Deshaun Watson gets a 6-game suspension after 24 female massage therapists accused him of sexual assault ranging from exposing himself to rape. The sentence was passed by the retired (female) judge that the NFL Players Association and the NFL agreed should pass judgment on such things.
The usual suspects howl with indignation at the light sentence. Not taking women seriously. An insult to the fair sex. More sports sexism. Misogyny against birthing persons. Business as usual in the patriarchy.
On and on like that there.
I’m ok with the penalty mainly because 23 of the gals settled out of court and we surmise substantial improvements in their respective financial positions. One can readily imagine Watson guilty of the charges while uncharitably suspecting the women of signing up and piling on for a big payday. They, after all, performed the desired service. Besides, a woman who agrees to massage a big-time jock has to suspect he’ll want relief for more than his football muscles; jocks have been notorious for that forever.
No doubt this attitude also insults women. But that depends on what world you inhabit. There’s the real world and there’s the world where hothead Lefty birthers hate men on principle. In the former, women are expected to gauge a situation’s possibilities for ill, before getting into it. That’s taking personal responsibility for yourself. In the latter world, women are eternally innocent and not to blame for anything they say or do or don’t say or don’t do. Whatever that may be called, it’s certainly not taking personal responsibility for themselves.
Whatever the case, your attitude on the Deshaun Watson penalty hinges almost entirely on which of these worlds you live in. I was surprised by the ruling but not dismayed. The kid is obviously spoiled and accustomed to getting what he wants from the ladies. Plenty of, er, ladies have no problem with that, and some even go out of their way to accommodate such fellers. We, after all, didn’t hear from any of the lasses whose encounters with Watson were satisfactory to both parties.
Then there’s this. Watson has already sat out one year in his prime and seems to me that that meets the NFL’s pandering for a one-year penalty. Me, I don’t care about that. I wanna see if this dude’s as bad ass as they say before I croak. I’m 73 and if he had to miss another year that could happen.
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And that would be tragic.
By Jack Rail
Jack Rail is a retired Army officer who writes mostly when something gets his goat.
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Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons