows one more screw-up and they will forget about that catch in the Super Bowl) should be boycotted and hammered by any and all women’s groups in the country. However…
- If This Turns Out To Be Untrue…Andrea McNulty should be made an example of by every Anti-Rape group and media outlet in the United States. If she’s got an elaborate imagination, and that’s completely possible, and is using this as an opportunity to sue this man for $440K and ruin this man’s reputation then she deserves every bit of ridicule she gets. The only thing worse than being accused of rape is being Falsely accused of it. In doing so, she does an incredibly horrid disservice to every sexual assault prevention group and actual rape victim who has been legitimately afraid of coming forward after an assault. It also gives a built-in excuse to all these rapist dirtbags who commit these heinous acts. The fact that this chick took a year to say anything, while not uncommon, is a HUGE red flag (Strike 1, Foul Ball). The excuse she gave was an even bigger one (Strike 2, Swinging). The fact that she still won’t file a criminal complaint, but is more than willing to go after him for the cheddar is the proverbial change-up on the outside corner for the called Strike 3!
- The Media Coverage of This Is…strangely different from another rather infamous athlete rape case. You already know who I’m talking about. As much as I despise the played out “If (insert white athlete here) were (insert black athlete here), then the Media would be all over it!” refrain whenever a black athlete/actor/politician does something dirty, this is the one time out of 10 that whiny race card play does register. In 2003 and 2004, Kobe Bryant was on trial for the rape of a hotel employee in Colorado. The story put Bryant, the extremely popular (albeit universally despised in the Black community) NBA star who was one of the biggest babyfaces (Pro Wrestling Lingo Alert!) in pro sports, in a VERY brutal position. The rape accusations, and his subsequent snitching on Shaq’s infidelity, immediately made Bryant a heel (There’s another Wrestling Reference…), in the eyes of damn near everyone outside of Los Angeles. Bryant was villied even more as the details of the charges came out. One constant in all this was the watchful eye of every major TV Network and Newspaper in the country and around the world. This was a Major league story all the way to when the alleged Victim, Katelyn Faber, dropped the charges when inconsistencies in her story started popping up and she wasn’t willing to get on the stand and testify. ESPN was hitting us with updates everyday. All the major networks and covered the Bryant story as they should have. However, ESPN has been outwardly accused of trying to sweep the Roethlisberger story under the rug. So ask yourself, homeboy, WHY IS THAT!?
The overall portrayal of the accused in these two cases is curious. Kobe’s accuser was portrayed as an innocent young woman taken advantage of by an arrogant monster. Ben’s accuser is being portrayed as a money-hungry bitch with a vivid imagination trying to smear this guy’s good name. That’s not to say she isn’t, but the agenda is already being set. The rush to judgement is on the accuser, rather than the accused, and that’s awfully peculiar. For what it’s worth, I am highly skeptical about this. It took her a year to say something. She didn’t go to police. No rape kit was ever given. She still refuses to file a criminal complaint, and if her co-workers supposedly knew about this, you’d have though one of them would’ve actually had a conscience and said something on her behalf. I’m not saying she’s lying, but if her nose is made out of wood, you might want to start giving her three feet.
Sexual assault is one of the most heinous crimes in our society, only eclipsed by Child Molestation and Murder. It is NEVER cool for a man to take advantage of a woman (or vice versa). When she says no, then that’s it Pimpin’! Lying about sexual assault not only makes you look like lying scum-bucket, but it makes life far more difficult on the real victims of rape and sexual assault. Rape isn’t as much about sexual pleasure as it is about physical dominance, and robbing the victim of control. Roethlisberger is a hell of a QB. If he did this, he needs to be put away for a LONG time. If he didn’t, Anna McNulty just raped a countless number of women by her actions. Godspeed and Stay Tuned.
Thank You For Your Time, Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B.
Until Next Time…Behave Yourselves and Be Safe.