Hard to Believe

Few areas of endeavor have been hit as hard by our new-found, long-overdue unwillingness to tolerate the physical mistreatment of women than professional sports. After a few especially egregious incidents and especially weak responses to those incidents, the National Football League appears, finally, to be taking such matters seriously and responding swiftly when they occur.

In some situations, a case might be made that those reactions may even be a little too swift.  These days, a player doesn’t have to be convicted of assaulting his wife or girlfriend or sister or whomever.  All he has to do is be accused, not even necessarily charged with a crime, and his team drops him like a hot potato and no one will touch him.  It hasn’t happened yet, but one day one of those charges will be bogus and an innocent man will lose his livelihood at least for a while and his reputation probably forever, but it looks like it’s going to be a while before the pendulum swings back in the other direction.

Mychal Kendricks is a professional football player who hasn’t been accused of assaulting his wife or girlfriend or sister or whomever.  No, he came to our attention last month for another reason: he was accused of participating in an insider trading scheme that netted him $1.2 million in ill-gotten gains. The feds had the goods on him and he quickly pleaded guilty.  He hasn’t been sentenced yet but published reports suggest that he could spend as long as 25 years in the hoosegow.

But Kendricks hasn’t been sentenced yet so he needs something constructive to do with his time and last week he found that something:  he signed a contract to play football for the Seattle Seahawks this season.  Details are not yet available about the contract but Kendricks, who has already made $20 million in his NFL career, will be doing pretty well for a guy who will soon be fitted for an orange jumpsuit:  the NFL minimum salary this year for a player with Kendricks’ years of experience is $790,000.

So a guy who allegedly strikes a woman but has neither been convicted nor even charged will lose his job almost immediately but another fellow who pleads guilty to stealing more than a million dollars and stands to go to prison for as long as 25 years can get a job earning at least three-quarters of a million dollars, and probably much more, while awaiting sentencing.

Is this a great country or what?

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