Friday, 8 November 2013

Bullying in the NFL


As you may know, there is now a bullying scandal in the NFL. A white lineman for the Dolphins, assisted by other players, sent racist emails to a black teammate, harassed him on and off the field, demanded that he pay thousands of dollars so other players could vacation in Vegas, and abused him for more than a year. One of the other team mates promised to rape his sister without a condom and “come in her cunt”. This carried on into a second year, when even the worst rookie hazing is supposed to end. The white ringleader of all this abuse has been disciplined and thrown off many, many teams for outrageous behavior, including sexual harassment of a woman; some teams put him on a “do not hire” list.

The black teammate finally got fed up and left the team. And astoundingly, other players are siding with the bully over his victim, complaining that the victim should have just manned up and dealt with it.

Um, no. Wrong.

Every time some anonymous football player or front-office guy slams the victim instead of the bully, they are sending a very clear message to a hundred thousand athletes at the college and high school level:

Bullying is okay!
There are no moral boundaries, as long as you can back up what you’re doing with force!
Anybody who complains about injustice is a whiner!
Racism is okay as long as you’re protecting the quarterback!

Student athletes hear this and then set about beating up gays every afternoon, raping teenage girls and then slut-shaming them out of town. And growing up into…you know, Republicans.

I’ve heard it argued that football players have to be tough, and anyone who can’t handle the heat should get lost.
So what if we took the same attitude regarding our soldiers and policemen?
What if this was two policemen rather than two linemen?
Cops are supposed to be tough too, right?
If you knew that one of your local cops was an abusive racist jerk when he got back to his squad room – wouldn’t you want his captain to take his gun away, and fire him?
Military, same thing: what if we went back to the good old days when black soldiers were routinely abused and hazed?
Female soldiers sexually assaulted?
What if we allowed this to spread across our culture, the notion that real men abuse other people, and tolerate it when others are abusive – that the people who try to stop bullying are not real men?

We can raise a generation of men, or we can raise a generation of animals.



I'm old, I'm not dead.

I am drinking beer and taking a nap, because I am exhausted.
In the last ten days, in addition to the usual single-parent-working-cooking-dishes-trash-laundry-shopping superfecta, I have also been managing the following:
--The house appraiser, who had to come back again because the banker screwed up, and whose appraisal cost me $3000 for no reason
--Getting my ex and the bank to cooperate on refinancing my house, which involved 280 emails pleading with the brain-addled mortgage processor to give my ex the documents she insisted on, and my ex imposing demands on how the refinance was going to work, without which I'm dead broke
--Buying my girls iPhones, which involved extensive haggling to the Verizon Vampires so we could figure out how to give them even more of my money, and then hissy fits over cases and screen protectors, and then a return to Verizon to replace a phone which broke within a week
--The phone company which won't let me keep my internet connection unless I keep a landline I don't need
--The internet, which went off line for five days

--My doctor, who told me my cardiovascular data is so bad that I will need an entirely new exercise regime and more cardio pills to prevent heart attack and organ damage
--Walmart, which took four employees to violently break into their own electronics case so they could pull out the computer I was buying (after three of our computers died in a matter of a month or two, with the fourth computer soon to follow), and then sending me home with the wrong computer anyway
--Walmart again, for selling me the wrong version of Microsoft Office (which I had to buy because my daughter lost our Office code), and then refusing to give me a refund
--The bills and home repairs (including a busted sewage line) which took a gigantic slice out of my rapidly dwindling bank account
--My boss, who spent 45 minutes complaining about the flaws in the project I did for her, stemming from the fact that she has no clue how to lead people, plan goals and tasks, or give clear instructions; she finally acknowledged tacitly that working for her essentially requires ESP -- "you have to anticipate my questions"
--My daughter's grades, who have taken a nose-dive, requiring me to go over all her schoolwork each night, accompanied by much crying and yelling
--Sally's doctor visits which are probably accomplishing nothing at all and costing me a pack of money every month
--Filing the final paperwork to complete the divorce from my ex in court
So, that's the last week and a half. I am popping a few Blue Moons, watching some football, and sleeping all weekend. I'll be back when I'm back.

No comments: