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Thread: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

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    Default A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...son/index.html

    It has been a bruising two weeks for the girlfriends of a few high-profile athletes.
    On Monday Indiana Pacers rookie Lance Stephenson, 19, was arraigned on charges of felony assault, menacing and harassment in New York City for allegedly attacking the 21-year-old mother of his child. Prosecutors in the Brooklyn DA's office allege that Stephenson pushed his girlfriend Jasmine Williams down of flight of stairs at her Coney Island, N.Y., apartment building early Sunday morning. With the victim lying at the bottom of the stairs, Stephenson, according to a criminal complaint made public by the DA's office, then picked up her head and slammed it on the bottom step. Williams was later treated at an area hospital for head and back wounds.
    Four days earlier, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was arrested outside the team's family lounge at Citi Field and charged with assaulting Carlos Pena, the 53-year-old grandfather of his infant twins. According to published reports, Rodriguez had been verbally berating his girlfriend, Daian Pena, with f-bombs before Pena came to his daughter's defense and was assaulted. Pena was treated for injuries and he and his daughter were granted a protection order against Rodriguez.
    The publicity around the Rodriguez arrest overshadowed another domestic violence incident that occurred the same day and involved former Carolina Panthers linebacker Mark Fields. Authorities in Arizona arrested Fields for allegedly beating the mother of his 6-year-old daughter outside a child care facility in Goodyear. Witnesses told police that Fields, 37, grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the throat and choked her before throwing her to the ground and threatening to kill her. Fields faces felony charges of aggravated assault and interfering with an educational institution and a misdemeanor count of endangerment.
    It's pretty sobering to visualize a big muscular athlete knocking down a woman or pummeling a grandfather. Against the sheer violence involved in each of these cases, it's easy to overlook the fact that each of these incidents played out in front of plenty of witnesses. Typically, domestic violence is the kind of crime that goes on behind closed doors, where bullies carry out threats and violence without fear of being seen or caught.
    But athletes are less prone to fear consequences, especially when it comes to their off-the-field behavior. Fields confronted his ex-girlfriend outside a child care facility at 5 o'clock on a Monday afternoon. Rodriguez couldn't have picked a more public place to berate his girlfriend and strike her father than at a ballpark, never mind the fact that there were security guards on hand.
    Most of us would consider this behavior pretty brazen. Yet athletes who run afoul of the law are used to getting out of jams. Look at Stephenson. While starring at Abraham Lincoln High in Coney Island Stephenson and a teammate were arrested in October 2008 for allegedly sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl inside the school. At the time, Stephenson was being recruited by schools like North Carolina, Kansas, Memphis, USC and many others. He was on his way to becoming the all-time leading scorer in New York state history and leading his team to four consecutive New York City championships. He'd become such a big phenomenon that a courtside announcer had nicknamed him "Born Ready" and a reality web series about him was being planned under the same name.
    All of that was jeopardized by the felony sexual assault case pending against him. But here's where it pays for an abuser to be an athlete. After Stephenson pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, the University of Cincinnati offered him a scholarship. He became the Big East's Rookie of the Year in 2010 and was selected drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of June's NBA Draft. It was as if the incident at his high school didn't matter.
    But these matters often come back to bite teams that sign players with a rap sheet. Now Pacers GM Larry Bird has to decide what to do. If Stephenson is convicted on felony assault charges for the incident last weekend, he'll face a minimum of seven years in prison. The team just signed him to a contract that reportedly guarantees him $700,000 this year and $800,000 next year. The only thing Bird has said so far is that the organization will send a clear message to the community that cannot be ignored.
    The only person who needs a clear message is Stephenson. He may have been born ready to play hoops, but the game is doing him no favors by enabling him to keep skirting responsibility for his actions. Until his case is resolved, the last place he should be is in an NBA uniform.

    The case against Rodriguez is a little different. The Mets signed him to a three-year, $37 million contract. The team is reportedly looking into whether they can void the contract on account that Rodriguez injured his pitching hand during the clubhouse incident. The team ought to consider voiding the contract based simply on the fact that an assault was committed on team property. Most employers wouldn't hesitate to dump an employee that displayed violent behavior in the workplace, particularly if he was arrested.
    Earlier this year, NBA Commissioner David Stern came down hard on Washington Wizard teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton after the two were involved in a locker room dispute involving guns. No shots were fired. But both players pleaded guilty to possessing unlicensed firearms and Stern suspended them for 50 games on the grounds that it was "potentially dangerous" to other players and anybody else that might have been around.
    The length of the suspensions raised a lot of eyebrows. But these players had brought guns into the workplace. Moreover, Stern was reacting to the fact that there are simply too many pro players getting arrested on gun charges these days.
    Domestic violence is an equally pervasive problem. Yet teams and the leagues seem afraid to tackle it with the same degree of seriousness. During the offseason, Miami Dolphins lineman Phillip Merling was arrested after his pregnant girlfriend called 911 and begged for help while she was barricaded inside the couple's bathroom.
    The police report states: "Merling, knowing that Kristen Lennon is pregnant with their second child, did intentionally strike the victim on or about the face and head against her will causing redness and swelling. The victim also sustained a laceration to her lip."
    Merling, who has pleaded not guilty, is 6-foot-5 and weighs more than 300 pounds. He was jailed and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. Still, Dolphins GM Bill Parcells failed to suspend Merling. That prompted one writer to chide Parcells for having stated at his introductory news conference back in 2007 that he didn't want any "thugs and hoodlums" on his team. Yet when the Dolphins minicamp opened earlier this year, the player slated to replace Merling in the lineup was 6-7, 305-pound lineman Tony McDaniel, who had been arrested on domestic violence charges earlier in 2010 after his girlfriend called 911. As a college player at Tennessee, McDaniel was charged with felony aggravated assault after punching a man's face and breaking four bones, for which he later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
    I understand why the leagues are concerned about the number of players that carry guns. Wherever there's a gun there's a risk of danger. But the fist of pro athlete is also capable of being pretty lethal. If GMs aren't willing to suspend or dismiss players that abuse their wives or girlfriends, maybe it's time the leagues start cracking down. The situation has gotten beyond embarrassing.
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Lance and a teammate accosted this girl in high school? If true that puts a different spin on the "just a butt grabber" argument for me - do boys tag team butt grab? Hmmmm.
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Its not just athletes its anyone with a lot of $$$ and or fame.

    Yes its a double standard and its not fair but there's also a double standard when it comes to women and domestic violence. In most cases its the man being the abuser but in some its also the women like Earl Watson and his wife.

    We all know she's not going to jail...

    It goes both ways I'm afraid and until we hold all abusers accountable regardless of gender and status it will continue.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    I agree about the doubble standard its like when a woman claims rape, then they find out its an extortion plot, that athlete is then labeled and nothing happens to the flse accuser
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    I agree about the doubble standard its like when a woman claims rape, then they find out its an extortion plot, that athlete is then labeled and nothing happens to the flse accuser
    A defamation lawsuit is one course of action they choose, but I agree once the damage is done in the public opinion it's done...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation
    Last edited by focused444; 08-19-2010 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by focused444 View Post
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    A defamation lawsuit is one course of action they choose, but I agree once the damage is done in the public opinion it's done...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation
    Good point, and I understand that but

    Most wont go through that, and unfortunately are then labeled by the media and fans unfairly

    Its like if Lance is found not guilty in a court of law, he still will be associated and labeled as a woman beater
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    90'sNBARocked, can I ask what percentage of these accusations you believe to have been not only untrue but maliciously so? I can believe that there's a few crazy women out there, but I suspect it is at the "fingers of one hand" level.
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Good point, and I understand that but

    Most wont go through that, and unfortunately are then labeled by the media and fans unfairly

    Its like if Lance is found not guilty in a court of law, he still will be associated and labeled as a woman beater
    Your right most don't go through that type of legal action. Oddly enough the last person in sports that I remember doing it was Roger Clemens, and well, no one believed him and he dropped his case I believe.

    It is Lance's responsibility to disassociate himself from that lifestyle. If one fears being labeled then one should do everything in their power to prevent it. There is always going to be a public opinion, which I'm glad we have to a degree. If I were an innocent man, but viewed as guilty by the court of public opinion, it would not bother me because I know the truth will prevail.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Good point, and I understand that but

    Most wont go through that, and unfortunately are then labeled by the media and fans unfairly

    Its like if Lance is found not guilty in a court of law, he still will be associated and labeled as a woman beater
    Do you really want to pursue this? Seriously?

    All of the grief that I took, and you actually started another thread about this?
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-19-2010 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Should I do the super cool "in before the lock thing"

    /nervously bites nails

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Malicious False rape cases are about 1-3% of the cases. And it's thought that only about 25% of rape cases are actually reported.

    I think the issue for women abusing men vs men abusing women is simple. With the average size man and woman..a man punching a woman may put her in the hospital, a woman punching a man may give him a bruise.

    unfortunatly, that ignores the psychological aspect of abuse. The control..the emotional damage. That can go both ways. But I think men are afraid to speak up about it..and I also think it's pretty small scale, (although I've personally seen it)

    But the bottom line is, a man can just do more damage.

    Women and Men also tend to abuse for different reasons. Which produces different psychological effects. (Not nearly as great for the man as for the woman.) Men abuse for control. (Notice the Lance story. Demanding to know where she was. Or in Stacey's story, where her boyfriend had to approve what she was wearing every day.) Women abuse from an emotional breakout. (aka, a woman finds out her husband is cheating..and hits him with a golf club. NOT OKAY.) Neither are good or right, but the control tends to have much greater emotional effects than the emotional reaction.

    (I'm not saying that women don't abuse for control, or men don't abuse because of an emotional reaction. That's just the huge tendency.)

    Regardless, both are obviously wrong, and rightfully illegal. But for many reasons, abuse towards women tends to be worse.

    Now this athlete thing. UGH. So many athletes get away with it. And it's disgusting, and probably shows our values as a society.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.

    Malicious False rape cases are about 1-3% of the cases. And it's thought that only about 25% of rape cases are actually reported.
    This is what really, really pisses me off when I hear men whine about double standards between men and women. Listening to some guys you'd think women never, ever tell the truth about rape or abuse, and yet we spend so much time discrediting women because we refuse to see the truth. We'd rather the woman was just fabricating everything, because we all know women lie.

    This actually goes to the core of why abused women rarely report it. They don't think anybody will believe them, and why wouldn't they believe that? The past few discussions on this forum have been a perfect example.
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-19-2010 at 05:56 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Unfortunately - and I am talking generally, not in the Lance case, so don't bring up the evidence/witnesses/whatever - the fact that 98% of the cases are NOT Malicious False doesn't invalidate the 2% that ARE. If you simply didn't bother to investigate and put the guy in jail, you'd be right 98% of the time but you'd do a very horrible wrong to the guy in 2% of the cases.

    That doesn't justify the whining that goes on, but it DOES mean that a real investigation and finding has to be made in every case. Sloppy may still net you a good percentage of being right just due to the statistics, but that doesn't help the guy in jail who really didn't do it.

    I think you'll find men being abused is underreported as well, not just due to belief issues but simply due to cultural "men don't get abused" issues. We think the percentage is very small, but of course we don't know for sure because they aren't reported - it's just a guess.

    The bottom line is that being indignant about the assumptions is a little over the top, because the alternative is pretty unlikely. On the other hand, being unlikely doesn't justify ignoring it, either.

    The justice system shouldn't work on a "let's go with the averages here" basis, it should treat everything on a case-by-case basis. The averages/trends/statistics are where an investigation should START, not finish.
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    90'sNBARocked, can I ask what percentage of these accusations you believe to have been not only untrue but maliciously so? I can believe that there's a few crazy women out there, but I suspect it is at the "fingers of one hand" level.
    Sure,

    Its not so much that I believe they are true or not true, I just think its not so cut and dry one way or the other

    The point I always made was if he admits to, or did, slam her head against a concrete step

    In my book hes done, and should be immediately kicked off the Pacers, and face prison time

    AS far as the "psychopathic, or aggressive women. To some degree it has to do with the type of women you have been around. In my experience there are a decent number of women who grew up in the inner, inner city and have that attitude (and to be fair it was developed so they wouldnt be raped, or beat up etc.) and also in the poorer rural communities

    As far as the middle class or upper middle class, probably not as much, but more than you and I think
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Unfortunately - and I am talking generally, not in the Lance case, so don't bring up the evidence/witnesses/whatever - the fact that 98% of the cases are NOT Malicious False doesn't invalidate the 2% that ARE.

    I think you'll find men being abused is underreported as well, not just due to belief issues but simply due to cultural "men don't get abused" issues. We think the percentage is very small, but of course we don't know for sure because they aren't reported - it's just a guess.
    You are %100 correct. Victimized men should not be overlooked.

    Therefore, I propose that for every 49 threads in this forum dedicated to violence against women, we have one dedicated to victimized men. We need to promote awareness.
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-19-2010 at 06:33 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    [QUOTE=Kstat;1053525]Pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.

    I think that is a difficult statistic to properly agree with

    It doesn't take into account those , who were proven not guilty, but there were no charges filed for false accusations

    and also for those who were convicted, but didn't do it
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    threads in this forum dedicated to violence against women
    ...

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    I don't get it the reason for the quote.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Now this athlete thing. UGH. So many athletes get away with it. And it's disgusting, and probably shows our values as a society.
    and do you have the same passion and resentment for those men wrongfully convicted?

    also to say its worse on the womans side is a prejudicial statement.

    Think of men that have been murdered by women, or had their children taken away for no reason, or have been victims of false accusations

    Im sorry but there are just as many women abusing men (physically and psychologically)

    I do understand your point of sometimes it is a big man who with one punch could literally kill the women

    The bottom line is no one whether man or woman has the right to abuse the other, and both are equally disgusting

    The difference is from a physical standpoint the majority of men can take care of themselves
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    and do you have the same passion and resentment for those men wrongfully convicted?
    The one out of 50 that are? Absolutely. It only makes it worse for the next woman, because she's even less likely to be believed than before.


    also to say its worse on the womans side is a prejudicial statement.
    Correct.

    ...and that's assuming by "prejudicial," you meant to say "factual.'


    Think of men that have been murdered by women, or had their children taken away for no reason, or have been victims of false accusations
    I think of that 2 out of 100 every time I see the reverse happen in practice.


    Im sorry but there are just as many women abusing men (physically and psychologically)
    When I think back of all the times I've heard of men being raped by women...
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-19-2010 at 06:46 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    Im sorry but there are just as many women abusing men (physically and psychologically)
    That would be ... no.

    It really does begin to sound like you have some personal issues and are generalizing a specific personal experience into a gender attribute.

    While I suspect the numbers aren't exactly right due to underreporting, I don't believe for a minute it is 50-50 or even 70-30.

    If nothing else the physiological difference in the hormone response leads you to the logical conclusion that men are more likely to become violent.

    And as far as emotional abuse, you'd have to define what level makes it criminal as opposed to inept relationship handling before I'd even start to want to think about the levels being even.
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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    That would be ... no.

    It really does begin to sound like you have some personal issues and are generalizing a specific personal experience into a gender attribute.
    The sad thing is, there are so many men in this world that think just like him. It isn't even necessarily all on them, either. As a society, we encourage it.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by 90'sNBARocked View Post
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    and do you have the same passion and resentment for those men wrongfully convicted?

    also to say its worse on the womans side is a prejudicial statement.

    Think of men that have been murdered by women, or had their children taken away for no reason, or have been victims of false accusations

    Im sorry but there are just as many women abusing men (physically and psychologically)

    I do understand your point of sometimes it is a big man who with one punch could literally kill the women

    The bottom line is no one whether man or woman has the right to abuse the other, and both are equally disgusting

    The difference is from a physical standpoint the majority of men can take care of themselves
    No. Not even close. And I have personally seen men being abused. But it's not even remotely close. Probably upwards of 90% of spousal or partner abuse cases are done from men to women, and that's including the cases that aren't reported. (Because remember, there are probably more cases of women not reporting being abused)

    Of course, I hate the false acusations. It took so long for the courts to believe a woman in these situations, one false accusation and it puts a huge dent in the strides women have made. Not to mention how incredibly damaging it is to the man. (Although, admittiedly I do have more sympathy for those people who have been abused, than those that have been accused of abusing)

    And finally, I should have said that when a person uses violence for control it tends to do much greater emotional damage then when a person gets violent because of an emotional reaction. (that's not my opinion, that's the opinion of sociologists that study it)

    It just so happens men tend to be the type to control and women tend to impose the emotional reaction type of abuse.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    To tack on to the previous post...


    So many women who are being abused don't even realize it. They've been so domesticated by society, that they believe it's perfectly normal for a man to lose his temper and slap her around. Some are so mentally damaged that they even fault themselves. Even when loved ones beg them to press charges, most don't.

    This attitude among women of the victim blaming herself is not even uncommon. It's so far-fetched from a man's point of view, but it happens constantly.

    For someone to say that women are just as commonly abusive and as damaging in the home as men...you have no ****ing idea what you're talking about.
    Last edited by Kstat; 08-19-2010 at 07:04 PM.

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    Default Re: A double standard when it comes to athletes and domestic violence

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    That would be ... no.

    It really does begin to sound like you have some personal issues and are generalizing a specific personal experience into a gender attribute.

    While I suspect the numbers aren't exactly right due to underreporting, I don't believe for a minute it is 50-50 or even 70-30.

    If nothing else the physiological difference in the hormone response leads you to the logical conclusion that men are more likely to become violent.

    And as far as emotional abuse, you'd have to define what level makes it criminal as opposed to inept relationship handling before I'd even start to want to think about the levels being even.
    you made some very compelling points sir

    thanks
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