From our growing zeal to cast bad guys out of our lives and out of our society with impunity and without hesitation has come a tendency to act on information that someone is a bad guy with great haste – and sometimes, with too much haste.  We especially see this now in the world of sports:  if a player is accused of something, whether it’s getting involved in a bar fight or hitting his wife, he’s released – a world of sports euphemism for “fired” – by his team almost immediately.

Unless, of course, he’s a really good player, in which case the team launches a tortured and wholly disingenuous effort to fabricate some absurd rationale to justify not firing the player.

And sometimes, allowing due process to run its course informs us that the guy we thought was a bad guy isn’t really a bad guy after all.

An example of this ready-shoot-aim approach unfolded this past week.

And backfired.

A football player for the Dallas Cowboys with the unlikely name of Lucky Whitehead was linked to a shoplifting episode:  a man carrying no identification was nabbed for shoplifting and gave police Whitehead’s name, date of birth, and social security number.

Whereupon the Dallas Cowboys, who don’t consider Whitehead an important part of their team, made Whitehead a former part of their team, immediately releasing – that is, firing – him.

But when the police dug a little deeper they realized that the guy they arrested wasn’t Lucky Whitehead after all but an imposter.

And the Cowboys?  Did they undo their firing of Whitehead?

Nope.  They fired him for something he didn’t do and then refused to make amends for their mistake.

Which means that Lucky turned out to be seriously unLucky.

Leaving one to wonder how many other people this has already happened to, and how many people it will eventually happen to, before we all learn to settle down and let the facts come out before making such snap and inappropriate judgments.

(And also leaving one to wonder how the people who run the Dallas Cowboys can look at themselves in the mirror and not feel deep, deep shame.)


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