One of my favorite Emily Lattella “SNL Weekend Update” commentaries begins, “What's all this fuss I keep hearing about violins on television?” She meant “violence” of course, a word that’s been connected to a lot of sports stories lately. It’s interesting that the word “violation” comes from the same Latin root. Violence and violations – and sports.
Let’s begin with “deflategate”. Seems like New England Patriots personnel committed some violations. Some are already lumping Tom Brady into a notorious list of cheating sports stars. Some kind of team punishment may be coming. The Boston Herald writes today, quoting ESPN NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt:
“Again, the NFL, (league commissioner) Roger Goodell, (executive vice president of football operations) Troy Vincent, they’re not bound by any previous decisions at all. It does lead to the accusation of the ‘making it up as they go along’ if some teams get this, kind of a legal term, ‘respondeat superior’: liability extends above those who are doing the act. If some teams get that and the Patriots don’t, I think that would open the NFL up to a lot of criticism.”
“Making it up as they go along.” Seems like just yesterday this NFL received this precise criticism over its handling of domestic violence. And disrespect for women appears to continue as an epidemic in that sport. For example, writes the San Jose Mercury News:
The woman who reported being raped late last year by Chicago Bears linebacker Ray McDonald -- only to be sued by him for defamation -- filed a cross-complaint Wednesday, claiming that a home-surveillance video shows that both McDonald and 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks sexually molested her after she slipped on a wet swimming-pool deck and suffered a traumatic brain injury.…
McDonald had been in hot water months earlier, after his pregnant fiancé accused him of roughing her up. District Attorney Jeff Rosen declined to press domestic violence charges, claiming there was insufficient evidence in a case where the alleged victim refused to cooperate with investigators.
Of course, allegations of “roughing up” women aren’t limited to football players. Take boxing. Take Floyd Mayweather, in particular. Reports of his beating women, particularly the mothers of his children, have been out there for a while. And this week, reports TMZ,
Josie Harris, who has 3 kids with Floyd, claims he lied through his teeth in an interview with Katie Couric, just 2 week before the big fight... when he claimed Josie was in a drug-fueled rage and he had to "restrain" her during their infamous 2010 domestic violence incident.
Point of fact ... Floyd was convicted of domestic violence and spent two months in jail.
Josie recounts her terror in the lawsuit, explaining how she and Floyd had broken up ... but he flew into a jealous rage that night, broke into her home and viciously attacked her while she was sleeping on her couch ... and her kids saw part of the beating.
Yet this isn’t even the biggest news controversy surrounding last weekend’s Mayweather- Pacquiao fight. Writes CNN, "Fans seem peeved for a slew of reasons: the fight was one-sided and kinda boring, Pacquiao had a bum shoulder and kept it a secret, and some people in the United States paid $100 to watch that thing while others paid absolutely nothing."
There are now five class action lawsuits filed against “Manny Pacquiao and his promoters for failing to disclose his [shoulder] injury before consumers purchased tickets and pay-per-view telecasts for his fight against Floyd Mayweather.” For example, in Nevada, “The suit alleges that Pacquiao and his manager Michael Koncz, his promotional company Top Rank, its chairman Bob Arum and its president Todd duBoef, admitted that they knew of his shoulder injury after the fight, but failed to disclose it to the Nevada Athletic Commission as required by law.”
Violations, violence and sports stars. Together forever?