Closing Arguments

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Roger Goodell Hates Football

            When Colts linebacker Josh McNary was charged with rape last week, it took the league and the Colts just one day to suspend him—no practice, not attendance at games, etc.  But wait, I thought we were all innocent until proven guilty in these United States of America!?  ‘Sup with that, you might be saying. . .well me too. 

            Now I know the charges are very serious, and he is a football player in the NFL, so he’s probably guilty of the whole array of claims—maybe.  Just ask the Commish, that paragon of buffoonery, who never found a player or a coach or an owner he didn’t want to hose at the first possible opportunity.  Two claims of domestic abuse this last year and the guy is decreeing the whole league is awash in wife-beaters, and once in a while, as with Ray Rice who famously cold-cocked his fiancé on film, after doing too little, he decides to do too much, then sees the film and decides to call Al Qaeda for a quick impromptu beheading!

            But really folks, the criminal justice system in this country works very well in such things, and don’t look now but those “things” are not always what they appear to be at first light.  We should all remember—well all of us but football’s hater in chief—that all the charges mean is that a magistrate found probable cause to believe misconduct had been committed.  That’s waaaaayyyyy short of proof sufficient to get a guy convicted of a felony.  But no matter, at least not if you’re playing pro football.  Essentially Goodell’s actions finish whatever is left of a player’s career when he heaves him over the side on the basis of mere probable cause.

            Now at this point in my 45 years or so in the criminal process few will confuse me with a bleeding heart, but I learned way back when that we have these rules, presumptions of innocence, and the high reasonable doubt standard that is exclusively applied to criminal trials.  But oh—wait—I forgot—our Commissioner hates football, and apparently that includes the players too.

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