Monday, August 10, 2020

In the NFL, Black Lives Don’t Matter

By Anthony Brancato

Four weeks ago, Washington owner Daniel Snyder proved how "woke" — which has replaced "politically correct" much as "sexually transmitted disease" replaced "venereal disease" decades ago, and for essentially the same reason — he is by replacing the "Redskins" in the name of his team with nothing, much like the Republicans will repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with nothing if the results of November's elections give them the chance.

Yet Snyder was not "woke" enough not to do to running back Derrius Guice what Derrick Chauvin did to George Floyd: act as judge, jury, and executioner, cutting Guice less than two hours after Guice was arrested for — not convicted of — domestic violence.

Less than two hours may not be less than nine minutes — the amount of time Chauvin "took a knee" on Floyd's neck — but still — and as Peter Greenspun, Guice's attorney, said, "Investigators did not seek a statement or any input from him (Guice) before the warrants (for Guice's arrest, charging him with committing domestic violence on three separate occasions earlier this year) were issued, and that Guice "was released (by the team) without a single question (from the team) as to what occurred."

If it waddles like presumptive guilt and quacks like presumptive guilt...

A comparison with the NFL's now lone remaining Native American-named team — the Chiefs — is instructive: in March of 2019, Tyreek Hill was named as a "person of interest" when his 3-year-old son suffered a broken arm, because more than four years earlier Hill had been kicked off Oklahoma State's football team after pleading guilty to assaulting Crystal Espinal, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, who was pregnant with the aforementioned child at the time (Hill finished his college career at Division II West Alabama, most likely explaining why he was a lowly fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft despite the blazing speed that he has continued to show at the proverbial "next level").

Fearing a long suspension of Hill by the league, the Chiefs drafted Hill clone Mecole Hardman in the second round of the 2019 draft instead of using the pick to shore up a defense that ranked 24th in points allowed and 31st in yards allowed in 2018.

One can argue that since the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV anyway, this is all beside the point.

Except for one thing: It turned out that Ms. Espinal — not Hill — broke the kid's arm, due to her suffering from a condition known as "Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy." The NFL announced that Hill would not be suspended mere days before training camp opened.

And why the NFLPA did not insist on including an innocent-until-proven-guilty clause in last year's collective bargaining agreement is a mystery of Agatha Christie proportions (this issue has also impacted Ezekiel Elliott, among others).

So far as suggestions for what the Washington Football Team's permanent new name should be are concerned, one cannot go far wrong with the Washington Hypocrites.

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